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.