Day Two or Where The Fanny Packs Are:
I woke up early. Too early. Apparently McNuggets + McFlurry = processed food alarm clock. So I was awake and I figured I'd check out the Buffet, maybe go to the fitness center and start my day off right. A week ago I hurt my arm playing football and had opted out of doing any workouts resulting in me feeling sloppy and out of shape. That is until I stood in line for the buffet. I felt fine about myself after that. I saw fanny packs buried in folds of back fat and love handles.
Inside the World Buffet (They serve food from all across the globe!) the employee section is off to the right. Typical in hotels, keep the help out of site from the guests. This is where I sit since I am an entertainer. The lady at the comedy club gave me a little ID tag that says ENT #5. I have to show this to woman charging the entrance fee to all the guests. The food is…well the powdered eggs and French toast was pretty good and considering it was free I thought it tasted delicious. I didn't make any friends but I had a book to read and sat by myself sipping my coffee while trying to make sure my ID tag was in a visible place at all times in case the natives got restless. Everyone who works at this hotel looks like they've been living rough. I finished up and wandered back to my room. Here are five things I noticed:
- The Pool is still closed
- Asians travel in huge groups
- Even when you win at the Riviera, you're still a loser
- The night shift waitresses look like the older sisters of the day shift waitresses
- An empty glass has been sitting in the hallway between the door to my room and the door next to me. It's been there for over 24 hours. I'm wondering if it's a mafia signal of some kind hit.
Time to explore my surroundings and find out what people do during the day time in Las Vegas! I stepped out the front of the casino and had a choice to make; north or south. To the north I could see the mighty stratosphere rising high above the other buildings. I decided to head north. I was walking along the side walk. It's sort of hot. I can't imagine being here during the summer. In front of me is a short homeless man wrapped in a large camouflage jacket, wearing jeans with the ass torn off them. The jacket hung down so all you could see was back of his naked thighs which made it seem like he was wearing ass-less chaps. It was uncomfortable to watch. Unfortunately the sidewalk was narrow. Normally I could move past him with my longer stride but he had shifted into crack speed gear which allowed him to walk at the same speed I was walking and I couldn't make a move without it looking like I was trying to avoid waking behind a homeless crack addict in ass-less chaps. I saw my break. The Sahara Casino appeared to my right and I made a quick duck inside.
The Sahara is pretty nice. Obviously the theme is Middle Eastern but the inside looks the same as any other casino. The illusion really goes away quickly once you get inside these places. Inside there is still the din of winning slot machines, the people are still over weight and fanny packed and the staff all look like refugees dressed in clothes donated from the Rat Pack fifty years ago. Wandering the vast casino floor I spotted something funny. I saw several girls playing one slot machine over and over again. The slot machine was a "Sex in the City" slot machine. When you win or lose you got a recorded sound clip from one of the characters. Something about shoes or cosmos followed by a sassy sexual reference.
I left the Sahara and continued north on Las Vegas Blvd when I came across what clearly had to be the main attraction at the north end of Vegas:
WORLD'S LARGEST GIFT SHOP
That's a bold assertion to make without displaying any proof. How do I know this is the largest gift shop in the world? Where is the documentation? Are you listed by Guinness in of their books? I suspect a tourist scam. I've noticed everything in Las Vegas is "worlds largest" or "America's Best" or "Las Vegas' top rated comedy club"…I'm not bitter. My favorite part is the advertised "Live Cactus" on the sign! Unfortunately I could not find any living (or dead) cacti inside the store. I did however find a lot of other things you could waste their money on. Everything is Las Vegas themed from the famous sign to Elvis to wall after wall of hilarious naughty t-shirts! FBI: Female Body Inspector! I'm a Lesbian Trapped in a Man's Body! MR. Right…Mr. Right Now! I could go on but I might throw up. All were in the XL to XXXL range. Here are some other things I saw:
A collection of douche girl hats!
No cacti but LOADS of artifacts from ancient Egypt…or the Luxor Casino…not sure which.
I left the worlds largest gift shop empty handed except for a finger nail clipper. Just a regular $1.19 finger nail clipper. I needed one. I headed back towards my hotel. It was getting late in the afternoon, I was hot and sweaty from being pale and outside. I had had all I could handle of the north end of Las Vegas Boulevard. So far Las Vegas seemed to be filled with lame shops, awful casinos and terribly fat and boring people who don't find me all that funny. I walked back behind three young guys carrying tall plastic cups filled with a fruity alcoholic beverage. They were aggressively talking about having to take on the Stratosphere, sticking there hand up someone's ass followed by a round of fist bumping and the phrase "Let's do this". Don't know if these things are all connected but I do know it made me and the family with the three young children very uncomfortable.
I got back to my hotel, took a quick shower and got ready for the second night of shows. I wasn't looking forward to it really. I had already been told my set was "too dirty" and frankly if the crowds think I'm too dirty odds are they're not going to laugh at the stuff that isn't "dirty". So I drudged up to the club expecting to get an earful from the comedy expert lady who runs the show. But she wasn't there. A short haired older lady was running things and she looked like she could care less. I said hello and waited for the audience to arrive. The other two comics came in about five minutes before show time. The crowd was small for the first show, just like the other night. This might be a theme. So I went up, set went fine. Cut out the "dirty" stuff and tried to talk with the audience a little more, make some casino references.
The second show filled up nicely. About 150 people came out. And they were a pretty good audience. The shows ended smoothly. I decided I would head out and see what the night was like. This time I would go south!
As I stepped out into the night a girl and her mom waved at me and told me they thought I was the best comic of the night. That was very nice of them to say that. The girl said my vampire joke was her favorite. Mine too.
South is a walk. A long walk to get to anything that's worth getting to. But once you do, I discovered, a whole new Las Vegas opens up to you. As I marched down Las Vegas Boulevard the tall towers of the Wynn, the Palazzo, the Encore and the Venetian rise mightily above the strip. From the street they appear much closer than they actually are and it wasn't for another half mile did I finally come to the entrance of the Wynn. The inside of the Wynn looks as if a tan and red Fez cap threw up on itself and then exploded. I walked past the expensive shops selling designer jewelry and purses and wandered right out onto the casino floor…something was strange. The people…the people were smiling. The people were wearing clothes that fit. The people were young, successful. The people were good looking. Holy shit! Not a fanny pack in sight! It's as if the casino has some sort of standing rule against them. Oh my God I just saw a hot waitress! Her face is soft and full. It's not weighed down by make up and sadness. Her breasts! Oh her beautiful breasts seemed to be full light, happiness and expensive saline! Where as at the Riviera all the tits seemed filled with cigarette smoke and regret. At the Wynn the dealers are all wearing nice suits. Really, really nice suits with really nice ties. They look like a GQ ad for bankers. The bars were filled with happy people smoking nice cigars and sipping on expensive drinks. Everyone was smiling. Everyone had all their teeth. Except for one guy but no one was talking to him.
I headed back home to the north end. I felt depressed as I walked back leaving behind the Las Vegas I've always heard tell of. I past construction sites and open trenches along the darkened sidewalk. A scary man asked if I wanted to go to a strip club outside the saddest Denny's in the word. I walked past the entrance to the Riviera food court…a food court. The Wynn doesn't have a food court. They have fine dining. In the Wynn you take your winnings to the cashier. At my place it's called The Cage. At the Wynn people shouted with joy as they won at craps. At my hotel people only win at the Penny Town Slot Machine. I felt like an abused child who got to see what a happy family in a nice home is like for a few short hours and now must return to the trailer park with the alcoholic father and pain killer addicted mother that is the Riviera Hotel and Casino.