Avid golfer Thrax "Barry" Lawrence asked a couple of Pikes to meet for a long weekend in Las Vegas in February. The idea was to golf, drink some beer, and reminisce. It seemed innocent enough. Thrax's problem is that he is conscientious and organized, and thus mentioned his plan too far in advance, giving the troops time to mobilize. Soon the guest list hovered near 20, and Thrax began to worry: there were some real degenerates on the roster. He rented a house and showed up a day early, but nobody told him about the wholesale booze deliveries - his credit is good, as it turns out.
Mostly we chatted quietly and listened to Frank Sinatra rec... no, wait. I'm thinking of my Uncle Edgar's wake. Pikevegas quickly degenerated into another king hell blowout involving hookers, road blocks, and medicated salve. It's amazing what a bunch of guys in their 50s can still do, especially when they're being chased by casino security guards. Tool hurdled most of a roulette table, for example. Mark M, despite his dodgy hip, can still bench press a slot machine with an elderly Japanese lady hanging from it. Later, Greenie proved that he can get 3 golf balls in his mouth while yodeling "Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick". Hans traded his wedding ring for a ticket to the all-you-can-eat buffet at Kim's Korean Doghouse. Pageberg and Konrad stole a rickshaw and spent an evening drinking tequila and running tourists off the sidewalks on the Strip. Dang, I'm proud of those boys!
Bones McCoy brought a laptop so he could work during lulls, the delusional fool. We hijacked it when he went to the can and logged into a porno site. We emailed some pictures to his boss, which is why you should never trust a bunch of drunk frat boys, or leave your email account open when you're not in the room. Chuck Weinberg told Bones that if he got sacked, he could always work for him in Indiana, mopping his packaging factory floor. Bones swore unholy revenge, but we noticed he didn't log out of the porno site.
Master handily won all of the rounds of golf, although some of the others don't suck as much as you would think. Chris Jordan, for example. Pickerall. One or two others. Wes, after about 14 beers, got hold of a good 7 iron shot, but he'd forgotten that he was already back at his hotel. The ball ricocheted off a poker table and landed in the rum fountain, and JCP dove in after it. We tried to pull him out, but he fought us off bravely. Metzie deals craps in Vegas, but he pretended not to know any of us, except for Rock and Nate, who spent their retirement accounts at Metzie's table.
Vman took a few of us hiking at Red Rocks, near Las Vegas. Bizarrely, it was raining hard, and there were several washes across the road leading to the hiking trails. This is gospel truth: Vman, driving his Prius, a car made almost entirely out of electricity, blew a road block and shot through a raging torrent while I screamed like a little girl. Reckless endangerment was a lot more fun back when I was immortal. The cops consigned us to our fate, which was to ride helplessly while Vman drove through 3 more washes, laughing maniacally. I'm proud of him, too, but I will never tell him that.
It turns out Fid has a niece who works at a titty club in Las Vegas. She invited us there and offered us massive discounts on booze and whatnot, but feminism and fear of spousal reprisals kept us away. Also, ew.
In non-Vegas news, Celli and I recently vacationed with our respective spouses in the tropical paradise of St. Lucia, but it was unlike the customary buddy-and-family vacation in that, during our week on the island, we never laid eyes on each other. We've got to plan these things better.
In a depressing tradition, I now say goodbye to another old friend, Dennis Arnsdorf. Dennis was what all Pikes should be: thoughtful, kind, decent, and quick to smile. Our thoughts are with his wife, Maxine. Gentlemen, gather ye rosebuds while ye may!