The real life Vegas hangover

Last updated 05:00 17/10/2012
VEGAS FLUSH: Clayton Barnett's trip quickly turned ugly.

VEGAS FLUSH: Clayton Barnett's trip quickly turned ugly.

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Vegas. What happens there usually stays. But my very own Hangover experience has to be told.

After coming out of a four and half year relationship it was time to get back on the horse, or the mechanical bull in Sin City’s case.

A mate from university, who shares the same birthday, suggested we celebrate with a bash in the bright lights. With minimal arm-twisting we were off.

What to do on the night of your 33rd birthday? Relive your youth with a bar crawl! With our age-old wisdom we discussed all the pitfalls of a big night out: not lining your stomach, mixing drinks, pacing yourself and keeping hydrated.

So of course we turn up at the first bar in the Planet Hollywood casino, Blondies, late with an empty belly. Rookie mistake #1.

Signing our lives away we got our nametags and a range of coloured stars designating your status – taken, single, horny and easy! The young (and mainly female) crowd were playing the great American past time: beer pong. Playing catch up, I mixed beer and bourbon and cokes. Rookie mistake #2.

We soon strolled to our next stop, PBR Rock Bar, the venue of my literal downfall. Staff went around offering you a US $25 ‘all-you-can-drink’ bracelet. Our eyes lit up and our livers shivered.

At this stage everything was peachy. I was laying solid groundwork, being told I didn’t look 33 (mainly as I was acting 21) until someone offered me a free ride on a mechanical bull. Here’s some advice: don’t yawn to the operator. She ramped up the speed and soon enough my rodeo days were done. My wrist and my pride were a little sore.

The organisers roped us up for the next venue, nightclub Koi. Another ‘all-you-can-drink’ bracelet was bought and the dancefloor was hit. After a few spirited drinks, this is where I managed to lose my friend, the group and my memory.

Next morning I had my very own ‘Hangover’ experience. Waking up in my hotel room, with no recollection of what happened after Koi, I was happy I at least had my wallet, phone and passport.

My swollen wrist was a concern, no thanks to the bull. Then a loud ringing started in my head, which turned out to be my bank calling to give me another headache.

‘Sir, has someone stolen your credit card? Someone took out US$1000, then US$300, another US$300 then US$100 in the space of five minutes.’ Checked wallet. There were only a few dollar bills, a handwritten number from ‘Pamala’ and four ATM receipts to the very same amounts. What happened? Did I mix up US$100 bills with US$1 ones? Did I put it all on black? Did someone slip me a roofie?

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I tentatively texted Pamala. It pretty much went: ‘I don’t remember anything from last night, apart from meeting you of course, but was I buying a lot of drinks?’

My unknown romantic encounter responded: ‘You were pretty trashed, but you only brought one drink which you spilled on me’.


She continued: '‘I walked you to a taxi, but you stopped and talked to a black guy selling mixtapes. He sold you one, then tried to sell some ‘snow’ as well. I put you in a taxi and sent you home.’

I don’t know what Pamala looked like, but she was a guardian angel.

Happy that I was piecing together the previous night's antics, but stressing about the missing almost US$2000, I got dressed and caught the bus to Planet Hollywood.

Freaking out, the only thing I could do was ask security if they had any footage. At least I could witness that I walked away with large amounts of cash, but like they would care. US$2000? Chump change here pal.

I walked in with that sinking feeling. Looking for some help I headed over to the cashier to explain my story.

She shook her head. No, I’ve lost it all. No, wait, she couldn’t understand my accent!

Taking a look at the receipts, she said I just needed to show two forms of ID to get my money. Turns out the cash machines in casinos don’t give out cash. Texted Pamala the good news, got my money and slept the sleep of the very relieved.

What stayed in Vegas was my dignity and thankfully not all of my money. Though I did buy myself a good embarrassing story.

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