Las Vegas, Nevada. $99 one-way flight from Chicago Midway. Looking out the Allegiant Air flying vessel, I see nothing below. As we approach the 102 year old city known as “The Meadow.” However, there is no goddamn meadow. There is nothing there but what looks like an ant farm of hills and assortment of brown shades like you’d see at a geological exhibit at a museum. “This is clay, notice how its colouration is darker and the texture is thicker than that of common beach sand. Isn’t that interesting, kids?” Fuck field trips. Nothing here but death and decay, then you cross over a mini mountain range and there it is, 15,000 miles of neon lights blasting out into the sky. Las Vegas, the only place with so much world culture: Egypt, Paris, New York, and Hooters, located on all one street: The Strip.
Stepping off the plane at the McCarran International Airport at 3:47 in the afternoon, pick up my luggage and catch one of the 965 cabs available to take me to my hotel, the Mandalay Bay. That’s where the conference is, a video game corp. conference, sexy as fuck. All expenses paid for eight days, seven nights except for addictions, companies never pay for addictions. But all you really need for that is a seat at one of the 1,701 licensed gambling establishments, at one of the 25,196 gambling tables, and one of the two individuals fucking best have one of the 124,270 hotel rooms, if for nothing else but comfort. The sun sits high in the sky. It’s hot as shit. Little did I realise that would be the last time I would have any idea what time of day it would be for the next week.
Check in takes forever, and the room sits upon the 7th floor of the golden monstrosity. $25 a day for internet? I guess that paper’s getting sent from my blackberry. Connected to my new home base via skywalks, malls and various “walk-scalators” is the Luxor, Excalibur and New York New York. Find the elevator bank and head skyward to my room. Two beds with 13 pillows and a 42” High Definition Plasma screen television. Walk into the bathroom and find yet another 15” LCD that I can conveniently watch whilst I take a bubble bath. Through a separate door contains the toilet and oh, look, its own telephone! I can take a shit and keep in touch with all my friends. How lovely! I have never been so excited…
I think it takes a couple of days for most people to realize what Las Vegas really is. Some probably don’t ever realize. I do within my first 5 hours. Las Vegas is America’s wonderland. The same creepy, frightening wonderland Alice fell into when she went through the looking glass. I have a channel on giant technological wonder that I keep on in my bedroom and bathroom, simultaneously of course, that plays the fish tank down in the lobby 24 hours a day. Who could find anything better to watch? It’s not everyday that I can watch coral in the dark even once turn off the lights on the tank. Tranquil! Vegas is perpetual twilight. No matter what time of day it is, the same things occur over and over again. The blinking lights never cease. The same circus plays on and on and on from the 197,144 slot machines. The cocktail waitresses bring you drinks 24/7. Speaking of the cocktail waitresses, I am certain that once they arrive for their shifts, they all stand in a row, and in the case of this particular hotel, are wearing identical red dresses, just like the minions of the queen of hearts. Lure me into a false sense of security with cocktails and croquet followed by, “Off with their heads!!!” Then as in some terrifying Las Vegas production of “Fantasia,” the heads, torsos and legs of each waitress switch and rotate in synch with the ringing of the circus. The Mad Hatter calls change places and body parts float, fly, duck and cover settling on whatever random body they wish. However, if you were to look at any waitress strutting across the casino floor and just gaze and the head or torso or the legs you wouldn’t think anything about it. But together it’s horrifying. None of them fit together properly. Maybe it’s the fake tits, who knows? I’m certain at least 34% of each Las Vegas service industry employee is made of plastic or chemical fusion. Behind the scenes lies a terrible wizard concocting schemes to drive me insane. His cousin is the conductor of the soundtrack and his half brother runs the lights all from this room on top of the Eiffel Tower.
I try to drink it away, and it works for winter, but Vegas is bad for and addiction. You can never get enough because it can never end. You can never get drunk or perhaps you’re permanently drunk and are now smaller in another state of reality, like Alice after she drank the potion and became smaller. Maybe I’m smaller. Maybe this is all some sort of sandy snow globe underneath a heating lamp
I must get outside. I must get outside now. However, nothing changes, I still have no idea what time it is. Outside, a canopy of light bulbs disrupting the sky like war over the Gaza Strip. Stumbling down the street I see families on the walk handing out cards. Not just men, but families; fathers, wives, sons, daughters, working together promoting something. How nice: families working together. But what are they promoting? Grab a card from each one. Is it a show, Cirque de Soleil? Tom Jones? God forbid, Carrot Top? Nope, none of the above. I would have accepted Celine Dion or Louie Anderson over what they are promoting. They’re handing out 2007’s Topps Baseball Card set of Las Vegas hookers complete with contact numbers, action photos, and price stats. Collect them all. This one has hearts covering up her tits, my god it’s the Queen of Hearts! It’s then that I look at my watch and realise I’ve only been here for 13 hours.