Drunken Tales – Fuck the Maloofs!
Like any group of Vegas first-timers, we couldn’t handle the overwhelming amount of things being thrown at us.
The ability to drink all night until dawn, while gambling, having an open container anywhere you wanted, and cram massive amounts of buffet food into your stomach and bags so you could eat later was like a dream come true.
Especially for a group of young twenty-somethings ballin’ on a budget.
And that’s pretty much how our first trip to Vegas went. I was turning 24 and hadn’t been since puking red Jello shots on the Mirage’s white carpet as an 18-year-old so I figured we should get a group of people together and see what kind of havoc we could wreak. Or have Sin City wreak upon us.
Our bags had barely touched the Flamingo room floor when we slammed our first beer. With various cases in our possession, we filled a bathtub full of ice and dumped the beers in.
Somehow through the first three or four warm beers, we realized that there might be a shower somewhere in our weekend, so having the tub full of ice and beer wasn’t the greatest idea.
We lined the bottom drawer of the dresser with plastic bags and then dumped everything in there. Voila! A do-it-yourself cooler. (Problem was, the bags leaked and it left a huge puddle in the corner of the room. Right where our friend Jim was sleeping. Like a champ, he didn’t even care, sleeping and drinking right through it all.)
Friday night turned into the wee hours of Saturday morning and we had been drinking for probably – no kidding – 10 straight hours when some people started falling off. It got to be at least 15 straight hours before we decided to call it quits at the blackjack table at 9 a.m.
Three hours of sleep later we’re back at it, poolside, chugging beers like a frat boy on MTV spring break. Just without the douchey-ness or the ‘roid rage. It becomes a great idea at this point to go to Rain, which was the hot, new club at the time, located off-Strip inside The Palms. We debated this, as a group of mostly Lakers fans, giving money to the Kings owners, the Maloof brothers, but ultimately deciding it’s the hot club, we’re in Vegas, so whatever …
More heavy drinking and only one small meal later, we’re getting ready to go and my buddy Constantine is mixing drinks that are about 95 percent booze and five percent mixer. And he’s doing this while double-fisting beers. And he’s drinking one of his mixed drinks after probably eating only the equivalent of a sandwich over the past 24 hours. How he was even standing was a miracle.
On our way out of the hotel, my friend Matthias sees a karaoke stand, stops and pays the head guy a decent amount to jump everyone waiting in line and decides to sing to me. It’s his “birthday present.” He chooses “I want it that way” by the Backstreet Boys or N’Sync or one of those bands. Our group is dying with laughter.
Constantine, meanwhile, can barely stay awake, and keeps going “Matt! Matt!” trying to tell me something so important he has to yell it. Problem is, the important thing he has to yell to me is either “Let’s find some chicks!” or “I need a fucking drink!” Something along those lines.
None of us see the warning signs that he is past the point of no return.
After paying the $20 cover at Rain – which is incredibly cheap because these days it’s like $50 to get inside any overhyped club – Constantine is wobbly and cannot stand. He pukes. Luckily one of our buddies, Kurt, steered him into a bathroom to do so. Kurt comes back out and tries to order water for Constantine.
Told it’s six bucks, he asks for tap water. Constantine calls the bartender an asshole. Bad sign number three (signs one and two were wobbling into the club and vomiting in the bathroom, for those keeping score).
Standing with us in a circle, Constantine says at least three times how water is six bucks and he hates that.
Security is called and they come over to pull Constantine away. We tell them he will leave on his own, basically asking Kurt (who lives in Vegas) to take him outside. As security surrounds us again, Constantine, perhaps just realizing some of his actions and repeating that water is six bucks, stays true to his Lakers roots. Even as a drunken bastard. (Remember, this is 2003 at the height of the Lakers-Kings rivalry.)
He takes his full cup of water and throws it on the ground.
“Fuck the Maloofs!”
And that was the last we saw of him until sometime on Sunday as he was escorted out of the club.
His three words and water smash have become a catch phrase for years to come and I still joke about it at times, especially with the news that the Kings are likely moving to Seattle now.
Constantine was a great friend of mine who knew how to rip Vegas apart with me. RIP, dear friend.