Bright lights of Vegas and chance of a big win beckon

WELL folks, it's time for me to bid you farewell. For two weeks anyway.

I'm off on my holidays, headed back to the Sunshine Coast for some R and R and to hang out with my little dog Monty.

Hopefully the sun will be shining and beers will be flowing. Sorry Gladstone, but you've got nothing on that little slice of paradise.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, there's also a sneaky little Las Vegas trip pencilled in the midst of my holidays.

Five days of debauchery in Sin City is just what the doctor ordered. I mean how else are you supposed to celebrate a very good mate's bucks party?

Sure we could've gone down to Melbourne for a weekend, could've gone bush for a few days, even booked a bar out for a week and played last man standing, but Vegas seemed like the most fitting way to send my Scottish mate George off into wedded hell... I mean bliss.

I've been forensically scouring Google for tips on the finest (dingiest) karaoke bars, sports bars and wedding chapels, just in case I come across a lovely "gentlemen's club" entertainer who is kind enough to join me as my bride for a night, before an annulment 48 hours later (just to get the coffee mugs and hats with our pictures on them).

Just kidding, that's not on the cards.

One of the most famous sign posts in the world, The Welcome to Las Vegas sign.
One of the most famous sign posts in the world, The Welcome to Las Vegas sign. Dennis Flaherty

But in reality, it should be an unbelievable few days with a solid crew of lads ready to see what sort of fun is to be had in the desert.

This may also double as my farewell column, as if I manage to strike a jackpot of any significance while on this little adventure, I will not be making a return to the land that is Oz for at least the near future.

By significance I'm talking at least $500,000.

I have no idea the odds on any of us striking it rich, but if it does happen, well rest assured I won't be thinking of many (any) of you, dear readers.

Apologies for my bluntness, but I'll be busy seeing how well I can get myself lost in the world.

So I feel it is fitting to reflect on a few things I have learnt in my short time in Gladstone, after now being here over six months, and with my pending departure following a grand jackpot win, I feel it's as good a time as any to give voice to the few things I've discovered.

Gladstone has this strange phenomenon. I like to call it "Metropolitan Affluence Indicator Inversion".

In essence, what my theory is, is that unlike in a city, where a general indicator of wealth is being a sharply dressed individual, in Gladstone, those with hi-vis are the ones with the cash to burn, while those in the suits are the ones who are suffering tighter fiscal constraints.

My theory is merely that, a theory, and clouded by the industry I'm in, which is not exactly renowned as being a money pit. However, I think I'm on reasonably solid footings with that one.

I have also learnt, very quickly, that the female to male ratio on a typical night out is less than ideal.

I have also learnt, very quickly, that the female to male ratio on a typical night out is less than ideal.

In fact, I'd almost say it's nearing drought status, which in turn has helped save significant amounts of money, as it's far more enjoyable to stay home and socialise with friends than venture out and essentially enter a feeding frenzy and potentially be belted for so much as looking at a member of the fairer sex (not so much the belting, but the ensuing spill of an at least doubly overpriced drink that would hurt more).

It also has its moments of beauty though, this fair city.

On the right day, the caustic-smelling waft of local industry just washes over our back veranda - you can almost feel it absorbing into your skin, and, boy oh boy, is there nothing better to soak up on a Sunday.

I'm sorry, I'm getting quite anti-Gladstone there. Just thinking of getting back to the Coast has made me a little prickly. I apologise.

In all seriousness, I have discovered there are a few gems of places around here and for the most part, most people in this town are salt of the earth and pretty friendly, which is exactly how I like it.

Gladstone Golf Course is a little gem, although I've played some of the worst golf ever witnessed, and I'm also a massive fan of the yacht club and marina as the sun begins to dip.

So stay classy. With any luck this may be the last we speak. However, I have accepted the fact that most likely I'll be back behind my desk come February, dreaming of rolling dice and a stripper named Mercedes.