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.
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:
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).
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.