Viva Las Vegas : A trip of a lifetime for Jimmy Cricket

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Columnist Jimmy Cricket writes about his time in Las Vegas

I received a letter from my Mammy over in Ireland recently. She said, “I hope we don’t get a winter like last year Son. One night last January we had one of the worst storms in living memory. You remember Mrs Murphy next door but one? She’s now next door but 25”.

Jimmy Cricket

Jimmy Cricket

I suppose if we did get a harsh winter this year we’d be more forgiving because this summer has been such a belter.

They’re saying the last time it was as hot as this year was 1976. Well I remember that one vividly. I played the summer season in the, Gaiety Theatre, on the Isle of Man. The show went bust before the end and my car over heated and caught fire, so I had to leave the island without it. In fact the only thing I came home with was a sun tan.

However, although we had another scorcher this year, I went to somewhere that was even hotter. “Las Vegas. Yes siree." Mrs Cricket and I packed our cosies and sun cream and headed to the gambling capital of the world. Boy was that hot. And I just don’t mean the Showgirls.

One day I took a 20-minute walk, stopped at a convenience store and purchased a cold bottle of water from the fridge.

Before I got back the bottle was so warm, I could hardly hold it.

The air conditioning in the hotel was even more welcoming than a tax rebate that day.

Our trip to Vegas was exciting from the off. The day we arrived, Donald Trump was giving a speech at the hotel where we were staying.

The taxi dropped us off quickly and made a hasty exit.

Obviously word had got around, and needless to say, the Mexican taxi driver wouldn’t even make the journey from the airport.

The hotel was called the, South Point, and was a little bit away from the hurly burly of the strip.

So you could chill out by the pool during the day and then grab a taxi and be in the thick of things in less than ten minutes. Wait for this. It had its own arena where they held, Rodeo Shows.

It was big. We were on the 23rd floor. I didn’t mind that. In fact I enjoyed the lift journeys or elevators as they call them, because I find Americans very friendly and talkative and over 23 floors you can hear their life story.

We had a great time in, Las Vegas, and saw lots of exciting shows, including in a show called, Love, which was themed around The Beatles’ music.

Of course, there were hiccups. Like the Paris Hotel. Here’s a tip here.

If you do visit it and go right up to the bar on the first floor, don’t ask for a half of shandy. I did and a quite indignant barman plonked the beer, lemonade and glass in front of me and told me to do it myself.

Yes, we had a good time in, Vegas, but my one abiding memory is of a man running round the casino waving his shirt in the air after he saw on the big screen that England had beaten Columbia in the World Cup.

He was encouraged by onlookers from all nations who stopped gambling to applaud his every stride.

I’ll finish on a story I heard about a man who went gambling on the roulette wheel. It wasn’t his night and he was down to one ten dollar bill. He then asked his partner to take a pair of scissors out of her handbag and cut off one of her curls. When she did he promptly wrapped the curl round the ten dollar bill, put it on number seven and it came up. He did the same for the next dozen numbers and they all came up winning him over $100,000.

Twenty years later the both came back to the same hotel. He was shabbily dressed with holes in his socks, and she was completely bald.

“And there’s more”… In my next column I’ll tell you about our once in a lifetime coach trip to Monument Valley in Arizona which was used as the breathtaking backdrop for all the great Western movies.

See you then.

Jimmy website is http://www.jimmycricket.co.uk