Las Vegas. Sin City. From it's dust eating stop over in Hell beginnings right through the gangster Rat Pack periods, up to our New World Order corporate extravaganza-stupendous and grand over the top, over indulgent monument to Man's fun side, Las Vegas has always been unique and peculiarly American. Don't be Afraid, Come get Laid, Lose Your Pay, And come again another day.
I was reminded of this bizarre town in the desert after an encounter with 3 busty women on 3 brand new Wally Mart bikes they had just ridden from south Sanford to my bikeshop. It had to be the first 5 miles their butts had seen in 20 years. They were full of piss and vinegar, laughing and joking about those sore butts as they busted into the bike shop. Looking for doo-dads and what-nots to hang on their new scoots, they were all about getting fit, looking sharp and turning some heads when they strolled around poolside at The Sands in their 2 sizes smaller bikinis on their upcoming trip to Las Vegas.
Clueless exuberance. They had not yet been rudely awakened on the day after that first bike ride in years. They were having such a blast with the fantasy, I kept this truth from ruining possibly a day they will remember. Right now, Life was good. I went with it. They left still laughing.
I often and repeatedly will tell the same person several times a year I always hated going to Las Vegas. Many experiences ended up on negative notes. But enough of the unusual and odd happened there to always make a trip to the Strip a memory I have no trouble conjuring up. Even with all the uptight and intense promoter types I dealt with, something whacky tended to compensate on every visit.
Ending up with a penthouse 3 room Honeymoon suite and sleeping on a heart shaped bed the size of Montana. All because some clerk somewhere lost the reservation, the notification of this band's hotel needs. I still wonder at how I ended up with that room. Someone threw me a key and I opened the door. Dead tired after a 36 hour marathon slog at the front of a 6 truck convoy in winter from Chicago, I crashed on the bed without taking my boots off barely aware of just where I was. Woke up to a pink and red room 7 or 8 hours later. I remember really, really nice towels.
Trying out for the first and last time just how "Okie Overdrive" felt. Coming out of Las Vegas, heading to LA on I-15 on a pre-dawn hammerfest down a grade 15 miles long. The stars are out, I can see for 30 miles, so I throw the shifter into neutral. I watched the speedometer quickly creep up past 90 mph. Uh oh! Some curves! I went into an eighteen wheel drift across 4 lanes as I aimed to hit the inside of each curve. I gazed over the edge to a very long plummet. The empty highway helped while I fought to get it back into gear from my one and only 90 plus mph stupid truck driver trick. I didn't have to stop to check my britches as the mountain eased into the flat of the desert floor. I had to stop and change those britches.
Watching some of the most entertaining entertainers I would ever see. From lounge lizards to bust baring amazon women wearing feather contraptions stacked 4 feet high on their noggins. I swear their legs were 4 feet long.
Elvis impersonators by the gross. Guys on stilts wearing kilts, seals balancing balls and gambling grandmas wearing winged sunglasses and funny hats. Vegas is a circus of every kind of person having every kind of fun.
But no matter how interesting Las Vegas always was, no matter how every time it was a trip to remember, there is something that irritates me about that town. What goes on doesn't really make a difference. Billions of dollars wasted and pissed down the drain. A city of millions built on land not suited to it. A huge leech that sucks dry the resources of areas hundreds of miles away. Las Vegas is a waste of empty space.
Yet I always remember it with a wry sense of the past. I hated when my job took me there, but I always found some mischief I would never experience anywhere else. You got to pay to play. Even if it is not folding money you are spending.