the night a Vegas hooker broke my camera

Las Vegas Travel Blog

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Dick with a harlot at the Luxor (he insisted they went to the room "just to get high")

Back in 1997, I had purchased a nice little point-and-shoot, 35mm FujiFilm Discovery 270 it from Ritz.  It took adequate pictures, was easy to use, had a nice zoom, and my favorite feature was the remote control.  In college, I participated in some projects and competitions that I wanted to document, so I used the camera extensively for those few years.  Over time, it took some tumbles, had been exposed to some damp and dirty environments, and the shutter sometimes stuck from dust or sand particles, but it had served me well for almost seven years and, of course, I brought it along.

 

We had completed another hectic, yet productive day at the show, had had another nice dinner, and then a group of us went out to the Hard Rock Cafe for some drinks.

Dick, Rich, & the hooker on the 14th floor balcony of the Luxor looking for a good place to toss a camera
  At first glance upon walking through the doors, we found the place was loaded with women and thought we had hit the jackpot!  While we were sitting around the bar at the back wall, a chick with straight, reddish hair in a professional-looking pants suit pulled up a chair and joined our circle.  Within a few seconds of injecting herself into our conversation, she tactlessly asked, “So who’s gon’na buy me a drink?”

 

Unimpressed, I walked away and sat down for a drink at the center bar.  I expected my colleagues to follow, but they did not.  Instead, they bought the unappealing woman a drink as she had requested and continued to entertain her.  Standing by my stool, a well-dressed fellow who had come up to place his order with the bartender greeted me and introduced me to the stunning blonde who was with him.

Dick's prostitute - this is the last shot taken with my FujiFilm Discovery 270
  I figured he was showing off, but it was a pleasure to make her acquaintance.  As we chatted, her boyfriend interjected wittily, “I just meant to introduce you, not for you to become best friends.”

 

With drinks in hand, the couple walked away, back to the counter to rejoin their friends I presumed, but a few minutes later, the girl returned.  Saying, “Hello again” as she placed a hand on the back of my chair, she reengaged me.  I greeted her back and asked where her boyfriend had gone.  “I’m not interested in that guy anymore,” she replied, “I’d rather be with you.”  Flattered, if a bit taken aback I asked why and the angelic girl explained, “He wanted to do stuff I’m not into.”

 

Wearing a sexy, yet tasteful, white leather outfit that revealed her washboard abs between the short top and miniskirt, she was one of the hottest girls who had ever engaged me in conversation.  During our exchange, an arm reached over my right shoulder and deposited a fresh Jameson’s on the rocks in front of me.  As I broke my gaze from the blonde beauty to my left, I saw Rich flash me an approving smirk as he continued by without a word.

 

Continuing our dialog, my new friend asked me in which hotel I was staying.  Thinking it typical small talk, I answered and began to describe the cool interior as I dismissed the idea thought she might be interested in more than talk.  The grim fist of reality knocked the wind out of my swelling ego when Snow White proposed, “We can go back to your hotel for like a hundred dollars or a couple hundred dollars.”  “Oh no,” I thought, “She’s a prostitute too, just like the one with the rest of my company.”

 

Slowly, I began to realize that the Hard Rock served as more of a brothel than a bar.  Virtually, every girl in the joint was on the clock.  Uggh!  I had wondered why so many chicks were wearing fur coats the desert climate.  As I observed the high heals and miniskirts, it occurred to me, “They’re not chilly; they’re in uniform!”

 

As gorgeous and sweet as my hooker was, her offer seemed almost tempting, but there was no way I would hire a prostitute.  We did continue chatting, however, and she remained pleasant in spite of my apologetic rejection.  When she asked me to walk her out to her car, I figured her pimp, who I then figured was the guy who had first introduced us, might smack her around if he saw her leave alone, so I walked her out the car.  We talked some more in the parking lot where I refused her last ditch offers and wished her a good night before she drove off.

 

I went back in to tell the guys the story.  Joining my group, I found that Dick had gone back to the hotel with the chick who had asked for the drink.  He always displayed a false confidence, but was really just a divorced, balding, unattractive, 40-year-old, looser who lived with his mom, so I was only a little surprised.

 

The other Rich, Guy, and I returned to the hotel shortly after.  Tony was sharing the room with Dick, so he had a keycard for their door.  Rich and I pulled out our cameras and we started a count to three.  The plan was for Tony to pop open the door and for Rich and me to charge in with our cameras to snap some candid shots.  Tony counted with his card above the slot as Rich began the count.  “One... two…” and suddenly the door yanked open from the inside.

 

Stunned by the commotion and flashes, Dick and his companion entered the hall in confusion as the rest of cried with laughter.  We all congregated on the balcony to catch up on our activities and I tried to get a good picture, but harlot kept blocking her face whenever I raised my camera.  Once her guard was down, I got off one quick shot, but in response, she marched straight over and swatted the camera out of my hand.  The five of leaned over the veranda to watch camera plummet ten stories to the roof of the shop in the center of the Luxor.

 

The hooker took off as soon as the camera landed and Dick went after her to go out for another drink.  How it happened and watching it fall was so funny and since the camera was old and did have some issues, its demise distressed me little.  The images on my film, however, were important to me, so I did hurry down to retrieve the remains and see if I could salvage at least the film.

 

I went down to the forth or fifth floor until I was at the same level as the rooftop on which my camera had crashed.  I climbed over the balcony and walked the top of an eight-inches wide wall like a balance beam for about 20 feet to the roof.  The battery cover was broken off and the battery had bounced ten feet away, but the camera body itself was still surprisingly in tact.

 

Dusting it off, I replaced the battery, snapped on the cover, and turned it back on to snap a test shot.  The shutter sounded to open and the film rewound, but there must have been an internal short because it never functioned again.  I did save the film, though, and even that final image before the fall came out, so the only loss was having no camera for the remainder of my trip.
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photo by: maka77