bathroom with a toilet that has playing card icons

What do you think of when you hear “casino?”

Some think “Vegasssss!” For others, it’s Sean Connery in Monte Carlo with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth. There’s some glamor in these notions. Flashing lights. Colorful chips. Cheap women. Fun for the whole family.

So to disillusion you with all this, I’m going to narrow it down to a casino realm few encounter and few bother with: Los Angeles casinos.

“Wait, LA has casinos?” you might ask. And with a heavy heart, I must nod and say, “Yes.”

Before you let the wrong impression linger, understand that we are not in the realm of potential glamor anymore. Vegas might not really be glamorous under the hood, but it’s a collection of five-star palaces next to where I’ll be taking you.

Casinos in Los Angeles are more like a sewer drain collecting all the degenerates the City of Angels has to offer, circling their way along the table games before they descend back to whatever hole they crept out from. And let me tell you, this is a big sewer.

So who would venture out to these hives of tepid scum and low-rent villainy that isn’t a degenerate? People who are lost, literally and spiritually. People who like to play poker and have nowhere else to go. And people who just like games.

I have found myself in the awkward second group. I play poker sometimes. I got into it over the pandemic and now have fun playing every now and then. It’s a game that is, at least, against other players and not against the casino. 

A game that requires an understanding of math and psychology to do well, and fortitude to stick with it. Not that anyone you play with will know what “fortitude” means.

So come! Join me as we enter past the line of men huddling in the heat smoking cigarettes! Let the dead-eyed security guard who’s so used to pedestrian horrors he no longer has a soul check your ID! Come into this Pinnochio’s Island where we are all donkeys and the staff are our caretakers!

Notice the man with his giant belly protruding from under his shirt at your table. Acknowledge the grin he gives you before he rubs his belly and says, “Rub my prosperity! It is good luck!” See as he throws money into a bet with less than a 5% chance to hit and then makes his hand.

Struggle with whether you shouldn’t rub his belly for that kind of luck.

This is not a magical land. More like Chucky Cheese for adults who have never grown up and where there is real money to win and lose. Where tempers flare like m80 fireworks and grown men throw tantrums like third graders.

Now consider what a bathroom at this place might be like.

I’m going to level with you. It’s not pretty. Obviously, I can’t speak for the women’s bathrooms, but I have no reason to think it’s any better. Lots of puddles. Smells. Sounds. Oh, the sounds.

One night, after a few beers at the table, I sauntered over to roll the dice yet again on the bathroom. Sometimes you just have to.  It was blessedly empty. And so I made my way to the urinal to do my business, and as I began, a man stumbled from a stall to the urinal next to me.

This being somewhat abnormal behavior, I hoped to finish soon. I could see out of the corner of my eye that this man, very drunk, was staring at the wall in front of him with his mouth open. And then the sounds began.

I’d understand if he was vomiting. It’s what you’d expect to happen. No, the true horror was that he was making all the sounds of vomiting or otherwise ventilating his bowels, but nothing was coming out.

At least not from his mouth.

I stood there next to this font of demonic sounds for another ten seconds, trapped by my own natural functions. It was like something from Mortal Kombat. This guy was conducting a fatality of epic proportions in this bathroom next to me, and yet I had no idea how.

My mind wandered to imagining what could be going on over there. Some kind of…prolapse? I reeled back before letting it go too far.

I hurried to the sink and washed my hands. The unholy sounds continued. As far as I could tell, the man hadn’t moved from the urinal. I retreated back into the casino proper, the horrific noises following me and mixing with the dings and sounds of “winner!”

Ah, the sounds of the casino. Vomiting mixed with ringing, card swiping, chips clicking, and somewhere in the background a deep voice rumbling, “Your soul is mine!”

So are LA casino bathrooms poopable?

After questioning the life choices that brought you to the casino in the first place, you should question how much you really need to go.

It’s possible they are a portal to a nether realm, a dark limbo of untold horrors. But even if they’re not, they are disgusting.

Don’t roll the dice on these temples of sin. Find someplace better.

By Brady Nelson

Brady has been using bathroom breaks to escape work since junior high. All that time spent on the throne eventually led to a substantial amount of philosophical thought. He dove deep into thoughts like, “how can I hide the amount of time I’m on YouTube while at work?” Alas, Brady found Poopable, a place that disregards his time spent on social media and celebrates his light-hearted cynical take on everyday topics. You can also read more of his writing at The Timeless Cynic on substack.