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April 23, 2008

Days in The Desert

Tom McLaughlin

"Good luck to you" is the farewell greeting stated to people when used instead of "bye" or "have a nice day" here at Sam’s Town Casino and R.V. Park.


It is located six miles from the strip and is considered to be a "locals" place with a huge bowling alley, and movie theater; and the slots are rumored to be programmed more in favor of the customer instead of the house. Probably spread by the owners because it certainly wasn't the case with me. I lost $10 over a three day period.


The bartender seems to know most of the name of people who come in and serves a hefty libation in each drink. A beer is only $3.50 with a decent band. I learned the correct pronunciation is Ne Vaaa da (as opposed to Ne va ahhhh da) I was admonished in a nice way by my fellow barstool keepers.


The center piece of the hotel has a 40-foot water fall with faux bear that turns its head, a mountain lion that roars, and a Bambi deer that twitches its tail. Every so often a light show blares strong music.


The tourists gather and seem to ooooo and ahh over this spectacular. There are tropical noises as one walks through the gathering of palm trees. A wedding was held. I was in a spot to congratulate the groom, who told me this was his sixth time as groom. I guess the rumor of Las Vegas being the marriage and divorce capital certainly held true for him.


The plane ride was uneventful except for the 15 minutes outside of Vegas where the jet turned into a roller coaster because of the wind. A lady directly behind me was looking out the window and kept exclaiming "I don't want to crash here" when we were over the lake behind Hoover Dam. "I don't want to crash here" as we went out over the desert again. And finally, I don't want to crash here as we were on approach with the plane rocking back and forth.


Finally, after her last un-nerving wail, I asked her "Where do you want to crash?" And the passengers’ broke out in nervous laughter.


The weather is the same, sunny. The local weather forecasters on television lead with the wind and their emphasis is how windy, or how much windier, or if the wind is going to blow.


The breezes are not ones which we would notice. They also report, with dread, on the upcoming summer season where temperatures are often around 106, with 120 not being uncommon. When say they don't have any humidity, they reply with at 120, it doesn't make any difference.


The water evaporates off of you very quickly. Sometimes you are dry before you can grab a towel when stepping out of the shower. The bathing suit is water free in about 10 minutes. One does need a blow dryer for hair. A far cry from the east where two towels are usually required, at least 115 minutes with a blow drier and the suit is not wearable until the next day.


I was hoping my sinuses would clear, being in the desert, but they got markedly worse. I asked around and the denizens told me it was tumble weed pollen time and they were also having problems. I now know why I have a reaction to the rolling plants, the scene in so many westerns.


Today is my first free day and I will be heading down to the strip. My new found Ne vaaa da friends told to me to walk under the Coke bottle. Apparently you can't miss it. There show tickets are marked down by half for seats at 5 p.m. They haven't sold. Also, I was told to avoid the Friday and Saturday experience because that’s when the tourists from California roll in.


Apparently, on the Strip, young good looking males like myself are handed cards with the phone numbers of ladies of the evening. They are termed "hooker cards," and there is a game on how many one can collect. I will let you know how many I acquire, (cards, not ladies) and let you know next time.


Good luck to you!

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