Brutal November rain punished the city.  A surprise purification that provoked power outages, crippled traffic and drowned small animals.  Gutters flushed east to west and west to east, wreaking havoc at the valley’s lowest point, the Las Vegas Strip.  But if the uncompromising downpour happened to quarantine you between the sheets with a new love, it was the perfect storm.

Lauren was a looker.  Blond, and not quite at the age where women stop counting.  One might call her a MILF, but only on a technicality as she had never been married and had no family.  No particular reason, her cards just hadn’t fallen that way.  Until she met Gilly Spoon.  A rubber-faced comic whose bedroom walls were covered with memories of over fifty years in the spotlight.  Framed newspaper clippings and show programs.  Prized photographs of Spoony on the set of The Ed Sullivan Show.  On The Tonight Show with Jack Paar.  Dozens of black and white shots of the funnyman mugging with the likes of Jackie Mason, Morey Amsterdam and Henny Youngman.

The thunderstorm raging against the bedroom window made Spoony think back to the night when a washed-out highway left a Borscht Belt supper club without an opening act, and how the manager tapped a wise-cracking busboy as an emergency fill-in.  Stuffed the kid into a three-sizes-too-big tuxedo from the locker of an off-duty maître d’, then announced with great fanfare, “Ladies and gentlemen.  Let’s have a warm round of applause for a young comedian who has been wowing sold out audiences from the Copacabana in New York to the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach …”  The manager looked off-stage at the teenage Gillis Kupferberg who, only minutes before had been polishing the silverware.  “… Gilly Spoon!”

Spoony was so scared he pissed his pants.  Then chuckled as he realized they weren’t his pants, and fired his first zinger.  The crowd laughed and he was on his way.

He paid his dues on the nightclub circuit, but for all the laughs had never quite earned top billing.  A career second banana who eventually settled in Las Vegas.  Opened for Danny Thomas at the Dunes.  For Red Skelton at the Sands.  For Shecky Greene and Dean Martin at the original MGM Grand.  These days he pressed his tuxedo for occasional warm-up gigs off the Strip that paid mostly with applause.  But it was that applause that kept him vital, along with residual checks from playing the nosy neighbor on a resurgent ‘70s sitcom.

Lauren had fallen quickly for Spoony as he filled her life with the one thing no man before him ever had – laughter.  It didn’t matter that he was always on, always playing the clown and always needing to be the center of attention.  It was part of his charm and Lauren loved him for it.  But it was the day he waltzed her into Tiffany and bought her an expensive diamond bracelet that she knew the never-quite-made-it funnyman was hers forever.

Lauren playfully danced her fingertips through Spoony’s curled white chest  hair, then reached into his nightstand for the sex toy he enjoyed most.  She took the .45 caliber pistol from the drawer and made sure it was loaded.  Straddled him, then tickled the lips of her pussy with the barrel of the gun.  Eased it inside.  The cold steel painful as it abraded her inner flesh, yet she moaned with delight as that’s what pleased her man.  She thrust the gun in harder, faster then harder still until the script called for a scream that peeled the wallpaper.  Then she dropped the weapon and stroked the real thing.

Spoony looked at the bedside clock.  “You haven’t given me my present yet.”

“Be patient, my impetuous clown.  Your birthday gift will be here in a little while.”

He went soft.  Again checked the clock.

“What can I do, baby?” she purred as her fingers attempted to resuscitate his limp dick.

“Well, there is one thing.”  He made a funny face.  Always on.  Always performing.  Couldn’t make a simple statement without turning it into a production.  “But you’d never do it.”

She looked at the loaded gun on the bed beside them.  Knowing that no matter how disgusting the desire, she could deny him nothing.  “I’ll do anything you want, my handsome funnyman.”



Spoony took a long pause and steadied himself.  Then like a sheepish little boy he baby-talked, “Will you make me some waffles?”

“Of course I’ll make you waffles.”  She kissed him softly.  A sweet simple kiss that conveyed a love that would be forever.  “With crumbled bacon inside, just the way you like them.”

Spoony was pleased.  Then all-of-a-sudden not.  “I just remembered, I’m out of syrup.”

“I’ll run to the store.  Only take a minute.”

Rain continued to pelt the window.

“I couldn’t ask you to go out in this downpour.”  He made a sad clown face.

She was defenseless against the sad clown face.

The closest parking spot at the supermarket was the furthest parking spot at the supermarket, leaving her at the mercy of a biting November wind that punched her umbrella inside out.  Drenching her to the bone as she splashed toward the door.  Safely inside she reached for a basket, figuring as long as she was there she might pick up extra bacon and a few other comfort foods for a lazy day in bed with her man.

“Lauren Driscoll?”

She turned.  A police badge in her face.

“What is it, officer?”

“Please step over here out of the way.”

“I don’t understand.  What’s this about?”

“Please.”  It was more a command than a request.  He was a big man wearing plain clothes and an open windbreaker stamped Metro Police on the front.  Imposing.  Even more so when he made sure she saw the gun holstered to his belt.

Still dripping, she stepped out of the doorway toward a bank of video poker machines.

“Hold your hands in front of you.”

Lauren did as she was told.

He pushed back the sleeves of her wet coat, revealing the diamond bracelet on her right wrist.

“You’re under arrest.”

“For what?  I didn’t do anything!”

The policeman unlatched the bracelet and put it in his pocket, then handcuffed one wrist to the other behind her back.  Pushed her into the rain toward an unmarked car with emergency flashers on parked at the curb.  Opened the back door, put his hand on top of her head and eased her into the vehicle.

Lauren was frightened out of her wits.  Arrested and handcuffed in the back of a police car and she had absolutely no idea why.

“What’s this all about?” she sobbed uncontrollably.  Choking out the words as she pleaded with the policemen who had gotten in the front seat and started the car.  “It’s a mistake.  Whatever this is, it’s a mistake.”

“That’s right.”  He shifted his body to face her. “And you made it when you stole this sparkler from Tiffany’s.”

“I didn’t steal anything!”  She was now terrified out of her skull, her thoughts speeding a million miles an hour.  How did he know she was at the supermarket?  How did he know she’d be wearing the bracelet?  Why did cops chase crooks in the pouring rain?  “That bracelet was a gift from my fiancée.  I was with him when he bought it.”

“Prison will be no picnic for a lady like you.  Hard work all day.  Locked in a cage at night.  No manicures, no facials.  Your hair will be gray and your face so wrinkled that not even your own mother will recognize you when you get out in ten years.”

“Ten years!”  Lauren shook uncontrollably, barely able to squeeze out the words.

“Maybe less, maybe more.  That’s up to the judge.”

“What if I return the bracelet to the store?”

“I thought you said it was a gift from your fiancée.”

“It was.”

“Then he stole it?”

“No.  I mean yes.  I mean …”  She was frantic.  “I don’t know what to think anymore.”

“Even if he did steal it we have nothing on him.  The bracelet was in your possession, and either way that makes you guilty of receiving stolen property.  But with a smart lawyer and a sympathetic judge, maybe you’ll get off with only five years.”

“But if I gave it back, the store would have their merchandise and they wouldn’t have any reason to prosecute.”


“You already have the bracelet,” she pleaded through tears.  “Just give it back to Tiffany and let me go.  Please!  I’m begging you!”

And so it went.  The beautiful woman playing on the sympathies of a tired cop.  He held strong, but she was hysterical.  Gulped air as she hyperventilated.  Then pleading more with her eyes than her voice, she expelled one last meek, “Please.”

The policeman’s face crumpled into a frown.  “I oughta have my head examined.”

Lauren lit up.

“This bracelet will go back to the store and you will consider yourself the luckiest woman in this town.”

“You won’t regret it, I promise.”

“And if you go anywhere near Tiffany’s, or I hear that you are so much as in the same neighborhood as that thieving boyfriend of yours, I guarantee you’ll spend the next ten years scrubbing the skid marks out of your cellmate’s underwear.”  He glared at her.  Hard.  “And if I in any way find that you played me for a fool, I will come down on you like a ton of bricks.  Understood?”

“Yes sir.  I understand.”

He got out and opened the door.  Unlocked the handcuffs.  “Now get out of here and don’t let me ever see you again.”

Rain never felt so cleansing as when Lauren splashed through the parking lot to her car.  She got in and quickly locked the door.  Rubbed the marks on her wrists where the handcuffs had pinched her.  Her first instinct was to drive to Spoony’s house and confront him, but if the policeman followed her there she would go to prison.  She took her phone from her purse.

Spoony’s line was busy.  His cell went straight to voicemail.

“You shoulda seen her blubber when I told her she was gonna get ten years.  It was all I could do to keep from cracking up,” the voice on the phone told Spoony.  “I almost felt sorry for this one.”

“Did you get the bracelet?”

“On my way to your house with it now.”

“No.”  Spoony had been down this road before.  “Wait a while before you come over.  I want to make sure Lauren doesn’t show up.”

“Not a chance in hell of that.  I scared the broad so bad she won’t come within a mile of you.”

“Regardless.  If you see her car out front, keep driving.  The last thing I need is for her to see you here and call a real cop.”

Not likely.  Lauren had given up the bracelet without any drama, and all Spoony had to do now was return it to Tiffany and get his money back.  It was an old con he had learned from a vaudeville song-and-dance man who had learned it from Rudy Vallee, the cheapskate ‘30s movie star.  Impress a girl with an expensive gift, fuck her until you’re tired of it, lay a few bucks on a friend to impersonate a cop, take the swag back to the store and all’s right with the world.

Right as rain, Spoony thought as he stretched out on his bed and relaxed.  Smiled as he remembered the mink stole that had sealed the first deal with that little hat check girl at the Stork Club in New York.  Over the years the gifts had gotten more lavish and the women more refined, but the scam never failed.

Spoony looked at the photos on the wall as if viewing a slideshow of his life.  The baby-faced fifties.  Clean-cut skinny tie sixties.  Jew-fro wide tie seventies.  Hanging on into the eighties and nineties.  Spoony gazed into a time-warped mirror and, as always, loved what he saw.  His hand found his dick and he massaged himself hard, never taking his eyes away from the personal shrine surrounding him.  He stroked faster.  Felt the swell.  Almost there …


Damn it.

It was too soon for his friend the phony cop, especially after he had told him to wait a while.  “Maybe the broad came back to make my waffles.”  He said it out loud.  Laughed out loud.  Always performing, even in an empty room.  Delirious with the power of knowing that his manipulation had shaken a woman to her very core.  The bedroom window faced the pool, so he could not see who was at the front door.  The safe play would have been to ignore it.

The doorbell rang again.  Twice.

Sometimes a sex toy was more than just a sex toy.  Not knowing what to expect, Spoony took the .45 from his nightstand drawer and crept down the stairs.  Peeked sideways through the curtains and saw that the sun was bright and sidewalk almost dry, an aftermath not unfamiliar to even the most severe desert storms.  What Spoony also saw was that there was no car parked out front.  The scene didn’t add up.  The unknown spooked him and he quietly stepped toward the door.  Glimpsed the peephole and found himself staring down the barrel of a gun.

Was the broad looking for revenge?  Was it the phony cop looking to shake him down for more money?  A common burglar or deranged fan?  He couldn’t tell and it didn’t matter as all he saw was the threat of a gun.  And in the eyes of the law, he knew he would be justified shooting any armed intruder trying to break into his house.  The newspapers would call him a hero.  Headlines would lead to bookings.  Bookings would lead to a comeback.  He stepped to the side and in one fluid motion pulled open the door and fired.  Hit the clown square in the chest.

The clown, rocking full Bozo gear, collapsed to his knees.  Gun still trained on Spoony as in a blurry voice he sang, “Happy b-birthday.  A funnyman for … my … funny … man.”  The voice weakened and last word tailed off.  The gleeful clown smile belying the fact that the eyes of the man behind the face paint had fluttered and closed.  He fell backward.  As his orange wig conked the sidewalk, his finger jammed against the trigger, firing a blast of confetti into the air that floated harmlessly down on Spoony.

The clown squeezed out one final breath.  “With love … Lauren.”



12 Days of Double Down Christmassung to the tune of the holiday classic
The Twelve Days Of Christmas

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love sent to me

12 Drunken Strippers

11 Mohawks Moshing

10 Midgets Puking

9 Bacon Bloodys

8 Jackpots Cashing

7 Cymbals Crashing

6 Toilets Smashing

5 Side … Show … Freaks

4 Kick Ass Bands

3 Chick Fights

2 Shots Of Ass Juice

And for once, just SHUT UP AND DRINK



Have a cool Yule with these delicious Christmas originals

from Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas.



1 ounce Cruzan 9 spiced rum

½ ounce Hana Bay 151 proof rum

½ ounce falernum

¼ ounce cinnamon syrup

½ ounce white grapefruit juice

2 ounces orange juice

2 ounces cranberry juice cocktail

Build over ice in a 14 ounce double old fashioned

glass, then pour contents into a cocktail shaker.

Shake well, then re-pour into the glass.

Serve garnished with pineapple and a cherry.


1 ounce Cruzan 9 spiced rum

1 ounce Hana Bay 151 proof rum

½ ounce cinnamon syrup

¼ ounce vanilla syrup

½ ounce Coco Lopez

dash Angostura bitters

2 ounces orange juice

Build over ice in a 14 ounce double old fashioned glass,

then pour contents into a cocktail shaker.

Shake well, then re-pour into the glass.

Sprinkle nutmeg on top, then serve garnished with

a cherry.

Enjoy these plus 75 more easy to make at home

favorites from the bestselling book Liquid Vacation




No one could have assumed in 1992 that this unassuming little gin mill in Las Vegas would evolve into the world’s favorite punk rock dive. A bar that invented the Bacon Martini and has served over one million shots if its signature drink Ass Juice. A mighty music venue where you can always expect the unexpected. A bar that Anthony Bourdain calls one of the 5 best in the world.

Highlighting a furious 5 night celebration, on Saturday November 25 Double Down will host a free outdoor show featuring legendary bands The Dickies, The Dwarves, Throw Rag, The Heiz (from Japan) plus much more. For more info, check out DoubleDownSaloon.com













Sex, greed and cold-blooded murder highlight this crime fiction thriller about a wisecracking con man and his sideshow troupe of small time criminals, who had accidentally become the most popular performers on the Las Vegas Strip. Suddenly rich and famous, it was life in the fast lane for the fire-eating beauty, sex-crazed midget Elvis, safecracking swami and the rest of this neo-noir cast of social delinquents, until they found themselves at the center of a deadly corporate cover up. Armed with little more than street smarts, this band of misfits fight an uphill battle against a bloodthirsty billionaire, a perverted cop and betrayal from within, racing the clock not only to save themselves, but prevent the biggest catastrophe in American history.


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Beautiful leading lady opposite a ruggedly handsome leading man. Bad guys, comic relief, a little music ….. the whole formulaic magilla. Not unlike any other murder-infused love story of 1952. Except that this movie fueled America’s burgeoning curiosity about a mythical oasis where vices were virtues. Where fantasy was reality and a man could change his life with one silver dollar.

The Las Vegas Story was not the first movie to showcase Las Vegas, but it had something going for it that its predecessors definitely did not. Howard Hughes as producer (uncredited) and a budget that afforded Jane Russell, Victor Mature and Vincent Price. Movie stars instead of actors. A step up in class for Hughes’ RKO Radio Pictures, an outfit that generally cranked out movies on the cheap. But Hughes been hot for Jane Russell’s 38D rack since casting her in The Outlaw nine years earlier. And he had been buying up land in Las Vegas even before that, so the man who was himself larger than life upped the ante to glamorize both his leading lady and the town which fifteen years later his casinos would monopolize.

People in the early 1950s had heard enough chatter and seen enough celebrity-infused glossy magazine spreads to know that the fantasy backdrop of The Las Vegas Story was not far from reality. It was the first movie in which America saw Las Vegas dressed in its Saturday night finest. The gowns and the jewels. The lights and the action. The cozy elegance of the casino. And the money. All that money. The Hollywood make-believe was a bit over the top, but not by much. Popcorn munchers were begging to be seduced and this movie did not let them down.

Things were on the upswing in America. The country had gotten past the Great Depression, a double-edged war, and was settling into the pedestrian prosperity that would become Eisenhower’s 1950s. Working stiffs now owned houses, and were no longer restricted to summer vacations of taking the kids to see Aunt Marge. The average American family now had the wherewithal to branch out. To explore. To live. To actually visit the fantastic places they had only read about in magazines or seen at the movies, and Las Vegas was at the top of the list.

Las Vegas extolled the virtues of recreational endeavors that other American cities demonized as scandalous. The town was dangerous yet safe. Elegant yet affordable. Offered mom and dad the perfect opportunity to dump the kids with Aunt Marge and aim the Oldsmobile toward a place where they could rub elbows with movie stars and sports heroes, then catch Bing Crosby for the price of a steak. The glamorous Las Vegas of 1952 was definitely within reach of everyone, and The Las Vegas Story promoted tourism to the masses better than any ad campaign. Sex and celebrity. Action and fun. Riches beyond your wildest dreams. All within reach to anyone who walked through the door. Moviegoers were hooked.

The Las Vegas Story is not unlike any murder-infused love story that might be made today. Beautiful leading lady opposite a handsome leading man. Bad guys, comic relief, a little music ….. the whole formulaic magilla. But then as now, with any movie set in Las Vegas the screen is big enough for only one star. Las Vegas itself. Howard Hughes knew that, much to the chagrin of Jane Russell’s 38D rack.

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     Check out the killer new KAPU I’A tiki mug at

     Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas by renown

     artist Brad Parker. You can get one at the bar

       or at FrankiesTikiRoom.com


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02.15.17 SEX OR WRITING?

Both can be done on a plane or in the back of a cab.

Great sex can inspire great writing.

Great writing can score great sex.

Conquering a blank page can be a bigger thrill than nailing a ten.

And probably a bigger thrill than nailing the ten again in the morning.


Sex and writing can both be great accomplishments.

Both can be simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting.

Both can leave you satisfied or frustrated.

Both will suffer when you write about sex while having sex.

And Dorothy Parker never said: I hate sex, but love having fucked.

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