I’ve been searching long and hard for three full minutes trying to figure out how I can sum up a city like Las Vegas. It is, after all, quite an interesting town. On the one hand, it has all the glitz and glamour of frosted sin; on the other hand, it is a pit of gambling despair, second-hand smoke, and three dollar grease-meals. So I guess I’m required to write in the old pro and con format, except I’m gonna do it a lil’ differently. There are pros to Vegas, cons to Vegas, and then there’s just certain stuff that is out and out Vegas style (neither good nor bad, just unique to the town). I’ll try my best to get all these little nuances into one piece, but I must admit that I’m suffering from a three day hangover and may not have all my wits about me. If I forget something, well, that’s nothing new.

Pros

Vegas never closes. This is a necessity for any vacation town. There is nothing worse than wanting something to eat or drink while on vacation and being unable to get it because some chump had the audacity to actually close his business. Mad bonus points for Vegas, which features many restaurants, bars, and strip clubs open 24 hours a day. At one point in my vacation, I woke up around four in the morning and staggered downstairs to the casino where I purchased a steak dinner, a beer and fireworks (don’t ask).

The food is cheap. This is the part I didn’t quite get. Vegas has miles of buffets and cheap restaurants where you can get five dollar steak dinners and one dollar half-pound burgers, yet the drinks cost seven bucks a piece if you’re not gambling. In Vegas, apparently, food induces gambling more than alcohol.

Cons


I’ll put a sparkle in her eye, alright.

Vegas is crowded with idiots from all over the world. European tourists, people from small town America, and morons galore all flock to Vegas so they can walk too slowly, get in my way, cause gawker blocks at every third homeless person, and just generally put food in the mouths of criminals. These people seem to think that this town was designed specifically for them. I spent two nights actually trying to piss off Europeans—not too difficult, and yet I put all of my effort into it because that’s the kind of swell, red-blooded American I am. (Side note: Ben, who I vacationed with, told me that there’s a difference between a tourist and a guy from out of town. We were guys from out of town, not tourists. He said that this difference is based solely on how fast you walk and if you point at buildings or not. So, there’s a new theory for my repertoire. Bonus points for Ben.)

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Vegas is dirty. Underneath all that glitter is a town with the stunted culture of a Bazooka Joe comic strip. There are prostitutes, used syringes, and paper trash everywhere you go and if you don’t constantly keep your eyes on the ground, you will step in puke.

Uniquely Vegas

Smoke. You can smoke everywhere in Vegas. Ben smoked in elevators, casinos, Burger Kings, concert halls, and meetings for the American Cancer Association. This is great because I’ve always believed we should have the freedom to smoke wherever we want, but it is also not great because the town reeks like an ashtray. At one point, I took up cigar smoking just so I could smell something other than cigarette smoke. Because of this, I was actually excused from a blackjack table for hocking up a piece of lung on the Asian dealer.

Asians. They are everywhere in Vegas. I believe this happens because of a shortage in service labor followed by a mafia-sponsored illegal-immigrant wave. Not bad. Not good. Just Asians, everywhere.

Washed up Celebrities. “I saw these words on a sign outside of my hotel: Eat Brunch with Magnum PI’s Rick and a mystery guest.” It took four phone calls by Ben and a deep mental search before we remembered who Rick was from Magnum PI. Could you imagine who the mystery guest was? I mean, who’s less of a star than Magnum PI’s Rick? Ben and I thought and thought about this, but every celebrity we came up with was more famous than Rick. Hell, I think I’m more famous than Rick. Anyway, that’s Vegas. For $9.99 you get a brunch and you get to meet Magnum PI’s Rick.

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Random Stuff Worth Mentioning

Ben and I were in an elevator when a guy came in and yelled, “I just won $1500 playing roulette.” Ben responded to this statement with the question, “Is it on you?” The guy immediately pushed the button for the next floor and quickly exited. We laughed for hours.

Magnum PI’s Rick came over to our table and Ben told him that he was a sack of dog crap for performing an act without TC. “You guys were like brothers!” he yelled. A little later, we were kicked out for lighting fireworks (I told you not to ask). Incidentally, we were too late for the mystery guest, but the lady at the table next to us said it didn’t matter because, “No one had any clue who he was.” So that’s nice.

Ben and I were walking by a gas station with our open containers (you gotta love a town with no law against open alcoholic beverages), when a bum asked us for the rest of our beers. We gave him our almost-empty beverages, went into the station, and purchased more beers. When we walked out, he asked us for cigarettes and we declined. He called us cracker bitches so Ben responded with, “Now, you’re REALLY not getting a cigarette, Mr. Negative Nelly.” We laughed for five minutes.

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