Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Vegas in 21:


[Our cab driver from the airport to the hotel is named Jerry Lewis and sounds more than a little like "Slingblade."]


[Tara and I are about to head to lunch at a fairly nice restaurant]

Voice on phone: Mon Ami Gabi, how can I help you?
Me: Hi, just wondering, would it be a problem to wear jeans at lunch?
Voice on phone: No--

Me: --Okay--
Voice [totally serious]: --unless you are also wearing a muscle T, as wel
Me: That wasn't in the plan. Thanks.


[We ride the Las Vegas Monorail.]

Me [a la "The Simpsons"]: Monorail! Monorail! Monorail!

[I am not the first person to do this.]


[I hear "No Myth" on a speaker playing in public. This triggers a set of flashbacks to grammar school. "I'm between the poles and the equator / Don't send a private investigator / To find me please..." Gawd, I hate Sr. Rose's science class. Did Michael Penn win a Grammy?]


[Young guy in the New York, New York casino talking to his friends as they pass "Sirico's Pizza."]

Guy: This place has really good pizza.

[An Indian-on-the-side-of-the-road-style tear rolls down my cheek]


My father, Red: I love Vegas. You can smoke wherever you want.


[Tara and I are walking by the fountains outside the Bellagio. They are doing their choreographed fountain thing to, no shit, "Proud to be an American." I overhear the following conversation.]

Young Guy #1: I'm sure that's the last time we were here.
Young Guy #2: How are you sure?
#1: 'Cos it was a year after September 11th?
#2: How do you remember that?
#1: New York, New York was giving out those pins.

#2: Oh yeah, they were.


My mother, Maggie: I love Vegas, you can smoke wherever you want.


[Guy in front of us at as ATM in a casino. Talking to himself/no one in particular/everyone]

ATM guy: If I can't win at this, then I really am unlucky.

[ATM prints receipt, guy snatches receipt and walks away.]



[I hear "No Myth" again, this time live by a band in a casino lounge. “...Unless he speaks Chinese / And can dance like a sail on the seas / Okay.” Gawd, Mrs. Sullivan is the worst. Seriously, I think he won the best new artist Grammy.]


[We go into the nice casinos -- The Paris, The Venetian, The Bella
gio -- and my general reaction to them is that a nice casino is like a nice mall. It's true, and it's sort of a compliment, but it's also utterly without meaning.]


[We switch hotels from the Flamingo to the Tropicana -- it's a short-but-boring story -- and there's a mirror on the ceiling over our bed. Actually: Every flat surface in the general vicinity of the bed is decked out in mirrors, which are, in turn, decked out in bamboo. Vegas! Tropicana! Huzzah!]


["Summer of '69" is played by "dueling pianos" in a casino bar. When they get to the chorus they sing "That was the summer of -- " and the crowd shouts out "69!"]


[If black has come up the last six times at the roulette table, the next spin has to be red. Good-bye $40.]


["Las Vegas is like Disney World for adults." More accurate: "Las Vegas is like Disney World for addicts." Still more accurate: "Las Vegas is nothing like Disney World at all."]


[We see "Jubilee!" a showgirl review, and I spend the performance baffled and confused, trying to think of ways to describe it. The best I can come up with is: It's like a drag show without all that cross-dressing.]


[We're leaving a casino to head back to our hotel room and stop at the bar to get some water.]

Bartender: What can I get for you?
Us: Just two glasses of water.
Bartender: Are you guys over 21?


[Minutes later. We get back to our hotel and stop at the bar to get some water.]

Bartender: What can I get for you?
Us: Just two glasses of water.
Bartender: Are you guys over 21?


[Seven -- we counted -- timeshare hawkers try to stop us in our last two hours in Vegas.]

Hawker 5 of 7 [ominously, as we walk away]: You'll be back...


[What's that David Foster Wallace essay? "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again." I can't even remember if I've read that. I can't remember anything. Why does it take so long to walk everywhere? Where is the exit?]


[At the airport, an older woman with a New Yawk accent is talking on her cell phone.]

Woman: We saw Celine Dion. We had second row seats. I don't know how we did it, we just ordered them, and that's what we got. She was good, but she is neither as tall nor as pretty as she looks on TV.

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