Calories and Craps: Vegas, Baby!
72 hours in Vegas is enough, more than enough, to understand everything that’s wrong in the world.
When the fattest people on the planet are not at Disneyland devouring turkey legs the size of an ostrich, they are in Vegas, waddling their way along the strip from one resort monstrosity to the next, bucket of margarita in hand, leaving one free to accept the flicked card of a hooker slipped into a greased palm by some random on a street corner. It can safely be assumed that Occupational Health guidelines would require all hookers to ride reverse cowgirl style while in flagrante delicto so as to avoid being crushed under the weight of their mega-clients.
But I digress…
There are no kids in Vegas – they’ve either all been swallowed whole by their obese parents, or locked into a kids’ club somewhere, parked in front of Playstation, where they will learn to be sedentary… and lazy… and get used to the blinking, flashing, beeping sounds of screens, that will later translate into gambling addictions. To go along with their food addiction. The one family I did see was propped up against the counter of a hamburger bar, oozing cheese down there chins and making regular trips back to the soda fountain to top up their Hoover Dam sized drinking vessels (which flashed, incidentally).
The mega high-roller gamblers that hit town in their corporate jets and Hummer limos are commonly referred to as ‘Whales’. The name would be a good one, if it weren’t for the fact that almost everyone in Vegas is the size of a whale. But these whales are whales because of the size of their wallets. Their ability to swallow big wins or losses, not just Big Macs. You don’t see them on the street, they are shuttled in via chopper to the roof tops of the faux castles/pyramids/skyscrapers that make up the hotels of this very, very strange town. Once inside, they either drop more money than your entire extended family will make in their lifetime, or rip the shirts off the backs of the casino mogels daring to take them on. Then they will eat and drink like the rest of the crowd. Only more. And in private. And at great expense.
The hotels themselves are almost as big as the people. Mine was a grotesque reproduction Italianate palazzo. It was claimed by some of the guest I spoke to, to be “even better than Italy”. Better in a worse kind of way, I would argue. But then this guy would know. I mean he had stayed at The Venetian on a previous visit – so he was full bottle on la dolce vita, Vegas style. Not that he’d been to Italy. The real Italy. Why bother? When Paris is just next door…
Well, mini Paris. To say that Vegas doesn’t do things by half is just plain wrong. The Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel, Las Vegas is only half the size of the real one. Impressive? In a Lego kind of way…. But don’t worry, they double the cheese to make up for it. And the queues around the corner of the all-you-can-stuff-in-your-gob buffet (hey, that’s French!) are only bested by those at queuing, soda and candy in hand, to pay a mint to see the lithe, athletic, sexy bodies in a Cirque du Soleil show… Oh, Cirque du Soleil. Don’t even start me on Cirque du Soleil. Fast food theatre.
I feel dirty now. I gotta go run.