Last Vegas

No, the title of this blog is not a typo. The first time my wife and I went to Las Vegas is also probably the last time for visiting the Nevada tourist trap. I am so relieved that “what happens in Vegas…stays in Vegas” because I am extremely embarrassed at what transpired during our wedding anniversary getaway to Sin City. Boredom happened! I can’t remember if we spent two days there, or just one, but either way our trip lasted way too long. I suppose if money was no object we could’ve had a much better time, but I am always looking for a bargain, so I’m not that willing to shell out beau coup bucks on any show only to be entertained for an hour or two. Luckily, my wife and I are on the same page when it comes to being careful with our finances. I think by now you’ve got the point – We Are Cheap!

We aren’t much for gambling either, but we did allow ourselves $20 each to blow, or hopefully to win big with, but probably to blow. My wife and I played the nickel and quarter slots until all of her money was gone, and I decided to stop when I still had about seven dollars left because I was simply bored. The slot machines of today have buttons to push rather than handles to pull, which I think diminishes the fun of playing them, but I admit I do enjoy the sound of clanking coins. Neither of us tried our hand at any of the card games since we’re not too familiar with them, the house rules, or even the proper protocol. We also were afraid of possibly irritating the casino’s card dealer and the intense players gathered around the table. I had to wonder why we even came to Las Vegas in the first place. Maybe we could find some cheap entertainment outside of our hotel.

We were staying right on the Vegas Strip where we had heard most everything was suppose to be within walking distance of our hotel. As we ventured out, up one side of the street and down the other, we noticed several men lining the streets, who were all about twenty feet from one another, for as far as the eyes could see. They were handing out what appeared to be something the size of a trading card, and they were getting everyone’s attention by slapping them against the palms of their hands. They would then offer one to each passerby. All of the working men were similar in their looks and accents, and I’m sure Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio would have a field day if the Strip was within his jurisdiction. However, it is not “America’s Toughest Sheriff’s” territory, so I’ll never know if those men were legal immigrants or not.

I had already received a few of the gifts from the brown-skinned men before my brain could even register that they were photos of nearly naked women. Each card was advertising various strip clubs and escort services in the area. I wasn’t considering the offers placed before me although as a one time avid card collector I was intrigued at the thought of starting a new card collection. I had collected baseball, football, basketball, and even Elvis Presley and Kiss trading cards in the past, so I wondered why this would be any different. After one look from my wife – I stopped wondering! I dropped the unwanted gifts to the ground like many of the men walking up ahead of us had done. Because of the awkward situation, all of us men had been forced into, we all were now uncomfortably accompanying our female companions. The incessant slapping sound, heard throughout the duration of our visit, became a tremendous annoyance to me.

What isn’t annoying is the movie, Last Vegas, starring aging iconic actors Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, and Kevin Kline. The humorous film is a refreshing change from many of the comedies being shown in theaters today. The movie was not only entertaining, but it also did not have to resort to the all too common crude humor or continuous swearing to make it funny. The thing I really appreciate about rated PG-13 movies, like Last Vegas, is that the f-bomb is only allowed to be used once throughout the entire film, so if and when the word is said it usually brings with it some sort of added value to the script. I have heard there are well over 200 f-bombs in the R rated blockbuster, The Wolf of Wall Street , and I would think the audience would quickly become desensitized to the obscene word. I would walk out of the theater before I’d ever let that happen to me. I give Last Vegas an enthusiastic and well-deserved thumbs up, but as far as I’m concerned the boredom that “happens in Vegas”…can stay in Vegas!

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