Pineapple Chicken Balls

Tom Jones

Tom Jones

My tenth trip to Las Vegas was with my friend Tracy Q and her family.  Tracy was turning thirty, so I suppose it was 1999 (I have a difficult time remembering what year she was born because she looks so much older than me).  We stayed at the Flamingo.  Because we took the early-morning flight, we couldn’t check into the hotel when we arrived.  Tracy’s mother and I sat down at a bank of slot machines to pass the time until we could go up to the rooms and she won $4000 on the first $20 she played.  That set the tone for the trip!

We had a lot of fun.  I got drunk a few times.  Once I even had to go by myself and sit half-submerged in the pool while I waited for the Advil to kick in.  I rarely get drunk enough to give myself a hangover!  I also got really loaded at the MGM Grand where Tracy and I went to see Tom Jones.  We visited the Stratosphere just to see what it was like.  Bellagio was open, so we went there, too.  I remember being in Via Bellagio pointing out a silver, leather dress in the window at Chanel to Tracy and she said “I couldn’t fit one thigh into that.”

Of course, I also remember the Flamingo buffet.  We were discussing what our favorite fruits were and Tracy answered “pineapple chicken balls” while stuffing one into her maw. I laughed so hard I’m sure I shot something out of my nose.  It’s been a running joke since.

I also recall that it was blistering hot and that every time I went outside, my eyes began to water uncontrollably in the heat.  It looked as if I was crying!  I don’t remember having any luck on this trip, but it was memorable, nonetheless.  I’d go with Tracy again in a minute, except that nowadays I go with another Tracy and that would just make things confusing.  Maybe if she changed her name to Trudy.  Hmm . . .


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