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Strange Sights in Las Vegas

A laughable look at unnerving sights in Sin City



 



If you read Elaine Warner’s “Viva Lesser-Known Vegas” last month, you got a lovely snapshot of the Las Vegas my parents must have seen every summer on their annual trek to Sin City.
 

In the same way Christian holidays conveniently line up with pagan feasts of old, my parents’ vacations always aligned with golf tournaments of some kind. Their trips to Vegas were no different: My dad would head out to an all-day golf event, while my mom would park herself at a slot machine and stay there for eight or nine hours, confirming our suspicion on day-long car rides that she had a steel bladder.

With the exception of a brief financial report on my mom’s success (or not) with the slots, my parents never offered ancillary details about their stays in circa 1980 Gomorrah, and we never asked.

Whatever those particulars were, they couldn’t hold an LED candle to the sites of Vegas 2016 – the ones Elaine judiciously omitted from her depiction of the more quaint side of town. If my parents went to Las Vegas today, I’d meet them on the gangway and push them back onto the plane for their own good.

I’ve been to Las Vegas several times, most recently a couple of weeks ago. It’s a great city for many things beyond gambling – shopping and dining, to name two – but for my favorite pastime, people watching, it really doesn’t get any better than Vegas. I used to think it takes a lot to shock me, but this city always proves me wrong.

Before my most recent trip, the last time I was in Las Vegas was less than three years ago. Like all visits before it, it came with a front row seat to the 24/7 spectacle moving down the strip: loud, screaming, barely legal kids who are too drunk to feel the pellet I’d like to shoot into their ass; girls of all sizes stuffed into Size 0 sausage-casings-for-dresses; bright-eyed, innocent toddlers in strollers at 2 a.m., pushed by parents who have no intention of letting Junior’s bedtime stand in the way of an all-nighter with the unwashed masses; the armies of waist-high Asian grandmothers who click-click-click stacks of nudie trading cards for passersby.

This trip, on the other hand, was more eye-opening (and eyeball-burning). People have apparently decided that wearing clothes is too much of a hassle. Nearly the entire strip was just that: naked people. For everyone else, it looked like the Ill-Fitting Apparel convention was in town. An alarming number of people must have been painting the shed in the backyard, moments before deciding, “I think I’ll go to Vegas right now. This is what I’m wearing.”

Passing by a tattoo and piercing studio, I decided I should re-pierce my ears, something I’d been putting off for years. Before Trixie could impale my lobes, she had to ask some preliminary qualifying questions:

•    Was I at least 18 years of age?
    (Is the Botox that convincing?)

•    Was I acting on my own free will?
    (It’s not an act.)

•    Was I drunk, high or pregnant?
    (Well, the night is young …)

Next, all I had to do was sign a waiver as an agreement that, in the event Trixie was drunk, high or pregnant and messed up my ears, I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape about it. As I scanned the form, I noticed the list of available services the studio offers its clientele and, while I’m no prude, I do think there are some things better left un-tatted and un-pierced.

Cirque de Soleil, whose artfully ethereal performances of suspended agility always make for an entertaining outing with the family, had blanketed city billboards to promote their new show with an ad featuring a threesome. “You see kids, when Mommy and Daddy – and the other Mommy – really love one another … ”

I think the “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas” campaign, besides being over-exposed and well beyond its sell-by date, represents the first point of departure from the sound judgment people leave behind with their Starbucks cups at the boarding gate.

Las Vegas Tourism and Visitors Bureau could nail it with an updated campaign slogan like “What Happens in Vegas Will Probably Require Stronger Antibiotics Than You Can Legally Obtain” or “Vegas: This Is What Happens When You Don’t Listen to Your Mother” or “Vegas: Bad Decisions Start Here” or “This may be Vegas, but you still need to put on a damn pair of Spanx® and learn the difference between a tunic and a dress.”

 

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

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Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
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This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
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Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
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A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
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Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
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Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
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Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
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Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
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Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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