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The Man

Click to see!The Great Vegas Experiment
By Tate Blackmore
Photos and additional reporting by Rhonda Carpenter

All great heroes have great origins. So, how in fact, does a Millionaire Playboy become a Millionaire Playboy? What's the secret? Well to find out, we sent two normal dudes to Las Vegas for a few days (and nights). That's right, Vegas, baby! Sin City, the strip, the house of hooch, and the place where Nicholas Cage hooked up with the Adventures in Babysitting chick and joined the parachuting Elvis's. Wait, I think that's two different movies. Anyway, the way we see it, if there's any place on Earth that can make a dud into a MPB it's Vegas.

Click to see!The Experiment
To see if two ordinary guys can adopt the swingin' attitude of a MPB, we monitored two subjects (A and B) over the period of two days and two nights in Las Vegas, NV. Both subjects stayed in the Bellagio Hotel and Casino (yes, the Ocean's 11 hotel).

Click to see!The Subjects
Subject A may like hip, British rock, and was once told by an old woman in a bank that he looked like "the Titanic kid," but is an introverted dork deep down. He hasn't had anything to do on a Friday night since TGIF with Boy Meets World went off the air.

Subject B mostly resembles Dark Helmet from Spaceballs, when he'd lift his mask up, but he's an ace lawyer with a big brain. On top of that, he's a lawyer with a wallet chain! We sense that the bar exam and working for a big-time firm have pushed him to the edge. If anything else, we'll get to watch him pop! [Ed note: On Mr. Radar!]

Click to see!Night 1:
As soon as they arrive and check in, Subject A decides to hit the slots and plunks a dollar in nickels in the machines. Almost immediately he is up $2.50. The pro: The usually tight-pocketed Subject A (grad student) is cutting loose. The con: That initial dollar was given to him by his "Grammy."

The occasionally extroverted Subject B hits the blackjack tables and plays by a little chart he bought in a gift shop and memorized. After about an hour of being ignored, the rest of the table begins to benefit from his by-the-book technique and approve. The two drunken Texas businessmen and Chinese land owner also enjoy his lectures about property tax, despite the fact that they are losing more money than the studio execs behind Gigli did.

Click to see!Day 1:
Both subjects hit the strip, despite the 101° temperature. They hit Aladdin; Treasure Island; Caesar's Palace; Excalibur; New York, New York; and Bally's, where they hit the buffet with the sweet-ass corn bread and wonder if it's the same Bally's as the workout centers.

On any given day there are an average of seven shifty guys (or old women) in hoodies pedaling porn. They are restricted by law not to call out or harass anyone, so in order to grab tourists' attention they flick and click their folded cards. [Photographer's note: They're not too hip about getting their pictures taken. Go to Vegas and see them for yourself!] Being attracted to their cryptic communications, Subject A decides it might be a fun joke to grab as many of these cards as he possibly can. "Never pass up free porn," he points out. However, after grabbing one and finding out it is actually an ad for a prostitute, the peddler (a man), winks at him. A sprints back to the hotel to take seven, very brisk showers.

Click to see!Subject B takes in The Atlantis Show at Caesar's and watches two animatronic Gods duke it out and is disappointed that none of them had drooping jaws or broken eyes, like the robots at Chuck E. Cheese.

Night 2:
Subject A decides to play some of his winnings from the first night. He proceeds to loose all of Grammy's winnings and is dissed by a cute hippie chick next to him who would rather talk to her change bucket. A retreats back to the room for an early night and double dose of the Cosby Show (the classic one, not the new shitty one).

Click to see!Subject B decides to stay down in the casino for a little bit longer and is not seen again until 11a.m. the next morning.

Day 2:
A disheveled Subject B barges into the room at 11 a.m. (think Tom Hanks at the end of The Burbs), drunk on a hearty breakfast of Bloody Mary's and waving a cocktail waitress' phone number in his hand. A cocktail waitress' number is still a number, even if she only wants to pick your brain about what the best law schools are.

Utterly exhausted, a severely hung over Subject B (not much of a drinker) gripes and complains about how the Nevada sun could disintegrate every molecule in his body if he goes outside. He sleeps all day, only to later wake up and read the New York Times by the window without imploding. His cocktail waitress never calls.

Click to see!Meanwhile, Subject A decides not to let B dampen his spirits and heads down to the pool where 3 gorgeous Italian girls approach him. They ask him to pretend that he is with them so they can get into the pool (you have to flash your room key to get in). He obliges, and for the following ten minute conversation, understands very little. Although, he does get to see them in bikinis, even though they get bored with the beautiful, but sparsely populated pool after about fifteen minutes. Fearing that every woman in Vegas is now a prostitute, or an undercover black and white posing as one, he lets his three Italian birds go and lounges by the pool. Later, two middle-aged women walking by comment on his choice of book: Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring. A cowers in fear.

Click to see!Night 3:
Just as the two subjects get ready to depart on their red-eye flight, they gather around the great Bellagio fountain just like the end of Ocean's 11. While Brad Pitt and George Clooney they aren't, they both have strong Millionaire Playboy tendencies that would fully develop if given, oh, six more months.

Future Millionaire Playboy: Subject B. This is a textbook case of a nerd being unleashed. As for A, well, Vegas was almost too much for him. That's what happens when you sit in a dorm in Ohio all day listening to gloomy Brit pop.

Special thanks go to Rhonda, G-Mart, Mayor Guthrie, and T-Bear.

Article and photos ©2003

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