Saturday, March 27, 2010
How Much Glitter Does One City Need or Why Vegas Sucks
I've been in Vegas. That's not a blanket statement, it's an update on my life. I've been in Vegas. Lest you imagine that I chose to go to sin city, let me assure you that I traveled to Vegas for a meeting. That's not the point, though, so I'll skip over that part. The point is that Vegas sucks ass. I should have known when I stepped off the plane and into 1977 (seriously- the airport was a portal to a whole different era) and the woman next to me sighed to her husband, "Oh honey. It's like heaven." Uh, no. Or, if yes, you seriously need to rethink your vision of the afterlife. But I was upbeat. Nauseous but upbeat. Surely this was a city where I could find adventure. I could bring the badass here, right? Then I saw it- a life size cardboard woman holding a machine gun. Now that had potential. Maybe I could finally satisfy my small-arms curiosity. I scrawled the number on my ticket envelope and tucked it away.
We stayed in a hotel on the strip that started out okay ("Look! There's a big fish tank! How bad can this place be if they have a fish tank!?") and then immediately spiraled into the toilet when I tried to cross the casino floor and realized that even the carpet had glitter in it and that it was true- the whole place was designed to confuse and distract me from my goal of getting the hell off the casino floor. There was glitter everywhere. There were pole dancers everywhere. There were scooters everywhere. When I saw the glitter covered scooter parked next to the pole dance, well, the cognitive dissonance of that was almost more than my little brain could bear.
Rather than go into detail, let me just run down the high point.
1. I couldn't get a cup of coffee without crossing the casino floor.
2. I couldn't get anything to eat without crossing the casino floor.
3. I couldn't get into my room without crossing the casino floor.
4. I couldn't get out of my room without crossing the casino floor.
Get the point?
But I still had some hope. I figured that there must be something I could do here that would up my badass cred. I braved the casino floor and found a place to have a beer and as I watched the people around me, it hit me. Vegas is mostly a city filled with posers. Women wearing shoes they can't walk in, sporting fake boobs under dresses obviously purchased for just that occasion. Men trying to look like high rollers, gambling money they can't afford to lose. Groups of men and women trying to cut lose and shake off the mundane reality of their real lives in a single weekend.
And don't even get me started on the brides. You couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a bride. I'm not even sure they all had grooms- or other brides- with them. I really think some of them were going stag.
My badass choice was to reject Vegas. I didn't gamble anything. I didn't overindulge (well, there was that one Brazilian Bar-B-Que place, but that doesn't count because I didn't choose it). I wore my jeans the whole time. I broke up with Vegas before it even had a chance to ask me for a second date.
Oh- and the gun place? Turned out to be a tourist trap. The guy at the bell stand refused to let me get into a taxi when I told him where I wanted to go. No loss. I'm pretty sure that's an itch I'd rather scratch without paying for it.