Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
Comrade and I have known, almost since we first met, that we are going to get married. I think, at this point, both his parents and mine also know that we are certainly getting married eventually. And, since we somewhat quickly decided we were going to Vegas, neither set of parents stopped asking us all week if we were married yet.
We are not married yet, and have made it out of Vegas unmarried. That was never the plan. And this vacation was meticulously planned (aside from Thursday, but that entire day didn't exist, remember).
The problem with planning is that there are things you can never take into account (but, no, this post does not involve marriage of us or anyone else). For instance, we never got to see the fucken flamingos. Not a single pink feather showed itself despite Comrade dressing head to toe (and I mean Head To Toe ... he bought a flapping flamingo hat on our first night in town, and I designed him flamingo shoes before the pandemic started) in flamingo wear. We never got to see the flamingos. The only feathers were the razors in the horrid pillows that I will happily never sleep on again.
Our plan was to meet some poet friends on Thursday. Unfortunately, Thursday, remember, Never Existed. So we decided Monday would be a real day, and we'd shoot for that. In the untilwhile was The Weekend. (Also, The Weeknd, and Everybody's Working For The.) I know there were adventures. I was there. But what did we ---
I love pools (yea, yea, yea, hot tubs). Whenever I vacation, I go somewhere with a pool. Last October, the pool in the house we rented was Infested with colonies of ants on strike. They floated in massive islands of floating corpses. It was impossible to rid the pool of them. So we didn't swim as much as I'd hoped.
I'd wanted to swim at the Adults Only pool at our casino on Thursday. It's not an ADULTS pool. You have to wear a bathing suit. But no one under 21 is allowed. I'm not sure why. The pool is less than four feet deep, and filled mainly with White People drinking White Claw and bopping their heads to songs with lyrics they should never sing along to. I find a good rule of thumb to see if there is Institutional Racism afoot at your party is Are There More N Words In Your Music Than There Are People Of Color At Your Party? If the answer is yes, maybe your party is not very inclusive.
We'd spent a great deal of time in line for the pool behind a gay couple in love with Comrade's flamingo outfit (he did not wear the hat to the pool, but the shirt, the shorts, the socks, and the shoes were present), but were angry when they were told they could not bring their "expensive" new vape into the pool grounds.
We snuck past them while they griped, grabbed some towels, and found the only two empty chaise lounges in the whole pool area. Comrade did his crossword puzzle while I, UNHOLY GODFUCKERS, dipped into the pool.
Apparently, when you don't have children to pee in your pools, they are Very Cold.
I took Pool Duck out of my pocket, and attempted to take a picture of him but he does Not Float Well. He does squirt well, though, so when Comrade entered the SHITBALLS OF BEN & JERRY pool, I squirted him with Pool Duck, and swam away.
Because the scene was Not Ours, we did a minimal amount of dancing (To The Windows....To The Walls) in the pool, decided to stay there at least as long as we'd been in line to get in, and then grabbed our towels and headed back to our room.
Other things happened. I'm sure of it. We had pizza for dinner, and I spent the night writing.
On Monday, we got up Comrade Late, which is impressively afternoon. We were too late for Der Nasty Egg (aka EggSlut), so we ended up getting really mediocre sandwiches at a sandwich place which I won't name, since part of the problem is I ordered the sandwich a way they wouldn't normally have prepared it, so it's mediocrity was My Fault.
Then we grabbed a Lyft back downtown.
You've noticed a distinct lack of gambling. I don't do it. Comrade wanted to it once. Start with somewhere between $20 and $100 and stop at Zero or Millionnaire Status.
No slot machines, though. Poker or Blackjack. Something that requires work and skill. Instead, we played Vending Machine Slots, and we Won. For $5, I bought a random Sock Pack that turned out to be Flamingo Socks. So we Won At Gambling. I took some pictures of Jackpot Duck in an art garden, and then my poet friends showed up.
Dinner was a blast. Poets are Great Poets and Great People, still. Our service was, um, well, Comrade and I are cursed, remember. But we had a decent meal at the bar where the Great Poets met, and talked for a couple of hours. It was glorious. You really should have been there.
Then, the other gamble. As I've mentioned Several Times, I don't like burlesque, but acknowledge that much of that is I haven't been exposed (ha, ha) to professionals, but some experimental amateur stuff that varied from Probably Promising Somewhere Down The Line to Vision Is Overrated.
One of my friends, who serves as a sort of Las Vegas Entertainment Ambassador, as well as a few other friends, suggested that we see a show called Absinthe. I balked. We'd done a lot of touristy things and while the museums were fun, the shows we'd chosen weren't for us. Comrade continues to be amused by how much I fucken hated that Beatles Cirque Du Soleil show, even though the acrobatics were astounding. I just enjoy either a story or No Story and their idea of narrative storytelling was middle school pageant garbage. But with beautiful acrobatics.
Still, The Ambassador was adamant we'd like it, and arranged for us to get comp tickets. It was only a 90 minute show, and it was in a tent across the street from The Flamingo. I figured it couldn't be As Bad as The Beatles.
Thank you, Ambassador. Absinthe was, along with the Neon Museum Main Tour, and Omega Mart, one of the absolute highlights of the trip for me. For Comrade, it was tied for first with the random woman who put her hand in front of his face and yelled "FUCK OFF, SKANK!" because she was either on or off a necessary medication. I don't know why that brought him such pleasure.
I'm pretty sure the emcee for Absinthe was not the usual person. His was not the face on any of the press I saw, but Hell's Jello Salad he was amazing. He was dressed and talked like the carnival barker who used to co-own a comic book store I used to work at. Only instead of being exhaustin....actually, he was The Same Exhausting, but in the context of the show, it was great. His assistant, Wanda Wheels was like a filthy Psychic Tanya from the Amazing Johnathan show. They were perfect.
The acrobatics were really on par with Cirque Du Soleil, except they were 1-3 performers at a time, instead of a dizzying and unwatchable amount of people distracting you. The narrative was spare but perfect. Yea, there was burlesque dancing. There was a couple who performed amazing roller skate acrobatics, there were three jugglers who were better than most juggling acts I've seen, there was a perfect pole dance artist who didn't even bother to set up a character because she had such presence that she didn't need to speak or have a complicated intro, she just dazzled, there was a chair stunt at the beginning of the show, and a fair amount of people contorting themselves while hanging in the air. The highlights for me were the German hula hoop guy who had no lines but exuded joy and hulaed the hell out of dozens of hoops, the Polish balancing act who morphed from a very different role to a homoerotic contortionist pair where the focus was contortion not humor. I also enjoyed the host and Wanda's banter. In particular, Wanda went on a long rant about the filthy things she was going to do the mother of someone in the audience, only to be interrupted by the host who asked the audience member about his mother who, of course, was dead. "It was sweet to think of her, though." Wanda deapanned. "Happy Mother's Day."
There were also many audience interaction bits that bordered on or widely stepped over Offensiveness. Some things I would have crafted differently, but it mostly punched up, and the character being misogynist and homophobic at points fit with the rest of his personality. And most of it made me laugh, as it was intended. So it was easily the best Show we saw. We got back to our room, talked about it for a bit, and then packed for our Tuesday night flight.
We got up Tuesday earlyish, stored our luggage for the day, and wandered back to Der Nasty E...EggSlut. Still as good the second time. We caught some Pokemon. Then we hit The Saddest Capitalist Portion Of The Trip. The M&M Store, where you can spend too much money making your own assortment of mediocre chocolate that all tastes the same no matter what color it is, anyway. We didn't buy anything.
Then, the Coca Cola store.
Long time readers might remember that Twice, I've gone to the Coca Cola in Disney Springs. Once downed the alcoholic flight of Coke drinks, and once downed the non-alcoholic. I ordered the non-alcoholic one (I'm not sure they sell the alcoholic one in Vegas) to split with Comrade, and we sat by the window and did Everything Wrong.
A Coca Cola Flight is two trays, each containing twelve quadruple shots of various International Coca Cola flavors. If you do it (don't do it), start with Tray #2, which is mostly terrible, and end on Tray #1, which is at worst bland, but often good.
Tray 1 starts with I Don't Remember, and winds its way to That Was Pretty Good. Tray 2 starts with Beverly (actually, its name) which tastes like someone juiced a Christmas Tree Air Freshener, stopping occasionally to spit in it. It's followed by something that tastes like cherry mouthwash, which is actually a Welcome Change despite it being otherwise awful. The third drink is a cucumber soda that really does wash away the terrible taste of the first two. It's not good, it's just cleansing. Then there are various okay to mediocre flavors until you hit the end.
Sour Plum Cola tastes like someone is peeing barbecue sauce into your mouth. I can not, for the life of me, understand why they'd inflict this on people who Gave Them Money To Enjoy Themselves. If you have to drink it because you're at gunpoint or you need to atone for accidentally tossing someone's grandmother into an angry nest of Murder Hornets , do it all in one gulp. DO NOT SIP SOUR PLUM COLA, you will vomit.
We stumbled our way to The Venetian, which we'd been meaning to get to. Along the way, people tried to sell us their CDs (who stil has a CD player in 2022?), complimented our shirts, and that one aforementioned woman called Comrade a skank for some reason.
Our plan had been to do the gondolas. I expected it to be Disney ride cheesy, but it actually just looked sad. Want to ride a gondola down a fake canal in the middle of a strip mall designed to look like a generic town in Europe (seriously, if you can tell the difference between Las Vegas's Venice, and their Paris you deserve some sort of degree). We decided to just go to a food court, put something in our bodies that wasn't carbonated garbage water, and then go back to the Flamingo and charge our phones.
Instead, we headed to the airport early, charged our phones there. And then grabbed something to eat. We went to a nothing bar place with eight food items, somewhat akin to the terrible place in JFK. But they had lobster bisque on the menu. I'm a sucker for it. Most place serve you a cream and sherry concoction, whisper the word "lobster" over the top, and send it out of the kitchen. There were Huge Chunks of lobster in my bisque. I was shocked. My salad was just a salad, and Comrade's pizza was just a pizza, but that bisque, while not some five star dazzling bowl was the second biggest positive surprise of the trip, after Absinthe.
We paid our check just in time to board our flight, and y'all there was no third person in our row. We put Comrade's bag on the empty seat, and my bag under the empty seat, and we both have legroom, and neck pillows (seriously, these stupid neck pillows are more comfortable than seagull feather pillows at The Flamingo), and the wifi is free, which is why I prefer JetBlue to American, whom we had to fly on the way to Vegas for some reason.
All in all this was a fun vacation, and the first one I've taken without poet friends in this millenium. While I would have enjoyed their company, and I still believe that renting a house is cheaper and more fun than staying at a hotel or casino, I'm glad we did this. And that we Did Not get married while we were there.
You know how much I hate cliches.
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