05 June 2008

Leaving Las Vegas

Vegas gave me a four day hangover. Is that normal?

Oh, we had such a time. Just being away for four whole days, with no one to worry about but ourselves (and each other…) and immersed in the hum of a city that has no business having fountains all over it was exactly the escape I was looking for. As one obviously inebriated woman cried out in the stall next to mine at the bathroom at Harrah’s, “I love Vegas, because here I’m just ME. I’m nobody’s mother, nobody’s wife, nobody’s daughter. Just me!” And then I think she threw up. But still, she threw up as herself. I guess that’s something.

Mary and Beth, my dear mother- and sister-in-law, are two of my most favorite women on earth. We laughed so continuously, it’s really a miracle I didn’t wet my pants on several occasions.

I was impressed with how friendly people were. If I worked in Vegas, I would hate tourists and tell them that through the gleam of hatred in my eyes. But I saw no hatred gleams, and met lots of really kind, seemingly-genuine people. I say “seemingly” only because I realize that it is their job to be nice and seem genuine, and I’m jaded and my heart is made of stone.

Vegas was a lot like New Orleans, but with a wider range of age groups, worse traffic, and fewer dark alleys. And more nudity. A lot of young women were apparently awaiting my call, because there seemed to be dozens who could be at my hotel room in twenty minutes or less. In New Orleans, there were a lot more people handing out religious tracts, but in Vegas, it seems they have given up, because the only things anyone handed me on the Strip involved strategically placed starbursts.

I understand the obscenity of the place: so much excess, all in the middle of a desert? How American. Buffets, fountains, 18-inch tall drinks, mardi-gras-esque parades on the ceiling...But that excess helps make the fantasy more believable, somehow, and I gladly embraced the obscenity of Vegas, at least for a little while.

The buffets alone were worth the trip.

I now have a compulsion to try to watch every movie I've ever seen that deals with Vegas. Here's what I've thought of so far:
Viva Las Vegas
Rain Man
Honeymoon in Vegas
Leaving Las Vegas
Ocean's Eleven
Con Air

Mind you, these are just the ones I've seen, and I know (from preliminary internet searching) that there are dozens, maybe even a hundred more. Those of you who know what movies I've seen and want to recommend something to me, send it on.
I just need to talk Shaun into watching 12 Vegas movies now.

Here's the view from my hotel room, morning #3.

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