Category Archives: Las Vegas WTF

Asshat Topples Manneken Pis Statue at The D

A Life is Beautiful music festival reveler toppled and seriously damaged a beloved statue at The D casino in downtown Las Vegas, Manneken Pis.

A group of people surrounded the statue, located near the valet entrance to The D casino, presumably to capture video to share in their social media channels.

The alleged dipshit then took it upon himself to jump up on the base of the Manneken Pis statue, resulting in the statue falling over, seriously damaging both the statue and the fountain below.

Manneken Pis was damaged in the wee hours of Sep. 20, 2021. We’ll wait.

We were the first to share news of the mysterious disappearance of Manneken Pis. It turns out the police were investigating the incident, so it took some time for details to trickle out.

The owner of The D, Derek Stevens, who also owns Golden Gate and Circa, broke the seal of secrecy when he shared video of the incident on his Twitter account.

Here’s the video. The original didn’t include the music, but we couldn’t resist.

Judging from the video, it appears the damage was caused by accident, but that doesn’t make the asshattery any less frustrating for Derek Stevens or his team.

Derek Stevens, estimates it could cost $200,000 to repair Manneken Pis and the fountain.

This is the last known photo of Manneken Pis prior to the carnage. We should know, we took it.

Manneken Pis holds a special place in our heart because we were the first to toss a coin in its fountain for good luck. The Mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn Goodman, was second. You snooze, you lose!

Manneken Pis, which translates as “little man pee,” was installed at The D in 2015. Photo below.

Showman Derek Stevens could get local media to show up to the changing of an air filter.

The statue is a replica of a famous statue in Brussels. The Stevens brothers, Derek and Greg, are of Belgian descent.

One story of the origin of the original statue claims it depicts a boy who saved Brussels from destruction by urinating on the fuse of an explosive. An alternate origin story asserts the boy is the victim of a witch’s spell, a punishment for peeing on her door.

At The D, Manneken Pis is a symbol of playfulness, irreverence and cheeky fun. Ironically, “playfulness” is what took Manneken Pis down.

The 500-pound Manneken Pis statue is currently at a foundry and repairs are underway.

Downtown is currently a little more Pissless, which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily.

The Manneken Pis (yep, it’s pronounced as you’d suspect) brouhaha is just the latest in a growing list of misdeeds involving objects owned by Derek Stevens.

In July 2015, another bonehead stole the Blarney Stone at The D. The stone, a holdover from The D’s days as Fitzgerald’s, was returned shortly after it was pilfered.

In Feb. 2021, another dimwit stole a bust of Kirk Kerkorian from the Legacy Club at Circa. The bust, too, was recovered a short time later.

Drunk people gonna drunk.

Manneken Pis is expected to return to his rightful place soon, although we’re told the damage to the statue base, fountain and statue itself are more extensive than is readily apparent.

While The D has insurance, it’s unlikely the insurance value will cover the repairs.

Vegas and The D are all about having a great time, but we can’t get onboard with dumbassery. We suspect the Stevens will have a moment of decision when the culprit is identified and apprehended. Arrest seems extreme, but a reasonable degree of accountability is appropriate given the circumstances.

Nevermind that Manneken Pis looks like it could’ve been knocked off its base by a pigeon landing on it. What the hell was somebody doing up there molesting it, even in a moment of jubilation? That’s not how we jubilate in Las Vegas.

No matter the outcome of the ongoing investigation around this incident, we’re Manneken Pissed Off.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Feel free to dance like nobody’s watching, but please  do so without wrecking our Las Vegas landmarks and curiosities, thanks.

Behold the Most Annoying Spot in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a magical place, filled with wonders beyond imagination.

It is also home to a place so annoying, it pretty much dares people to not fly into a rage when they encounter it.

The most annoying spot in Las Vegas, and possibly the world, is at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Here is that spot.

If you know, you know.

It looks innocuous enough, but if you’ve spent the day schlepping around town, get ready for an additional schlep, because Forum Shops has created an infuriating barrier that forces guests to walk around the obstruction for absolutely no reason. At least no good reason.

Here’s what’s up.

On the Casino Level of the Forum Shops, guests turn a corner and can see the mall’s famous spiral staircases. Glorious, and a must-try photo op.

The problem is you can’t get there from here.

That’s because Forum Shops and its tenants don’t want you to walk 10 feet to your destination.

They force you to go the long way. Hundreds of additional feet. Cue the completely justified profanities, especially when you’re hangry.

Grating gating.

The reason for this inconvenience to guests is self-serving and, in the parlance of usability and design, utter boneheadery.

See, if guests were “allowed” to go where they want to go, they’d bypass a dozen stores.

Those tenants are paying a metric ass-ton in rent, so have clearly communicated to their landlord, Simon Property Group, the desire to not let customers exert free will because it means those customers might not see their incredible offerings.

All signs point to stupidity.

It’s unclear if tenants realize customers, irked at being treated like children (or worse, cattle), are much less likely to patronize their stores because of this short-sighted manipulation.

In fact, we’re personally less inclined to visit the Forum Shops at all because of this nonsense.

This decision by Forum Shops and Simon is so deeply stupid and offensive, we’re having trouble thinking of anything in Las Vegas more baffling and vexatious, and that includes bars that insist upon using paper straws.

Trust us, those turtles are more upset about this detour than plastic straws.

When we posted about this enfuriating WTF on Twitter, many people chimed in to say they’ve encountered it and agree. This has been a source of consternation for so many Las Vegas visitors, it’s time to end this appalling practice.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Don’t you have anything better to do?” or “What’s the big deal?” Well, we have answers. 1) No. 2) Get your own blog and good luck with that.

For the smarter people who are fed up with this brazen dumbassery, here’s the contact information for Simon Properties.

Yes, we get that there are more important things going on in Las Vegas, but a lot of that stuff we can’t change. What we can do is poke fun at Forum Shops to end this madness and, in doing so, the world will be a slightly better place.

We’ll also get to Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab more quickly, so the outrage will have been totally worth it.

Rumor: Player Tips $200 After Hitting $1.1 Million Jackpot at Golden Nugget

It’s a too-familiar story, but a million-dollar-plus jackpot winner at Golden Nugget is rumored to have left a $200 tip. Face, meet palm.

The player won $1.1 million on the Crazy 4 Poker progressive.

That’s not the rumor part.

Took a few years, but this sucker finally paid off.

Golden Nugget employees and others (who wished to remain anonymous) shared word of the painfully small $200 tip.

Cue the asshats chiming in with, “At least he left them something!”

To which we tend to respond, “Oy,” or something similarly clever.

One source said the player is a Las Vegas local, so they should “know how this works.”

We also hear the player’s wife won $5,000 on the winning hand (known as an “Envy” bet in Crazy 4 Poker) and tipped zero.

How Las Vegas works is many casino employees rely on tips for their livelihoods. Yes, it’s a
fundamentally flawed system, blah, blah, blah, but it’s the system we’ve got.

Fun fact: As a nod to its history, Golden Nugget uses a camera from 1946, the year the casino opened.

The subject of tipping, or not, on large jackpots has sparked some lively debates in social media.

We recently shared on Twitter that another winner, at Circa Las Vegas, tipped $200 on a $120,000-plus jackpot.

The responses to the Tweet were, how do we put this diplomatically, wide-ranging.

Many (sadly, most) of the people who responded to our Tweet rationalized the $200 tip, with many saying they’d have tipped nothing.

This inspired a listicle on our podcast, which we’re going to share again for posterity.

Top 10 Excuses for Not Tipping

1. “Employers don’t pay enough.”
2. “Tipping is optional.”
3. “They didn’t tip me when I was losing.”
4. “Tipping is a tool of oppression.”
5. “I have to pay taxes on my winnings.”
6. “These people already make a lot of money.”
7. “They didn’t do very much.”
8. “I didn’t have any cash.”
9. “We don’t tip in my country of origin.”
10. “I’m a clueless bonehead.”

In the defense of the clueless, it’s true large jackpot winners don’t get their winnings in cash. That’s the only excuse that even marginally works here, and it should be noted there’s no time limit on tipping. It’s perfectly acceptable to come back hours or even days later to tip the crew.

We’d love to hear that’s what happened with our $1.1 million winner! We’ll wait.

At this juncture, we usually get the question, “So, what’s the appropriate amount to tip?”

The answer is a trap, of course, as there’s no amount that’s going to satisfy everyone. It’s not a set amount, and while some suggest a percentage of the big win, that’s rather absurd as the gratuity could be outragious.

For example, just a 2% tip on $1.1 million would be $22,000. While casino staff wouldn’t get upset about such a tip, um, no.

While we’re an advocate for generous tipping, we don’t personally tip extravagantly. We aren’t
talking about ridiculous tipping here, we’re advocating reasonable tipping, and that’s highly
subjective.

What’s a reasonable tip for a $1.1 million jackpot? We’ll put it this way: It’s more than $200.

You can’t spell “tip” without “tipsy.” That’s it, that’s the whole photo caption.

We also get this question a lot, “Who should I tip?”

Again, it’s up to you, but here’s our answer: Anyone who made your experience better. If it’s a
table game win, the list includes dealers, cocktail servers and the folks who bring your money. With slots, it’s servers and slot attendants.

Don’t feel obligated to stop there, however. Bathroom attendants, valets, security guards and
cage cashiers all contributed to your unforgettable night, feel free to lavish them with cash as you see fit.

And don’t forget about selfless bloggers whose words and poorly-focused photographs keep you connected to Las Vegas between visits. We wouldn’t accept a gratuity, of course, but that shouldn’t prevent you from offering.

Here’s the question that’s the foundation of all this: Why tip?

First, it’s customary. Las Vegas runs on tips, it’s woven into the culture. If you don’t believe in
tipping, or can’t afford to tip appropriately, you need not visit Las Vegas and its casinos. You should also probably avoid leaving your home, as tipping is a thing everywhere in America. Pretty straightforward.

Second, it’s karma. While it may not make logical sense to give away money when it’s “optional,”
tipping isn’t driven by logic, just as visiting a casino isn’t driven by logic. It’s about mojo, and what goes around comes around. Your gratuity is a statement of your appreciation and generosity, an investment in achieving your next big win.

Tipping is simply the right thing to do.

If nothing else, the subject of tipping is a wonderful conversation-starter. How someone views
tipping says a lot about them as a human being.

Here’s a useful analogy: Big tippers are dog people, poor tippers are cat people. (That sound you hear is us ducking.)

The ultimate goal is to be considered a “George,” casino slang for a big tipper.

Better yet, be a Benjamin. Inflation and such.

Dude Breaks Record for Eating 20,000 Calorie Burger at Heart Attack Grill

In a town teeming with indulgence, Heart Attack Grill stands out as a symbol of over-the-top excess.

For example, the downtown restaurant serves an Octuple Bypass Burger that clocks in at a staggering 20,000 calories.

Competitive eater Matt Stonie recently smashed the record for devouring this bad boy, with a time of four minutes, 10 seconds.

The previous record was seven minutes, 42 seconds.

Matt Stonie Heart Attack Grill

You say “death wish” like it’s a bad thing.

The new record was witnessed by the controversial owner of Heart Attack Grill, Jon Basso, and about 60 customers. (Basso refers to himself as Dr. Jon, but he’s not a real doctor.)

Heart Attack Grill’s Octuple Bypass Burger features 8.5 beef patties, 40 slices of bacon, 16 slices of cheese, a whole onion, two tomatoes and chili. Plus the buns.

The towering burger weighs a whopping 6.5 pounds, about four pounds of which is the meat.

The Octuple Bypass Burger costs $24.02. The 40 bacon slices cost an additional $7.39. Flatliner Fries, deep fried in pure lard, are a mere $1.85.

For comparison purposes, the Octuple Bypass Burger has about the same amount of calories as 40 Quarter Pounders with cheese from McDonald’s.

Here’s a look at this jaw-dropping feat of mastication.

Watching Stonie demolish this daunting pillar of carbs is mesmerizing.

Stonie, whose nickname is “Megatoad,” has a strong pedigree when it comes to taking on gastronomical challenges.

He’s the number four ranked competitive eater in Major League Eating. Yes, that’s an actual thing.

Stonie’s YouTube channel has 14.6 million subscribers and at least one new fan following his feat at Heart Attack Grill, namely us.

Octuple Bypass Burger

We agree with the restaurant owner. This record won’t be broken again in our lifetime.

The viral video of Stonie’s Octuple Bypass Burger world record is sure to provide some publicity for Heart Attack Grill.

The restaurant, located in downtown’s Neonopolis mall, opened in Las Vegas in 2011. The original location was in Tempe, Arizona, and opened in 2005.

There was an attempt at another Heart Attack Grill location at the Hawaiian Marketplace, but it inexplicably closed after just two months.

Heart Attack Grill Strip

If you blinked, you missed it. We don’t blink.

Heart Attack Grill is known for humorless people trashing it, but also for its weight scale and sign that reads, “Over 350 Pounds Eats Free.”

We are not making this up.

The restaurant’s servers dress in skimpy nurse uniforms and customers don hospital gowns. It’s a whole thing.

Heart Attack Grill is also known for giving guests the option of a spanking if they can’t finish their meal.

Heart Attack Grill has been an easy target for critics, and yes, people have died of actual heart attacks at the restaurant. It literally says “heart attack” in the name of the place. You either get it or you don’t.

Heart Attack Grill

Let’s just say Heart Attack Grill is wired differently.

Big props to Matt Stonie for his dizzying feat! His record was set on July 26, 2021.

Heart Attack Grill isn’t for everyone, but it sort of fits with the irreverent, defiant spirit of Las Vegas.

Just be forewarned, Heart Attack Grill is not for the faint of heart.

Laughlin Casino Paid Las Vegas TV Stations to Change the Weather

It can get hot in certain parts of Nevada during the summer, which is easily the biggest understatement since someone first uttered the phrase, “Liquor, it’s good.”

One of the wildest Vegas-related stories we’ve ever heard (and we’ve shared some wild Vegas-related stories) has to do with the weather in Laughlin, also known as “a less interesting version of Las Vegas,” and several Las Vegas news stations.

We didn’t believe it at first, now we do, so gird your loins.

We have it on the very best authority that in the early 1990s, at least one well-known Laughlin casino paid Las Vegas TV stations to report a temperature lower than it actually was in Laughlin to keep potential visitors from baulking at the extreme heat.

Las Vegas heat

Doppler, schmoppler. Money talks in Las Vegas.

We won’t name the casino, but we will say it is located on the side of a river (the Colorado), in Laughlin, Nevada. If you can’t figure it out from that hint, watch for a drunk Tweet at some point.

According to a source with intimate knowledge of the arrangement, three of the four main Las Vegas TV stations agreed to take part in the scheme. The fourth station wasn’t part of the deal, mainly because it didn’t have a big enough audience to warrant the expense.

Each Las Vegas TV station received a payment of $3,500 (or about $7,500 in today dollars) and its weatherpersons reported the temperature as 10 degrees cooler than the real temperature in Laughlin.

The theory was this lower temperature would draw Sin City residents looking for a respite from the sometimes (all right, often) unbearable Las Vegas heat.

The mind reels.

Las Vegas coloring book

The City of Las Vegas did a coloring book. We did our version.

There’s an old saying from Charles Dudley Warner (it’s often misattributed to Mark Twain): “Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

Well, Laughlin actually did something about it.

It’s unknown when the practice ended, and we don’t know if any other Laughlin casinos struck similar deals with Las Vegas news outlets.

Part funny, part alarming, if nothing else, this story is illustrative of the influence casinos, and money, have in Las Vegas. Yet another contenter for biggest understatement of all time, by the way.

Laughlin is about 100 miles south of Las Vegas, which makes it cooler because it’s farther from the Sun. Reminder: We are a blog, not a meteoroligist.

Weather plays a key part in hotel demand, of course. January is typically the slowest month in Las Vegas, due to the chill. Summer months are slower as well, as temperatures often rise above 100-degrees: In June, the average is 102 degrees; July, 107 degrees; August, 104 degrees.

You can tell when summer arrives because local news stations start baking cookies on car dashboards. It’s sort of a thing.

Due to our subtropical (we used to be in marketing) weather, we strongly advise you stay indoors during your visit. This way, you can take advantage of modern air conditioning technology as well as staying hydrated with your favorite spiced rum.

11 Reasons the Return of Mandatory Masks in Casinos is Awesome

The mandatory mask mandate is back in Las Vegas as of midnight on Thursday, July 29, 2021 (technically, 12:01 a.m. on July 30).

Masks will be required indoors whether one’s vaccinated or not (unless smoking, eating or drinking), and that includes casinos.

Thankfully, the fun doesn’t need to stop. Vegas has a lot of booze.

Rather than rant, we’ve decided to focus on the bright side of this unfortunte turn of events.

Here, then, are 11 reasons the return of masks to casinos is awesome. Just play along.

1. Masks Muffle Loud-Talkers

Loud-talkers are everywhere, and the prevalence of liquor in casinos only serves to make things worse. Enter masks. They not only serve to muffle loud-talkers, they also solve the issue of people who spit when they close-talk. Masks are god’s gift to the neurotic and we’re so glad they’re back.

2. Masks Mean Less Smiling Required

With masks, there’s much less pressure to smile. This is true for everyone, but it’s especially welcomed by casino employees whose job duties include pretending you’re funny and likeable. Most employees have perfected “smizing,” or smiling with their eyes, but masks still provide some effective camouflage. It’s worth noting masks make us focus on the eyes. It’s a well-known fact prolonged eye contact creates a sense of affinity, and affinity with, say, a bartender, often results in stronger pours. Masks for the win!

Las Vegas smizing

Here we go again.

3. Masks Filter Cigarette Smoke Stench

Casinos are popular with smokers, but cigarette smoke can be irksome to some guests. Masks do a decent job of filtering out the smell of cigarettes. At certain times, even when the mask mandates were dropped, we sort of wished we had one on. Side note: If you really dislike cigarette smoke, visit Park MGM. It’s smoke-free.

4. Masks Help Service Workers Talk About Us

Many casino, restaurant and bar customers turned into jerks during the pandemic. Folks in the service industry have no real way to fight back other than to talk shit about us. It’s so much easier to do that when we can’t see their lips! Service industry employees being able to discreetly trash-talk rude customers without being detected is a great perk of masks.

5. Masks Provide Cover for Unattractive People

Masks have been a godsend for those of us who are appearance-challenged, and we were a little disappointed when they went away for a minute. Masks even the playing field, and are especially beneficial to those with poor dental hygiene. Visitors from Southern States can again walk among us without shame, and we can’t wait to see our friends from the U.K. again. Please don’t send us angry e-mails. We kid because we love.

6. Masks Save Money

It’s pretty much common knowledge women saved a fortune on lipstick during the previous mask mandates. The savings mount when you consider the decreased need for breath mints toothpaste and shaving cream. The return of masks is a windfall, except for attractive women who rely on their looks to get free drinks in nightclubs. Poor them.

7. Masks Replace Black Out Curtains

Yes, most Las Vegas hotels have black out curtains, but they’re moot because masks can easily double as sleep masks. You’re welcome.

8. Masks Make Inexpensive Keepsakes

Forget keychains and fridge magnets, casino-branded masks make fun, inexpensive souvenirs. Visit the gift shop at your favorite Las Vegas casino for details. If you ask nicely, they might just give you one for free. Free advertising!

Bonus: Branded masks are a handy reminder of where your hangovers originated.

9. Masks Keep the Mask Industry Afloat

The mask manufacturing industry had a little freak-out when masks went away, but now they’ll be raking it in again. (Mask sales rose 24 percent leading up to the mandate being reinstated.) Mask-makers and retailers have bills to pay, just like the rest of us, and masks won’t be a thing forever. Probably.

10. Masks Give Us All Something to Talk About

Small talk is king in casinos, and everyone’s pretty much over talking about sports and the weather. Now, we have masks to spark conversation again. Masks are a gateway to passionate
discussions about a wide variety of topics including health, viral loads, politics, public policy and what morons people who don’t agree with us are.

Our thoughts go out to all the casino employees who have to cover up their moneymakers.

11. Um, Hello, Heists

Back in the day, masks were a big no-no in casinos, but now they’re mandated! If you’re planning to rob the vault shared by Bellagio, Mirage and MGM Grand, which definitely exists, you’re going to want to protect your identity. With a mask, your caper will be flawless and you’ll be able to escape with your anonymity intact. One more thing: You may want to hold onto your mask, as we understand there are a lot of close-talkers in federal prison.

We hope this list has helped you see the glass-half-full side of our exciting new mask mandate.

While the reinstated mandate is frustrating, we urge you to remember the folks enforcing it didn’t sign up to pester you about keeping your mask on. They’re not thrilled about the mandate, either, but they didn’t make the policy, so chill.

Outdoors. No mask required.

If we want to visit casinos, and we do, we need to mask up and be nice to each other.

If you’d prefer to not wear a mask, visit one of the outdoor attractions in or near Las Vegas, like Red Rock Canyon or Fremont Street Experience. Hit the pool. Rent a convertible and cruise The Strip.

Otherwise, masks are a thing again.

Remember, you don’t have to wear a mask when you’re drinking, so ABD (always be drinking). You’re welcome, again.