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Smiles aren’t cool, but they’re sure refreshing.

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I feel a smile coming on. Must maintain my badass rep; must turn away from camera!

I just visited Tabú at MGM, for the very first time.

What the hell took me so long?

Look, Tabú might not be the swankest lounge on the strip (any more), and it might not serve the craziest cocktails or employ the fiercest servers, but it’s got more happy people in it than any other venue I’ve been to this year.

The bartenders are happy, the waitresses are happy, the DJs are happy, and, most of all, the patrons are happy.

I know smiles aren’t the coolest thing in the nightlife scene, but they’re refreshing to see. And contagious.

Perhaps all the happiness came from Tabú’s lack of pretension. I saw girls in flip-flops, girls in Chuck Taylors, guys in baseball caps, and—gasp—several couples in their 50s. All of them dancing, all of them smiling, all of them happy.

And after a gin martini with a wedge of lemon, after a Bacardi & diet, and after a couple dozen songs (thanks, XRadio.biz!), I was feeling happy too.

And then, on my way out, I won $40 at the blackjack table.

These are happy times.

Well, for the 86% of us who are employed right now.

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