I took a breath, buried my pride and slid the $20 bill across the counter, suggestively.
"Are there any complimentary upgrades available?" I asked the woman working the check-in at the Luxor Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
I was in town for four nights and on a mission to live it up in Las Vegas while keeping my bank account in check -- so I'd packaged my flight and hotel, chosen the cheapest room available and hoped for a little of that Sin City sleaze to make my stay a little more lavish.
Simple bribery? Unabashed passing of the cash? I'd heard that worked.
The woman checking me in eyed the offering but never stopped typing on her computer.
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"No," she retorted, without acknowledging the money now awkwardly languishing between us.
Defeated, I reached for the bill and pulled it back, clumsily.
Oh, well, there were plenty of other ways to save in Vegas, a wonderfully wacky alternate universe in which deals are pitched as eagerly as dice on a craps table -- as long as you know where to look.
And one such offer was five seconds away.