You can have it all
In the city of neon...
You just can't keep it.
As I write this, I'm facing my final few hours in Las Vegas.
My older brother and his lady-friend got hitched this weekend in the den of sin that is known as Las Vegas. I came along for the ride for three reasons: 1) it's my brother; 2) I was the officiant; and 3) I had only spent two hours in Vegas prior to this weekend and decided, as a man of the world, that I should probably examine this city closely over a forty-eight hour time span. And to clarify - "this city" is really defined by "the Flamingo hotel and the sidewalk immediately outside of the Flamingo hotel."
This is what I've learned:
1 - I hate people. The thing that brought this to light was witnessing a middle-aged couple converse with complete strangers on the shuttle from the airport to the hotel. These people, who had known each other for roughly twenty seconds, were making crude jokes with each other and telling them life secrets (in loud voices) without the slightest hesitation. Obviously, the concept of "stranger danger" was not drilled into these people's heads in elementary school, resulting in a thirty minute party-bus-like experience when all I wanted was to silently enjoy my trip from point A to point B.
2 - Of all the people there are to hate, Jimmy Buffet is the worst. This realization came to me when, shortly after arriving at the hotel, my brother, his soon-to-be wife, and a few of their friends decided to get dinner... at Margaritaville. What's that? You think it's fun to have members of the waitstaff on stilts for no reason? You think it's awesome to show a thirty-minute loop of live Jimmy Buffet concerts, complete with footage of "Parrot Heads" drinking themselves to oblivion and a cover of "Werewolves of London"? You think it's "rad" to charge $13 for a turkey burger? Sorry, Jimmy, but I hope you choke on your cheeseburger in paradise.
3 - Roulette is still the cruel, cruel mistress that I remember from several years ago. Damn you, roulette. How I love you. How I hate you.
4 - All casinos should have Pussycat-Doll-esque go-go dancers. Once the sun set outside the Flamingo, two lingerie-clad whore-mobiles would climb up upon a platform in the center of a bank of blackjack tables and gyrate away for the duration of the evening. The most fascinating part of this is that everyone (everyone!) would stop and stare at the dancers. Men, ladies, fathers, mothers, Puritans, Asian grandmothers... the wriggling of the well-waxed lady-hips captured the attention of everyone nearby. After a few minutes of gawking, each on-looker would scan the room at the other patrons with a look of wild disbelief. Then they would look one more time, just to make sure.
5 - All casinos, especially those with hotels, should also have shower curtains for their showers. This is a fact that I have learned the hard way. I look like a real jerk in the shower.
6 - (This is tied in with point #4) Everyone likes a nudie show. Sure, plenty of people will say that they don't, but they do. It's a plain and simple fact. Deal with it.
7 - If you go gambling with a group of people, it is a certain fact that everyone but you will come out ahead. I'm not quite sure how this works, but I've put in plenty of time and money to arrive at this conclusion. Therefore, if you must gamble - do it alone. You can thank me later.
There you have it. Seven observations about Las Vegas. Now you don't have to make the trip out here.
I'd probably have more thoughts about the city in general if I attempted to walk down the strip or take in a few of the other sights, but the grasp that the Flamingo had on me was a tad too strong. Damn you, gaudy pink decor!
I should be off. My flight leaves in a scant eight hours. That leaves me just enough time to hit the floor for one more run at the penny slots. Alone.
No joke for today. I'm pretty sure the jokes will return someday, but this ain't that someday.