Sharp eyed readers will recognise this from a while ago, but it’s worth another outing.

During (yet another) bout of insomnia, I was doing a bit of channel surfing, and came across one of those fly on the wall documentaries about police work. In this case it featured the Metro Police in Las Vegas. I’ve never been all that interested in the place, since I don’t gamble, but it has to be said the visitors know how to party.

The police adopt a low impact approach. If you’re dumb, as for example swimming in the fountains at the Belagio, they’ll send a rescue boat, haul you out, and tell you not to do it again. If you collapse blind drunk, they’ll haul you to your feet and send you on your wave with a smile and a cheery wave. If you’re really bad, they pour you into the back of a cruiser and give you a lift. Intriguingly, Las Vegas seems to have an open container policy, something I’ve not seen in any of the various bits of America I’ve been to. I suppose they know they can’t bang up or fine that many people.

Since Vega is awash with cash, there’s no shortage of hustlers, grifters, pickpockets, thieves, and muggers, and the Metro Police don’t send them on their way with a cheery wave. I heard somewhere that nearly 2% of Americans are in gaol, and a good few of those are probably in Nevada.

However, not all the hustlers are crooks, and this is where the unusual job comes in. There was a young man on a street corner who, for the princely sum of $20, would let you kick him in the bollocks. He must have been wearing some pretty substantial protection, or he’d have ended up looking as if the glands in his neck were infected, but even so it must be, at the very best, uncomfortable. You have to be pretty desperate for money to earn it in this way. Perhaps some mobsters were after him for unpaid gambling debts.

I’ve mentioned this story to a few people. The men all wince, but the women tend to claim they’d have a go. ‘Fifteen quid to kick some bloke in the nuts? That’s a bargain!’ Make of that what you will.

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