An Innocent Goes To Las Vegas

by Trish Saikia

 

Several years ago I took my first of many business trips to Las Vegas. I was still young in my career, learning the ropes of traveling alone, and excited to see Sin City. I walked up and down the Strip, took the monorail from resort to resort, and meandered through several casino floors too scared and naive to have a clue about how to gamble.

I had heard about the bright lights and amazing shows, but didn’t have much money to buy a ticket to a fancy headliner show. So I went to the hotel (a hotel I won’t name since it has since been razed and replaced) concierge and asked for help. She mentioned a few shows to me, asking what my “level of taste” was. Not understanding what that meant, I told her I wanted “lots of glitter, glam, and showgirls.” BIG mistake. At first she showed me a completely topless revue. Who offers a young single woman tickets to a topless revue?? I said no. Next she showed me a too-family-friendly show. I said no, I wanted something less tame than that. She showed me a show featuring ice skaters, a singer, a motorcycle that would do flips, and said it had “lots of glitter, glam, and showgirls.” She assured me it was within walking distance from my hotel. She also added, “this one is very tastefully done.” I bought a ticket and couldn’t wait to go.

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Moving Back to the Old Home Town

by Jim Terr 

I had lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 23 years before it occurred to me to offer to move back to Las Vegas, New Mexico (the “original” Las Vegas!), 65 miles east, where I was raised, to help care for my mom, aged 92 at the time.

photo by jonnyphoto via flickr.comMy brother had been doing the honors (living with her, in her beautiful red-brick Victorian we were raised in) for a year, and I thought I’d offer to relieve him. My mom couldn’t believe my offer, recalling that a year earlier, when she had asked me if I’d like to move over there, I had responded “I’d rather slit my wrists.” 

My suicidal reluctance had been due to my attitude that Santa Fe was fascinating, culturally alive, hip, filled with beautiful, interesting people and romantic prospects, whereas Las Vegas (population 15,000) was insular, uninteresting, provincial, stagnant. 

As I was cleaning up to move out of the place I was living in, my ever-active songwriting mind was generating a beautiful tribute song about Las Vegas, my home town, perhaps as a coping mechanism, a reflection of my deeper excitement about moving back there despite my well-developed bad attitudes about the place.  

Now, a little over six months since moving back to Las Vegas, I am able to see more clearly what a tremendous transition was involved in moving back – and in gradually overcoming the horrible attitudes I had developed about my dear little old home town.

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Vegas Soul

by Jules Older

 

People seem to think that Las Vegas has no soul. There are soulless towns, but Vegas isn't one of them.

For most, the soul of Vegas is probably the Strip, that ever-lengthening line-up of grand hotels, most of them heavily themed. From a Magic Kingdom look-alike to Manhattan Island to gay Paree, to an Arabian bazaar… by the time you finish reading this, there will be at least two more gone and three more — bigger and more sumptuous — replacing them.

photo by contrasto_gp via flickr common license

I love the Strip. It’s pure fantasy, a welcome break from reality. Whether it’s in a page-turning novel, a spine-tingling film or a concrete and fiberglass mirage in the desert, fantasy is something I cherish. 

What's more, the Strip is a great reality learning-tool. That’s right —reality. Fantasy can reveal a lot about reality.

For starters, no matter where you place yourself on the political/social spectrum, in Las Vegas you can't ignore the fact that sin sells. And, nearly as important, that sin supports art. That’s right — art.

Just look at the musical water display in front of the Bellagio. It may not hang in Louvre, but that, my friend, is art. And what supports this jinormous, artistic, brilliant, extravagant music-and-water show in the middle of the desert? Sin. Gambling. Nearly nekkid ladies. Flowing alcohol. The ready availability of just about anything you want that you wouldn't dare ask for back home.

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Another Old Codger in Vegas the Envy of All

by Jules Older

 

Welcome to Las Vegas! Have a great time… and while you're here, we hope you'll take advantage of the unique services offered by AAES of Las Vegas.

As you stroll along the Strip or even through the casino of your Las Vegas hotel, you are sure to see one sight again and again and again. What is it? It’s the sight of a young — perhaps very young — lady on the arm of a gentleman of a certain age — perhaps your age.

When you see them, what do you think? Be honest, now. Do you think…

  • “Oh, that must be a cool fellow to be out with such a youthful and attractive girl!”
  • “Isn't it nice that a young, slim Asian girl and a portly, balding white gentleman have found each other!”

Or, do you think, “There's another old codger making a fool of himself in Las Vegas!!!”

At AAES of Las Vegas, we are committed to ensure that YOU WILL NEVER BE THAT GUY!

That’s why we started the Age-Appropriate Escort Service of Las Vegas (AAES of Las Vegas).

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Vegas On The Cheap

by Jules Older

With the possible exception of myself, I don’t know a cheaper sonofagun than Charlie Leocha. It’s no coincidence that we’re both writers — a notoriously underpaid gang of rogues who survive on free lunches. Wanna meet a writer? Wait by the food table at any press conference. The first ones there – plates in hand, pockets bulging — that’s us.

Charlie lives in East Boston — East Boston because it’s about a tenth the price of Boston, itself. Until I moved to San Francisco (that’s another story), I lived in the smallest, poorest, snowiest village in Vermont, about half an hour and half a million bucks north of the resort town of Stowe. Charlie and I meet when we travel — almost always, free travel — and this time we find ourselves meeting at what’s probably the most expensive city in the USofA.

OK, writer-cheapskates — welcome to Las Vegas! Let’s see you cheap-out here!

Hey. We’re writers. We can, to adapt the New Hampshire license plate to the writer’s creed, Live Cheap or Die anywhere. Even Vegas. Bring it on!

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Apologize to Vegas? Never'

by Eric Lucas

Pigs thrive on slops. No need to apologize for saying so.

Still, Las Vegas would like President Obama to back down on his recent remark disparaging millionaire bankers and such who party in Vegas using taxpayer money. This should stop, said Obama.

Vegas squealed like, well, a stuck pig.

“I expect him to address it and to correct it,” growled Sin City mayor Oscar Goodman. (‘Good-man’? It’s a joke, right?)

“Mr. President, we need your support more than ever,” whined Vegas Congresswoman Shelley Berkley. “Tourism means jobs.”

My wife and I met the owners of some of those jobs on our first-ever trip to Vegas last fall. They were lined up on the sidewalks in phalanxes, thrusting into the hands of passersby small call cards for escorts who can be in your room in 20 minutes. Beer-bellied trucker-dudes, polyester-clad turistas from Kansas, camera-toting Japanese visitors, Euro-trash scenesters blinking in the daylight, 10-year-old Susies toting stuffed bunnies, and, yes, Wall Street bankers with convention ID tags--all got handfuls of these cards.

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