Friday, June 27, 2008

It's 2:12 a.m.

And I should have a more exciting story to show for it than I do. But the fact that I can still type at this hour should tip you off to that. Ready? Here goes.

I awoke here:

And will go to bed here:

I'd prefer a happy medium. Or a cheerful clairvoyant. But only hookers of unknown disposition are available. We drove from the Grand Canyon back to Las Vegas today. The flight home departs from here tomorrow night. (Actually later tonight now) I wanted to stay on the strip if we could find a reasonably priced room, which we did at the Tropicana. We could wander around, take in another show, maybe even try blackjack.

I took a nap instead, sleeping through the chance to see Folies Bergere, another revue-style show playing here at the Tropicana. How old I am. When I worked as the sports anchor for the ABC affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky, I had to cover the University of Kentucky's appearance in the Music City Bowl in Nashville. We worked all day and played much of the night. I'd never been to Nashville and I didn't know if I'd ever get another chance. I'd sleep when I got home.

Now in Las Vegas, which I might also never see again, I simply don't have that kind of stamina any more. Or willpower.

I woke up at 11:30 p.m. and decided to at least take a look outside. I started down what I thought was the strip but was actually Tropicana Avenue heading away from the strip. It took me only three or four blocks to figure that out. Take two didn't last all that long. Too much light and noise. Funny that I rode through barren lands in Arizona and Utah hoping to see signs of familiar civilization and now I have more than I can process.

I mentioned the prostitutes. One reasonably attractive black girl gave me the come hither finger wag as she made a grinding dance move. The come-on came complete with a flickering tongue. It was supposed to be seductive. I wasn't supposed to laugh.

Another girl in high heels and a low top said "hi" in a way that made clear that the ensuing conversation was supposed to end in my hotel room. And I do mean "girl." This one's makeup tried to conceal adolescent acne. Maybe she was legal age. Maybe she looks too young because I'm too old.

I have to walk through the casino to get to my room. I'm sure that was a design accident. I found a blackjack table with an open chair but it looked like at least one of the other players knew what he was doing and didn't need some newbie screwing up his rhythm. At least that's my rationalization for remaining a Vegas gambling virgin. I will not play the slots. The people parked in front of those machines are as sad a sight as the girls selling themselves outside.

I should note that although the room has a TV, it gets only a handful of channels. No HBO; not even ESPN. There is also no Wi-Fi. The Tropicana doesn't want me to entertain myself in my room. Maybe they get a percentage from the hookers.


Gwen said...

Did you get one of the really classy rooms with mirrored ceilings?

John said...

They must save those for the high rollers. We did, however, get a room near the pool where the sound system played the same eight 1970s songs on a loop all night.