The Blabbermouth Las Vegas Taxi Driver

When you flag down a taxi, you never know who you’re going to find behind the wheel. Some cabbies are extremely nice, while others want nothing to do with you (the latter is true for most taxi drivers). I’ve met some strange characters in a cab, but no one will ever compare to the taxi driver I just met in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas At Night

Las Vegas

My dad and I enjoy going to Vegas together. We go every year, so that’s why we booked a last-second weekend trip to Sin City (we were overdue). We were just there from Wednesday-Friday. We didn’t want to get too wild and crazy, so we both had a chill trip in mind. All we wanted when we got there was sunshine, the pool and a cocktail. But, before we could have all that, we needed a cab to our hotel.

If you’ve ever been to Vegas you know there’s a taxi line at the airport. As you know, that’s a bigger crap shoot than craps itself. You never know what you’re going to get. We walked to our assigned cab, hopped in and that’s when the adventure began…

Our cabby never stopped talking from the second we got into the taxi until the second we got out. Not only did he talk a lot, he talked loud and he talked fast (I’d compare him to the guy who did the old Micro Machines commercials). He would even change the inflection in his voice to make a funny point (almost like a stand-up comedian, but it was more annoying than funny (he actually reminded me of Carlos Mencia)). At one point he even reached back and turned down the television monitor (that was blaring advertisements at us) to make sure we could hear him. For two guys who just wanted to be by the pool – it was a brutal way to start the trip.

At times he was trying to be funny, but other times he was sharing gambling advice. I’m not a big time gambler, so instead of covering my ears, I figured I would take any tips I could get. The driver started talking about craps (the game I prefer to play in Las Vegas), and shared this wild story:

Las Vegas Taxi Driver Story

Chips from Caesars Palace

The cabbie claims that he pulled up to a casino a little while back and two guys got in his taxi screaming, “Go! Go! Go!” Thinking the guys just robbed the place, he told them he wasn’t going anywhere until they explained what was going on. The guys explained they were MIT graduate students, who wrote their master’s thesis on rolling dice. They decided to put their findings to use in Las Vegas and it paid off. The two allegedly rolled 32 consecutive and 28 consecutive times on the craps, taking bags full of money from the casino. Since they just took the casino for a bunch of money, and since they thought they had a hand up on craps (because of their thesis), the two felt like they were going to get in trouble (hence the urgency once they got in the cab). Interested in their story, the taxi driver asked the guys what their secret is…

The two apparently rolled the dice two million times in different combinations. Their best rolls happened when they had two fives at themselves with a four and a six up (so, you’re looking down at the four and six and the fives are facing your body — at least that’s the way I understood it). The guys then explained that the average craps roll is thrown at an angle of anywhere between four and seven degrees. In their experiment, the two said they had their best rolls when they swept the dice (set the way I just explained) across their body at no angle at all (so, just straight across the table). The driver then explained to us that you’ll hit two, four, six, eight, nine and ten more often than not. Since I have no rolling strategy when it comes to craps, I figured I’d give it a try.

Believe it or not, I quadrupled my money the first night I was in Vegas. I don’t know if the strategy actually worked, or if I just had the confidence that the strategy worked (craps is a crazy game of karma). No matter what the reason, I rolled better than I have in years. I wanted the dice in my hands every time. That was the first night — I wasn’t so lucky the second night. I hit a few numbers, but it wasn’t anything like Wednesday (and my funds dwindled quickly). I’m not encouraging gambling and I’m not even telling you to use this strategy (since I’m not even sure I did it right). I’m just saying you should take the advice for what it’s worth (one winning night and one losing night on the craps tables in Las Vegas).

Bellagio Water Show At Dusk

The water show at Bellagio

It’s only about a ten minute cab ride from the airport to the strip, but the cabby still managed to sneak in some advice about slot machines (he said to look for lots of cigarette butts in the ashtrays near a machine – if there are lots of butts that machine has been paying out or is about to pay out), a story about how the Flamingo got its name (Bugsy Siegel‘s girlfriend had long pink legs, so they called her the Flamingo) and he even shared a story about his past life when he used to clean up murder scenes (you can’t make this stuff up). That’s A LOT to squeeze into one cab ride, but he managed to do it. It was truly unbelievable.

I’ve never been happier to get out of a taxi in my life (and I’ve been on some wild rides). I don’t regret getting in his cab, because it makes for one heck of a story (I mean, it’s Las Vegas — the capital of crazy stories). I’ll never experience anything like that again (mostly because I’m not sure anyone else in the world can talk that much). I will tell you this though: It’s an adventure I only need to live once. If I ever see that cabby again — I’ll wait for the next taxi.

Do you have any crazy taxi stories? Maybe you’ve even crossed paths with this guy too. I’d love to heard from you! Simply leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. And remember — if you can’t travel the globe; experience the world with me at http://allaroundtim.com.


I Think Vince Vaughn Is Following Me

I think Vince Vaughn is following me. No, I’m not kidding. Well, maybe he’s not. He’s either following me, or Vince Vaughn and I just keep ending up in the same place at the same time. Come to think of it – it’s more than likely the latter. Whether I have an A-list stalker or it’s just a matter of odds, I keep crossing paths with the actor.

Actor Vince Vaughn

Vince Vaughn

My first encounter with Vince Vaughn happened about two years ago in Las Vegas. My brother and I were strolling through the Cosmopolitan late at night when my brother suddenly said, “Dude, that was Vince Vaughn.” I didn’t see him, and my brother wanted to be sure his eyes didn’t deceive him, so we turned around to make sure it was actually him. My brother was spot on. Standing right there in the high rollers area (an isolated area away from the riffraff) was Vince Vaughn. We caught a glimpse of him and kept walking, but others took notice and were much more blatant — staring at him, talking about him (some almost screaming) and taking pictures.

My second incident with Vince Vaughn is just flat-out strange. It happened when my dad and I went to Chicago last December. We hopped on our flight to the Windy City, and the flight attendant introduced the flight crew. I missed the captain’s name, but the co-pilot was a guy named Vince Vaughn. Knowing that the actor Vince Vaughn actually lives in Chicago, and I’d recently crossed paths with the guy in Las Vegas, my dad and I looked at each other kind of funny. To make sure we heard her correctly, my dad asked the flight attendant if that was really our co-pilot’s name. She confirmed that it was. To be funny, my dad and I were going to take a picture with the co-pilot after the flight (to post on Facebook joking that we met Vince Vaughn), but by the time we landed in Chicago we forgot. So, just hours later, my dad and I are at the Tavern on Rush in Chicago. I was sitting right next to the window, but not much was happening outside. I did notice a police offer approach a guy and shake his hand though. Well, it wasn’t just some random dude — it was Vince Vaughn (the actor — not the co-pilot). It looked like Vaughn was just on a late night walk with his wife and kid. Vaughn talked to officer for a minute or two (they were literally at arms reach if the window wasn’t in the way), and then he continued on his way. I can’t even explain how bad I wish we had taken a picture with the co-pilot, because my dad and I both agreed that we would have asked the actor for a picture as well. That would have been the perfect way to cap an improbable story. We wanted proof it actually happened, because we knew there would be skeptics. I mean…seriously…what are the odds?!

My next encounter with Vince Vaughn happened just a couple of weeks later. This time he was in my city. I was working in Spokane at the time, and was out covering some high school basketball. My phone suddenly started vibrating like crazy. A friend of mine (who knew about my previous meetings with Vince Vaughn) texted to tell me that her friend had walked by Vince Vaughn at Northern Quest Resort and Casino, while my brother texted to say he’d just seen Vaughn on ESPN Friday Night Fights which was being held at — you guessed it — Northern Quest Resort and Casino. I’m not really sure why Vaughn was at the boxing event, but he was with actor/director Peter Billingsley (Ralphie from A Christmas Story). This time I didn’t see Vaughn with my own eyes, but it was still really random. It’s not often a guy like Vince Vaughn is seen hanging out in Spokane.

Vince Vaughn

Vince Vaughn at Wrigley Field

I didn’t see Vince Vaughn in my final story either. It was just a matter of being in the same city at the same time again. My dad, brother and I went to Chicago in June for a baseball trip that included a game at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have a special guest sing ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh inning stretch of every home game, so my dad, brother and I put in guesses as to who the performer would be. We jokingly talked about how funny it would be if it was Vince Vaughn. Well, it wasn’t. Instead we were treated to a terrible rendition of ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ by former Cubs relief pitcher Lee Smith. I was surfing the web the next day and started reading a game story from the night before (we went to the game on Sunday, so I was reading about the Cubs game that happened on Saturday). At the bottom of the article were a few bonus notes, including the fact that Vince Vaughn threw out the first pitch and sang ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ on Saturday night at Wrigley Field. That means we missed Vaughn by just one day, making it another close encounter.

Seeing Vince Vaughn once is pretty wild, but having four different stories about the guy is just flat out weird. I feel like I’m a magnet for celebrities though (take last night for example — I randomly saw soccer star Abby Wambach in Seattle), so maybe it’s not that strange after all. I’ll probably have a fifth Vince Vaughn story coming soon – especially if he keeps following me around.

Have you ever crossed paths with Vince Vaughn? What is your own favorite celebrity encounter? I’d love to hear from you! Simply leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to check out http://allaroundtim.com for other great stories about sports, music, travel and more!