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Plane ticket: $125
Hotel room: $190
Lost playing craps: $536
Hookers being “escorted” out by security: 3
Fight with cabbie: 1
Long weekend in Vegas with my dad and friends: Priceless

I just spent 4 days in Vegas with my Dad for a car show. Apparently, “What happens in Vegas” doesn’t always stay in Vegas, because I came back just over 10 pounds heavier. I ate at the buffets, drank all the free booze I was offered, and I didn’t drink the water I normally drink. So today, I am back to my program. I am hoping that most of the weight is just “retention” and I should lose most of it over the next 3 days.

While I was there and I was eating, I noticed that physically, I just felt bad. Aside from the guilt I felt, my body felt kind of sick. I am sure that the booze didn’t help, but I felt flushed and just kind of off my game. Overall, I didn’t feel as quick on my feet and my energy went way down. I felt like a Boa Constrictor that just ate a small antelope and now have that antelope-shaped bulge in my body. It had to be the fact I was overeating and that I was getting more sugar than I normally consume.

We actually went for a car show called Viva Las Vegas. It’s a show for hot rods that are mostly considered “Rat Rods”. Those are hot rods that haven’t been completely polished. I think the idea is that anyone can afford to build a hot rod and can drive it every day without worrying about having to park it at the far end of the Safeway parking lot to avoid having someone scratch it.


This type of car show attracts a subculture of people that are into the rockabilly look. Lots of guys with pompadours and women trying to look like Bettie Page. It was interesting to see people that were so into this hobby. Lots of guys looking like young Elvis, which is great when they are Asian. Overall, I think it was pretty cool that they obviously loved that culture.

One thing I did notice about being at the car show: We were in a fairly crowded area, and moving though the crowd is now more work than it used to be. When I was much heavier and was in a crowd, people would always move out of the way. I don’t know if it was even something people were aware of, but as I moved along people would naturally give me room. It’s inherent to move away from large animals. This must be the reason cops use horses to disburse riots. Now, I have to weave along the crowd just like the normal-sized people. It’s an adjustment I welcome.

On the other hand, I was also amazed at some people who were just walking around the strip and weren’t really part of the car show. I want to talk to the guys that are walking around with a drink so big, it requires a lanyard to carry it. I get it if you are 22 years old, it’s your first time in Vegas, and your friends dare you to drink one and prove you earned your party animal title. However, I watched more than a few guys at least my age or older walking around with those giant drinks. I have some things to say to these guys. One, you look pretty silly with that giant Eiffel tower strapped to you and a pink straw running to your mouth. Two, that sleeveless “Muscle” tee shirt with Dale Earnhardt’s picture on it doesn’t make you look tough, it makes you look flabby and sad. Three, Larry the Cable Guy? Not really that funny, so you can quit quoting his lines. Four, have some dignity and act your age, for crying out loud. It’s Vegas, not clown college.

I did admire the two guys walking around drinking cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon out of a half case they had tucked under their arms. Those were guys that just openly said they were going to get bombed, and weren’t making any type of pretense. Not even worried about drinking warm beer. Maybe the idea was to try to get them down before they got warm.

I went to Vegas with my dad at the encouragement of a friend of mine named Dan. Dan is a car guy and loves the old hot rods (along with the Bettie Page clones). When my dad and I got to Vegas, we met the some of the members of Dan’s car club who had made the drive down in their hot rods. We ended up hanging out with them over most of the weekend. At one point, we were all at the car show and were all just kind of hanging out in the shade. One of the young ladies from the club told me that Dan told her they would be meeting “Big Paul” and his dad in Vegas. She said she was a bit disappointed because she pictured someone really big. I told her that I used to be and that my reputation was deserved at one point. I am not sure if that makes me famous or infamous.

It’s nice to meet new people that didn’t know the old me. It’s like a clean slate and they don’t have any expectations of who I am. When you are as fat as I was, people do have certain thoughts about who you are. It’s fun to be part of the background for a change.

Paul

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