Day 3 Saint Patrick's Day:
This morning I woke late. Like around eleven. I crawled out of bed and performed a sad hotel room work out I learned from a commercial starring Michael Strahan. After which I hopped over to the Buffet for another round of free food. The lunch was okay. A big part of it was corned beef and spinach in honor of Saint Patrick. So there I was, wearing green, eating corned beef and spinach while reading a book about the Irish Mob. Not a bad way to start the day.
I left the Buffet and headed back to my room to work on my taxes. There is no free internet at the Riviera. You have to pay for it. In your room its $9.99 per day. It's pretty shitty when a resort hotel can't supply the basic amenities of an Embassy Suites. With a hot tip from the girl friend, I learned that there was a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf located in the Palazzo. In most Coffee Beans they supply free internet. I decided to check it out. Backpack loaded with my computer and chords I set out to the sunny side of Las Vegas Boulevard, the south end where hope and free internet exist. I got confused with the height of the Palazzo and the entrance to the Wynn. I wandered for an hour before I realized I was in the wrong place. The layout is genius as it always guides you back to the casino floor. Eventually, if you're drunk enough, you'll just give up and surrender yourself to a table to lose your money. You can walk for hours and never really find the exit. That's what I did. I was in the wrong place but was so turned around I couldn't figure out where I had come in from. Genetic male pride refused to ask directions and eventually, trusting the masculine compass in my nose, I wondered out by the Valet. I crept down the driveway to find that I was facing a whole new street I had never heard of. Ah, but in front of me, rising majestically above the street, the imported palm trees and the flashy cars were the Palazzo'stan towers. I had found it! I made my way across the street via the pedestrian bridges that connect the nicer hotels and resorts. At this end ofLas Vegas the delicate feet of rich folk cannot abide crossing the street like the common peasants to the north. They walk above the street, like the gentle angels that they are. I entered the Palazzo.
It's beauty is breathtaking. At least for someone who is used to riding in black marble elevators lined with brass and smeared with some kind of grease streak. The casino floor is wide and far with high ceilings. It is connected to the Venetian Resort by the Grand Canal, a stretch of man made river filled with boat rides, singers and shops. I wandered in wonder as happy people shopped for expensive things. It was here that I noticed my phone stopped working. The screen went blank. It shown bright white but nothing could be seen on it. It was as if the glory of this place could not bear to have me take pictures of it. I found the Coffee Bean but it was only a stand instead of acafé. A panic took me. I wanted to write a new blog and work on a few things but now my phone had stopped working and I needed to plug it in and see if I could locate a sprint store. I had just gotten this new phone, a Black Berry, and it was already broken! I must find a place. Any place. Like a Starbucks maybe? I have an app on my phone that tells me where all the Starbucks are in my surrounding area…but my phone isn't working! Damn my dependency on technology! What did they do before the micro chip?! Probably just asked someone...that's not an option. Maybe if I just go outside and look around…STARBUCKS!
Across the street at the Fashion Show Mall was a Starbucks Café. I crossed the bridge, like a rich person, and made my way to le café. Plugged my computer in, paid the $3.99 for internet service and checked my phone. Nothing. Damn thing was still busted. I emailed my manager to say I was out of commission except by email for now. Turns out he had been trying to call me. It turns out some producers at the Spike network wanted to see me the next day in LA for a showcase. Of course they did. During this wonderful week is when they want to see me. There is no way I can go to LA for that time and then get back to Las Vegas for the show that I'm contracted to do. Not to mention I'm completely out of touch since my brand new phone decided that once it saw the splendor of the Venetian life at the Riviera was not worth living and committed suicide! But on the way out, as I shut down my computer and finished my Venti Mocha Frappachino (Shut up. It's hot out and that is a very refreshing drink), I accidently unclipped the back panel to the phone and the battery popped out. I put it back in. BAM! A Las Vegas miracle. My phone came back to life! And I shall nameth him Lazarus! And he shall beith my phoneth forever and ever, amen!
I got back to my hotel. My manager called me to tell me not to worry about the showcase. The Spike people wanted to see me another day. I didn't need to buy an emergency round trip flight out of Vegas. I could finish my week in peace and get back to business when I got home in LA on Monday. Things were looking up.
I hadn't talked much about Saint Patrick's day. A year ago I was in Los Angeles at a fantastic Irish bar in Culver City called Irish Times. They had a great band playing Irish music and in the middle of the show a local bag piper came in and jammed with the band. The beer was good and the company better. Las Vegas is different. Here are five things I noticed:
- Some people wore so much green it was offensive
- I don't know what St. Paddy's day beads are for? Is St. Patrick also the patron saint of girls who flash their boobs?
- The beer at the Riviera is green but not because its St. Patrick's Day
- I saw a fat lady riding in a green rascal.
- One girl was wearing so much "Irish" green and shamrocks it looked like she had been gang raped by leprechauns.
Everyone was celebrating. But of course it was a subdued celebration as nothing could beat back the hopeless pallor of the Riviera. I went up to do my show.
I decided, since I was hosting and my set doesn't really matter all that much, I would tell my jokes with an Irish accent in celebration of Saint Patrick's day. Boy was that a mistake. First off there were maybe twenty people there. Mostly elderly, a few middle aged with families. The lady who runs the place was there this time. She sort of said hello to me but not really. A friend of hers had dropped in to do a guest set. Ken Rogerson, a Boston comic, was nice and a fun guy to talk with. He was really buddy buddy with the lady. Combined with the small conservative crowd everything about this night said anything risky would be a mistake. But I thought, fuck it. Don't bail. Take a risk, see what happens. Well what happened was no one laughed. I stuck it out, doing the accent with full commitment and never letting up. The crowd found nothing about it funny. Nothing other than the fact that I kept doing it which amounted to three laughs and seven awkward coughs. As I walked off stage the Lady told me I need to nod when they give me the light to let them know I saw it.
"At :38 you have two minutes. We had to flash the light you to get you off." She said.
"Well, I didn't see the light. Not until you flashed it. That's why I didn't nod." I explained.
"At :38 you have until :40 to get off." She repeated.
"Yeah, I get that part. But I don't have a watch up there. And if I don't see the light, you know, if I don't nod at you saying 'I see the light', then you need to flash it until it gets my attention."
"Well, you need to acknowledge it."
And in my head I shouted, "Yeah, I know how this works Lady. I do this for a living. You know what a living is, right? That's that thing you scrape out night after night dressed in your fake tuxedo watching shit comedy in a shit club in a shit casino. Stop bragging about the one time this club was cool in '95. Also your fat and your life makes me happy I'm not you." *
I didn't say that. Instead I internalized it deep down so someday this despair will come out in spurts of rage at my future son when he disappoints me by losing the big game in high school. The next awesome thing I did was screw up the new comics name. He was fine with it but the Lady was not. I got up there (accent dropped) and got all his credits right (Rescue Me, over seas entertaining the troops) and then I said Ken Richardson…didn't know it until I got off the stage and the Lady laughed at me.
"Richardson. His name is Rogerson! Who the hell is Richardson?!"
I don't know. Probably just a mistake I made and not a real person. The second show was better. Way bigger crowd, loose and ready to laugh.
WHAT I FIND ODD ABOUT VEGAS: A new segment by Dave Hanson
What I find odd about Las Vegas is the amount of conservatives. If you're an up tight conservative why would you come to Las Vegas? The whole city is vice and tits. Even at the dump I'm performing at its all about gambling and looking at boobs. The comedy club is next to a topless review. All the waitresses wear uniforms to show off their aged cleavage. Outside it's all advertising for hookers and strip clubs. What about this place makes you think it's for you, uptight conservative?
The sales man says, "Are you an uptight conservative who denies finding anything funny or amusing about sex, homosexuals, girl on girl action and habitual drug abuse? Well, come on down to Las Vegas and pay top dollar getting upset and offended at everything you see! Let hypocrisy wash right over you as you shell out dollar after retirement fund dollar to pay for shows, performances and dances you publicly denounce but secretly want to enjoy. And as an excuse so you don't have to face the dilemma of possibly coming to terms with your personal demons and desires, we'll offer the excuse of family clean shows celebrating a by gone era in which the stars of those days spent their free time sleeping with women and doing drugs."
During the 2008 campaign a major criticism of liberals and Barack Obama was the accusation that they were elitists, intellectual liberal snobs…as if that was a bad thing. Yeah, you know what, Hayseed? I'll take it. I'm okay with that description. I would rather be an arrogant liberal idealist than a person who prefers a fanny pack and can't laugh at the reality that strippers are sad.
I didn't go out again. Walking up to the happy end of Las Vegas seemed self abusive as I would just have walk back to the reality existence later anyway. I opted for my room and TV.
*The Lady at the club is actually very nice. We just had a disagreement right after I bombed on stage. What can I say, I'm a comic.