Las Vegas, NV – late night

I threw away one Las Vegas update already.

Those of you who know Vegas and enjoyed my Nashville update were probably looking forward to this; Vegas is far riper a target for someone looking to make fun of people.  And that was pretty much what the first update looked like.

But everything came down to the same joke:  people are stupid.  And saying “people are stupid” over and over gets tedious, even when there’s just _so_ much going on here that needs to be ridiculed.  I mean, _every_ casino advertises having the “loosest slots in town.”  The only joke I’ll make is to point out they all seem to be very proud of this…

But beyond being merely tedious, Las Vegas strikes me as vaguely sinister.  I mean, in Nashville, people come to hear the music, and the leeches have gathered around and put up wax museums and overpriced gift shops and whatnot.  Basically, they’ve dug holes for visitors to throw their money into.  People go to Myrtle Beach for the sun, sand and ocean, and the leeches have dug holes for them to throw money into.  It’s the same everywhere that people gather:  the leeches dig holes for you to throw your money into.

But it’s different in Vegas.  Here, the “attraction” is the biggest, deepest money hole of all.

Hey, if you enjoy the slots, or the dice, or whatever, that’s fine, but let’s call a spade a spade (note entertaining use of playing card lingo!): you’re just throwing your money into a hole.

There will be those who argue “but I won!”  Look, _somebody_ built that volcano out there.  _Somebody_ paid for the Eiffel Tower, for the pirate ships, for the white tigers.  The houses do not lose.  If you think you can beat them, have a blast.  Math will kick your ass a lot quicker than I can talk sense into you.

And about those white tigers…

I’m really conflicted about this.  Although I have not, and sincerely doubt I ever will, paid $90 to see Seigfried and Roy, you can see some of the tigers for free at the Mirage (not the Circus Circus, despite the clean, implicit logic of having tigers at the circus.  As a matter of fact, I can pretty much guarantee that asking “where are the tigers” at the Circus Circus information booth will get you an extraordinarily disparaging look from the cute booth chick who you’d swear was just checking you out mere moments before.  Don’t ask me how I know… let’s just say I got it from a reliable source).  So, back at the Mirage, I found the tiger display.

An incredible, magnificent animal.  The one cat who’d condescended to come out of hiding was a particularly large male.  I don’t think many people appreciate the size to which these cats can grow.  Check your encyclopedias, lions are not the biggest cats.  Like many “white” tigers, this one was palish orange in places, particularly across the back.  He plopped around in the water for awhile, which entertained a lot of plebes who assumed tigers were just big, stripey housecats.

I watched his muscles move under his fur for awhile (in some ways, I guess he _was_ just a big stripey housecat: I watch Scout the same way.  I’m too busy trying to stay unscratched to watch Kato for long…).  All this time, there’s a video running about Seigfried and Roy, and all they’ve done for the tigers.  It talked about the tiger matings they’d done (mating them with other tigers, you sickos), and came to a summary something to the effect that they’d “ensured the survival of this species for decades to come,” with pictures of tiger cubs rolling around with one of the boys (I’m not sure, but I think Siegfried is the pansy and Roy is the fairy).  I couldn’t help feeling that “that’s not a real tiger, at this point.”

I mean, on one level, I’m obviously glad that we’ll have these animals around in the future… but what if it’s only to gawk at?  How seriously can I take their line about respecting the majestic animals when it’s only to put them behind a window in the desert… or make them disappear in a puff of fire for 90 bucks a head?

I applaud the preservation of the species, but at the same time, I’d really like to see Seigfried with half his left buttock bitten off, Roy sporting three parallel scars from neck to groin, with a tiger muttering “I’m a _wild_ animal, you dipshit.  What the hell were you thinking, I’m Tigger, now?”

But then again, if I had the means, can I honestly say that I’d never try to get a tiger for a (for lack of a better term) pet?

Like I say, conflicted.  I guess I’ll try to be happy with the fact that they’re alive (the tigers.  I could give a rat’s butt for S&R) and here where I can see and appreciate them.

By the way, the pansy/fairy line popped into my head when I overheard two blonde girls with a charmingly tenuous grasp of the language wondering which of the boys was which.  I would have said it to them out loud, but I didn’t know how well Bigot would translate into Nordic… so I thought I’d inflict it here… hope none of you pansies take offense…

Some more by the ways, because as I reread what I wrote I realize I didn’t hit on a couple things I wanted to (those Nordic girls, mostly.  Just kidding.  Okay, I’m not).  First, I just had to mention the fact that this Kampground offers a free shuttle to the Riviera casino, on the strip.  The free shuttle costs two dollars.  But, oh, it’s really free, because once you get to the Riviera, show them this stub and they’ll give you two dollars in nickels!  Great.  When I get home, I’ll put them in a sock and give them back to you, just to complete the circle.  And there’s a tip jar on the shuttle bus.  I was half tempted to just sit on the sidewalk with a jar that said “THANKS” on it, and watch the loot pour in.

I saw a place that was called STRIP LIQUOR, and I realized it was just a liquor store on the strip only after I mentally acknowledged that that was the finest cross-promotion I’d ever heard of.

And, that volcano.  Should you ever decide that you’ve more money than you need, and have chosen the Las Vegas area as the recepticle into which you wish to throw most of it, do stop at the Mirage to watch the volcano erupt.  I recommend doing the geeky tourist thing and getting a spot right up as close as you can, with a good view of the volcano and one of the side waterfalls.    From there, you can really feel the heat when that lagoon bursts into flame…

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