Random Thoughts “Inspired” by a trip to Las Vegas

Las
Vegas Trip

February2004

One reason I don’t gamble is that I’m afraid to embarrass myself sitting at a machine
trying to figure it out.

The lady at her table in the buffet room at Sunset Station has a Keno easel, meaning, I guess, that she is playing Keno through a “runner” while she stokes up
on biscuits and gravy. How did she learn about that? Did she feel
silly asking for help her first time? Doesn’t she have to see the
facial features of her opponents to win? Or, is that only in the
movie The Entertainer? She munches so serenely, looking into the
distance. She must be a seasoned gambler to maintain such composure
in the middle of a Keno struggle! I envy her stoicism.

I can tell I am in the heart of this casino’s demographic slice. Paul Simon’s “Slip
Slidin’ Away”, and Little River Band’s “You’re Still the One” are the background music.

This buffet prides itself on having every possible breakfast food. Not so. At home we have exotic amaranth seasoned with Brasilian Stevia, an herbal sweetener.
They do have grits. I try some.

The pleasures of Las Vegas, like those of skiing are for soloists. People range from
machine to buffet to machine to buffet, frequently alone, unconnected. Skiers are lone actors, too. Their selection of runs is highly individualistic. Brotherhood is fleeting, easily shucked when a buddy needs to eat or chooses another run. It is hedonism with occasional hollered greetings at passing acquaintances. Little
self-sacrifice is called for on a ski hill.

Style is uncomfortable. Girls must show their extra 10 pounds between pant and shirt, the place where accretion is most likely to begin. What a shame, you have
to show your first ten excess pounds. That’s also the last ten
pounds to go, when losing weight. The designers zeroed in on the most
troublesome region for a girl. How thoughtless. Boys must wear
stocking caps even at 72 degrees. Maybe that’s why head shaving is also cool.

In a buffet it is hard to abide Thoreau’s advice to “eat to live, not live to eat.”

Kids are rare around here.

I could tell I was being led to the SHOT Show, (the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show), when, ahead of me in traffic was a dually Dodge with Texas plates.
One occupant wore a cowboy hat, another a camo cap. “This is my group”, I thought.

The food at
the Aladdin Buffet:
Lamb, stuffed pork,
(that’s the dish, not me and all the other patrons), primavera,
sauteed vegetables, prime fresh pineapple, strawberries in
vinagarette, shrimp with red sauce, crab legs, crème puffs,
tort, Asian chicken stir fry, Viet noodles and tofu, red potato,
pecan pie, apple crisp, fish wrapping a crab stuffing. Wow!

I saw a man at the gas station wearing red and white patent leather wingtips. Anyone wearing those should not have to subject himself to the ignominy of gassing
up a car.

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One Response

  1. Tom –

    Last time the Mrs. and I overnighted at the Mandalay Bay, we spent an embarrassed 20 minutes in one of their visually-orgasmic “gaming” parlors. We spotted an enticing sports car rotating above a circular array of machines, with its promise to a lucky winner. We beelined to the nearest console, with dreams of driving it home. We discovered to our dismay that after 10 minutes of studious watching, we had absolutely NO IDEA of how the machine worked or what was required of us in order to “game”. I had to wonder if the other “gamers” were equally ignorant, just more technologically adept. Our $20 roll of quarters was safe at last, albeit with slight wrinkles and perspiration stains on the wrapper.

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