There was also a stripclub adventure. All photos provided by the author
I skipped a Timbaland pool party in Las Vegas to get Weekend at Bernie's wasted and go to a strip club. Am I proud? Yes. My friends and I spent the price of a used Ford Fiesta in a single day to accomplish our greatest act of blue collar belligerence to date. To quote the exquisite Timbaland in “The Way I Are,” “I ain’t got no money.” I have no doubt my editors will understand how badly I fucked up my life savings for this story.
Timbaland’s music is the soundtrack to my greatest memories. From New Year's Eve basement parties to intervention-themed basement parties, Timbaland has always been there for us. My late-twenty somethings crew have become my family. Some of us have known each other since elementary school—before the Justin Timberlake and Timbaland masterpiece “SexyBack” ushered us into adulthood. I went with this group to Las Vegas because two of them were getting married. As luck would have it, Timbaland was scheduled to perform in the pool of the Flamingo Hotel, our hotel. The show was on the same day as the bachelor party.
This was destiny.
The early July morning came with the trumpet blast of a hangover. Vegas had already cradled me in its booze-soaked bosom. As a small-city dwelling Canadian and first-time visitor, the city left me feeling like a hotdog sheath stuffed with cigarette butts. How much water and power feeds Sin City so tourists can make fools of themselves? Where was my wife? Was Celine Dion’s clumped hair in my grasping hand? No time to think; we were scheduled to make love to scorching desert sand on the backs of raging dune buggies. Timbaland was that afternoon so I lathered myself in sunscreen and knew I would need to pace myself. I did not pace myself.
We stayed sober for driving, like responsible adults, but I suffered Russian dash cam levels of whiplash getting a Vegas sand enema; one chum in our group of nine received a decent back injury after going over a dune jump. But we did like Jay Z and brushed our shoulders off and continued hustling.
Also, much like Jay Z, we spent a lot of money. So far the day had cost us about $3,000 in American money, roughly enough Canadian money to have our Prime Minister sing “O Canada” directly to your scrotum. All good though because Timbaland was a free show for hotel guests, which was next on the agenda before our night out. All I had to do was freshen up, maybe have a nap, and check out the pool for all that Timbaland goodness.
I ended up losing money on slots and then getting drunk on rum alone in my room. Word had it Timbaland was running an hour late for the show anyway. I still had time.
Instead, I got drunker with the squad. We went to a Gordon Ramsay steakhouse to eat meat and poop in a bathroom so fancy the toilet paper was made from Gwyneth Paltrow’s shoulder blades. I drank a Manhattan, feeling remarkably like Don Draper, while also ordering $60 worth of water. If it’s not already obvious, none of us belonged at that place. We refunded a lot of recycling to go on the Vegas trip. I’m a writer; I think the rest of my friends are Charles Dickens-era chimney sweeps. But when in Vegas, “Give It To Me.” Somewhere in me, my voice of guilt forgot about Timbaland. That voice spent the rest of the night raw dog humping the best New York strip I’ve ever eaten. Total bill: $1,764.84.
The bill for meat. Timbaland not pictured.
Later on at the second strip club of the night with my brothers, I found inner contentment. Some of us spent more than others, but the total tab came to roughly $5,500 for bottle service and having women butt chug our faces. I’d never been to a strip club before, so it was all very mysterious for...approximately five minutes. Basically, to quote 50 Cent ft. Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, they “dance in you're lap till you're ready to pop...Ayo, I'm tired of using technology / why don't you sit down on top of me.” Exactly like that.
I picked glitter off my face while swaying to the movement of whatever vehicle took us back to the hotel at some soulless hour in the morning. I held a shiny piece on the tip of my finger like some memory that didn't belong to me. I felt poor. Numb. What did this day mean? And then, like a Timbaland rhythm sounding off a life well lived, the laughter of my closest friends made me feel as big as the universe. “It's too late to apologize.”
Anyway, the wedding a few days later was beautiful. Turns out Timbaland was in our hearts the whole time ... or something.
Devin Pacholik is an incredible journalist. Follow him on Twitter.