Card Flipping Prostitutes::Vegas Part 2

03Mar09

We ventured out of our hotel around nine am on the first morning of our Vegas trip. Morning Vegas is notably different than Afternoon Vegas. As for Nighttime Vegas… well, you might as well be on a different planet altogether. Our first stop was a breakfast buffet at the New York New York. I was fascinated by the rollercoaster running through the hotel, circling behind the Statue of Liberty and doing a loopty-loop beside of the Empire State Building. After breakfast we ventured down Las Vegas Blvd, more commonly known as “The Strip”.

The wonderful man that made this adventure possible was giving me Vegas 101 along our journey. As he began his many tales a large “Hot Babes” truck rolled past us. Prostitution in Vegas is just as common as poker tables and slot machines. He began to tell me of the card flippers on the street: men and women who dress in bright red, yellow and orange shirts and flip hooker cards at you. None were present in Morning Vegas but business cards with boobs and thongs were scattered along the street. I didn’t examine any too closely but each contained a phone number and a generic message like “For a good time call Candy.” He said that when he’s with his buddies, they collect the cards and then play them like “Go Fish” with the advertisers, harassing them with statements like “I’ll trade two Candys for one Jennifer.” Men. (eyeroll) J

After enjoying lunch at Margaritaville we continued on our exploration of The Strip. The Card Flippers were out in full force. It was grotesquely amazing. They lined the strip, almost every inch of it, thrusting these “business” cards at us. Being the great man that he is, the BF tucked me safely on the inside of the sidewalk so that they didn’t proposition me. If you’ve never seen the phenomenon for yourself, here’s a clip I found on YouTube:

 

 

Most of the flippers were men and most of them (I would assume) were illegal aliens. Call me stereotypical, but if the shoe fits…. A few of them were women and one woman in particular is branded into my memory. She was young and beautiful. Her hair was cropped ridiculously short and there was a deep sadness in her eyes. It was haunting. Nothing about her attire distinguished this girl from any of her fellow promoters except a simple pair of blue crystal earrings that sparkled against the Vegas lights. About three seconds prior my BF had asked of me, “Do you ever wonder what some of these people’s stories are?”

I wondered immediately what this girl’s story was.

Anarosa was only seventeen when she met Maria. Anarosa’s mother was bedridden with tuberculosis leaving her eldest daughter responsible for taking care of her four younger siblings. Maria’s family owned a promising factory in Escondido, California. With glowing tales of life in the US, Maria convinced Anarosa and her younger sister Lea to journey to the States where they would be able to start a new life far away from the hardships of Guatemala and be able to send money home to their struggling family. What awaited them inside the border of the country Anarosa had dreamt of as a little girl was hunger, violence and an endless string of men to her makeshift bed every day. When the opportunity for escape presented itself, Anarosa fled to Las Vegas, only taking with her the blue crystal earrings her mother had given her and the faint memory of Lea’s screams as she was raped and beaten to her death. Las Vegas had promise. Las Vegas would set her free. Las Vegas would open the door again to her future…

Maybe that wasn’t the actual story of the girl with the blue earrings, but it could’ve been. Sadly, human trafficking is a real thing. There are plenty of resources out there about this issue; here’s one that I have personal connections to. http://www.freeforlifeministries.com/

I promise I will write no more depressing blogs about my trip to Vegas. Stay tuned for the story of the Irish Leprechaun… J

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One Response to “Card Flipping Prostitutes::Vegas Part 2”

  1. 1 Mike

    First blog I read after wakeup from sleep today!


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