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Rail! Entertainment > Docs >

Edgren Reunion. Vegas. 1998.

By Michael - 03-17-02

Quick warning to the easily offended. I swear a lot in this article, and I (gasp!) mention strippers.

In the summer of 1998, there was a reunion for my high school in Las Vegas. I didn't really want to go, but The Almighty Patrick talked me into it, and even paid for the tickets (as a birthday gift). Since these events took place almost four years ago, I'm kind of hazy as to the exact order they took place - So I'm going to do each section by topic, not exactly in chronological order. It's not like anything I write is very structured, anyway. Here are a few highlights from the trip:


As soon as I got off the plane, I was approached by three severely drunken individuals, all of them hopping around and screaming, "Look at the hippie!", and "Go back to Georgia, you long-haired freak!" It turns out that these were my high school buddies, Patrick, Josh, and Aaron. They decided to get blitzed out of their skulls before picking me up from the airport. Patrick, in his inebriated state, could only answer my questions with the witty response, "If it was up yo ass, you'd know!"

Me: Where'd they put my luggage?

Patrick: If it was up yo ass, you'd know! (Punches Josh in the face)

Me: Dude, what the hell have you guys been drinking? Moonshine?

Patrick: If it was up yo ass, you'd know! (Tries to get a piggyback ride from Aaron)

The MGM Grand. Whatever you do, don't order beer through room service.

Once we got back to the hotel (MGM Grand - Aaron got us the room), Josh proceeded to pour drinks. He filled my glass with Jack Daniel's and added a tiny splash of Coke - I don't really drink, by the way. Patrick yelled at Josh, "What are you trying to do? Kill him? He's not an alcoholic like you."

When we went downstairs later and ordered drinks, the bartender checked everybody's ID's suspiciously. Of course, we're all over the legal drinking age, but I can look about 18 if I shave. The guys hissed at me "He didn't card us until you showed up, Mike! Man, you suck." Then they gave me these murderous looks... 

I think the first day was pretty much spent drinking and shooting the shit. I don't think any of us did that much gambling. Personally, I only hit the slot machines about three times, and that's because some of the casinos give you free spins so you can get addicted to gambling and give them the money you were going to spend on an operation, or your child's college money, and you end up losing everything, and then you have to go to support groups, and everybody sits around in a circle and bitches about gambling, when they should've just said no to that free ticket. (DEEP BREATH)

Oh, somewhere between here and there, Tosh and Crystal showed up. I quit smoking in 1995, but I started bumming cigarettes from them as soon as they arrived, because they are BAD INFLUENCES.

Patrick, Crystal, Tosh, and Josh

Okay, so now I'm drinking AND smoking. Great.


It wasn't as hot as I thought it would be, for one thing. In the middle of July, it was bearable.

I'd watched too many movies and TV shows, so I assumed that Vegas was just this one long, heavily lit street with hookers on one side, and Elvis impersonators on the other. I don't recall seeing any Elvis impersonators or hookers during my visit to Vegas, and I am still disappointed to this day. In fact, all I saw were old people - Senior Citizens in all sizes, as far as the eye could see.

(Note: Actually, I saw one Elvis impersonator, but he was an asshole. We were at this steakhouse, where there was a country band. The singer guy thought it'd be funny to put on an Elvis wig and glasses and act like a fool. Blasphemy! Show respect for the King! I would've heckled the bastard, but my steak was causing me severe gastrointestinal distress, and I didn't want to call attention to myself.)


For most of my time in Vegas, I was teased about my fear of heights, mostly by Josh. "Ha ha, Mike's a height-pussy! Mike had a traumatic childhood!" Almost everything in Vegas was tall - The Stratosphere was damn tall, and there was also this little roller coaster built into the side of a hotel that I refused to go on. (Stephanie was like, "Here, then, hold my purse".)

Patrick wanted to go bungee-jumping, and everybody agreed to bungee-jump also, mostly just to make me look like a coward.

Pat, Josh, and Aaron on top of the Stratosphere

Once we got to the Magical Bungee Jumping Place, everybody lost their courage instantly. "Pat," Tosh whispered fearfully, "That's pretty fucking high..."

Patrick was the only one of us who had the balls to jump. This is back when he was still in the army, so he was all gung-ho and shit, screaming "SUUUURRRRGE!", or whatever those extreme sports guys do. You know, Powerade drinking, weight-lifting, screaming hardcore dudes with tattoos.

I'm estimating the tower was about ten stories high, over a pool. Tosh followed Pat up to the top of the tower to get a photograph (And some video, too, I think). Josh, Crystal, and myself watched from below. They strapped up Pat's leg into some kind of harness, and let him fall. As Pat fell, and then bounced, he said, and I quote, "OH SHIT!", then "FUCK YEAH!"

After bouncing around for a while, they pulled him back up -- bleeding. Seems a piece of the cord whipped him in the face as he bounced. I couldn't find a picture, so here's a computer-generated wire frame image of Pat's jump.

Computer simulations have suggested that bungee-jumping may be dangerous.


I'm sorry, but one of my favorite parts of the trip was my first visit to a strip club. I was AMAZED by all the women there. Let me explain. I live in a little hick town in Georgia, where beautiful young women are VERY rare, and beautiful NAKED women are even more so. I was like a kid in a candy store - full of strippers.

By nature, I'm very shy, but I had no problem chatting up the girls at the club.


Stripper: So what do you do?

Mike: (Shrugs his shoulders and mimes a masturbatory motion with right arm).

When I drink, I also tend to get affectionate, so I was bear-hugging these strange girls I just met, crying, "Thank you! You made my night! Um, come back to Georgia with me?"

-Let's move on before I embarrass myself...


We saw a taping of Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular. Tickets were free. Steven Seagal was there (to play guitar and sing!!). If you ever saw this episode on FX back when it originally aired, you might be able to hear my sorry ass scream "STEVE!!"  like a drunken jock when he came on stage. Steve and his band played some simple blues song. I forget the title, or any of the words. Steven Seagal's guitar player was much, much, better than Steve himself, which leads me to imagine that Seagal beat him up in the parking lot after the show, to compensate for his (Seagal's) inexperienced, simple guitar technique.

"DON'T EMBARASS ME IN FRONT OF MY FANS!!", he'd scream as he pummeled his guitar player in a rage of insecurity.

Cheech Marin came out and sang a children's song about "Cheech the School Bus Driver". Quite entertaining. We clapped along like a group of drunken four-year olds. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggin was on stage, but I forget what he did. This guy who bounces/juggles balls inside a giant triangle was also there.

Penn and Teller themselves didn't do much more than host the show, which was a disappointment to me, because I was expecting to see some comedy-magic from them. The closest thing we got to magic was when Teller, dressed as the "Masked Magician" from "Magic's Greatest Secrets Revealed" opened a can of chicken noodle soup. He used exaggerated hand movements and smoke to make it look "amazing". Good stuff. If anybody has that episode on tape, contact me.


Remember, I live in a small town (Cue "Dueling Banjos"), and hardly ever get out, so all of the noise and brightness of Las Vegas took its toll on me. While everybody went gambling or drinking or whatever, I got the hotel room to myself to get some sleep. I was interrupted a few times, but I eventually drifted off.

I was woken from a sound sleep by Patrick.

Patrick: "Hey man, get up, we gotta get Aaron out of jail".

Me: "Duh?"

Patrick: "Yeah, he was drunk and got into a fight at the bar downstairs. We gotta scrounge up some money for bail".

I staggered out of bed and got dressed in the bathroom. I came back out, ready to go, and everybody was sleeping. Turns out the whole story was just made up to get me out of the bed. I ended up sleeping on the freaking floor. Damnit.


There was actually an "official" reunion, meaning people paid over 100 dollars a head to meet in this conference room. We pretty much just poked our heads inside the room to see if there was anybody we knew. There were only about five people I recognized personally. One of them was Stephanie (I forget her last name, sorry) - we ended up hanging out with her the last couple days I was there. On the way to the airport to drop me off, she took us to the Hard Rock Cafe.

I like guitars.

I know, I know, there's a Hard Rock Cafe in every city; it's no big deal - But you don't understand! The Hard Rock in Vegas has Jimi Hendrix's Flying V guitar AND one of Elvis's white suits. I got my Jimi fix and my Elvis fix all in one place! That's value! Since I couldn't find any Elvis impersonators anywhere, the suit was gonna have to do. Just pretend that's Elvis standing next to me doing one of those Kung Fu-like Elvis poses and going, "Thankyaverymuch". Ah, I've got redeye in that photo, and my hair's matted, but screw it. When it comes to photographs, I go for feel, dude.

I said See - See-see rider...


I was dropped off at the airport with just a few minutes to make my flight. Running frantically through a strange airport is not exactly fun (Especially if you're out of shape), but you could call it exciting.

Well, not much to say here - I boarded the plane, went home, and slept for a day. Then I got back to my boring life. For a week, I got to be a little more like my old self again, and see most of my old friends. I got to smoke cigarettes. I drank, but never got "Run-Around-Naked-Vomiting" drunk, so no problem there. To round it all up, I had fun. We should try it again sometime.


On a side note, this article is seven days late. Remind me not to try to compress a week's activities into one article. It takes way too long.





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