Blame it on the Time Zone

By John Gilstrap
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I’m posting late today.  I write this from the departure lounge of McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, having just finished a grueling week of meetings in service to my Big Boy job.  Parroting the words I spoke so often in my college days, I’m sorry, but I’m unprepared for the assignment.  Sir.  Or ma’am.

If it makes anyone feel better, it’s really friggin’ early here, on the end of a not-very-early night.  If that sounds like an excuse, it is; and it gives me the right to disavow any stupidity contained in this post.  (That semicolon was for you, Joe.)

Within the range of my casual gaze, I see two people reading newspapers, six or seven people thoroughly absorbed in their PDA devices, and one person with an eReader.  I can’t tell the Nook from the Kindle at a distance, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of those.  Of the two people who are reading pBooks, both are reading stories by Stieg Larson.  (They actually have Stieg books open on their laps as they watch the crowd milling around them.  I see that happen a lot with Stieg books.)

I spent the week in the new Aria Hotel on the Vegas strip.  It’s up there on the opulence meter, and it’s enormous.  Unfortunately, according to the Wall Street Journal, it’s losing $126 million this year.  I’m no economist, but I’m guessing losses like that can’t be sustained for very long.  If you want to stay there, perhaps you should plan to travel soon.

I’ve been to Vegas many times over the years, and I still can’t decide whether I like the place or hate it.  There’s a grandness to it that is sort of mesmerizing, but after a few days, the audible and visual noise begins to make me feel kind of twitchy.  Where else, though, can you find PornCon–the convention that represents the puplishers and purveyors of pornography.  (PornCon might not be the actual name, but it’s close.)  According to the ads, for $50, anyone over 21 can spend the entire day touring the aisles, perusing the publications and meeting their favorite stars.  Proctor and Gamble doesn’t make enough anti-bacterial soap to get me to go there, but I bet the security tapes are a little slice of porn unto themselves.

As I wrote that last paragraph, a lady sat across from me carrying a bag marked, “Lube Gard/World’s Finest Lubricants.”  Hey, I’m just reporting what I see.

The Stieg books are both closed, and their owners are both trying to doze. 

Here’s hoping that the movie on the plane doesn’t suck.


7 thoughts on “Blame it on the Time Zone

  1. LOL, John. I once did some Vegas research for a book, and went with a friend who needed to do some biz there. We got this huge room in one of the big hotels. So I wander down with my notebook to get the casino vibe. Then I start down to the ballroom level. I start seeing all these women almost wearing skimpy clothes and wonder if a hooker bullpen is located somewhere nearby…but then I find myself on the outskirts of the annual porn movie industry convention.

    The mascots were nothing like you see at Disneyland.

  2. “(They actually have Stieg books open on their laps as they watch the crowd milling around them. I see that happen a lot with Stieg books.)”

    I find that statement very, very amusing for many, many reasons.

  3. I have never liked Las Vegas–even the “opulent” hotels are tacky, and everything smells from people smoking; I don’t even like walking through the casinos due to the noise and lights that give me a headache. I’m just darned crabby whenever someone drags me there to have “fun.”

  4. I went to a strip club once as a young pre-married man. Quite literally “once”. It was one of those places where the girl wiggles a bit in front of your table and then lets you put cash into her uncomfortably tiny underoos. They were so tiny I couldn’t even see the Wonder-Woman logo. And believe me I looked for it.
    Were it not for the fact that I was pressured by my room mates, and full of several pints of Guinness, I would never have set foot in that place. After a lap dance one particularly shapely girl joined me for a drink and a surprisingly good conversation on politics and stuff. While the girl was very attractive, physically and mentally alike, I kept getting images in my mind of her being a flesh eating Hydra like creature disquised as a human that would devour me if we got out of sight from the other bar patrons. A verse from the Biblical book of Proverbs chapter 7:21-27 kept rolling through my head.
    With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.
    Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.

    Yeah…the whole thing kept coming back to me. That was the one and only time I went to one of those places. Luckily I met my wife a few weeks later so could easily give my room mates an excuse to not join them.

    To me, Vegas conjures images of that night. Therefore I have no desire to go there. I get itchy in embarassing places and have an uncontrollable urge to take multiple showers and scrub myself with Lysol disinfectant just from thinking about it.

    she says “…I looked for you and have found you! I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love!”
    …But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead. (Proverbs 7:15-20 & 9:18)

  5. Not a big fan of Vegas. As a young guy prior to my first and only voluntary visit had images of the casinos of Monaco and the James Bond flicks…classy and wickedly sophisticated. Vegas is decidedly not that!

    Not sure i am fully understanding the Stieg book comments. I interpreted as negative. Is that your impression?
    Will admit freely i found the characters and story(ies) engaging and enjoyable. Recognize lots of variances of ‘craft’ but great characters and a good tale cover a lot for me.
    To me the cosmic knee to the groin was that this guy hits a writing home run and promptly dies…just not right.
    Hope you get a chance for some rest and Vegas recovery time before on the go.

  6. The only airport where you can play the slots at the gates and also has no wall clocks. I was going to the first Thrillerfest, missed my plane, and had to take a flight to Vegas and on to Phoenix. I thought the airport was tacky, and the closest I ever got to the strip was looking out the window beyond the runway.

    PornCon. I like the sound of it.

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