Dawn and I walked from the MGM to the Imperial Palace at the WPBT get-together. Here's how I remember the long-ass walk back.
There’s something simultaneously magical and sad about walking down the strip in the wee hours of the morning. The neon that looks so festive and happy at midnight looks forced and frenetic at 4AM.
The party girl in her tank top and flip flops that looked so cute and bouncy on their way out to Rain or Ice at 10PM is bouncing from parking meter to casino front, struggling to make it to the next trashcan so Mitzi can hold her hair back for the 3:30 AM puke and rally.
The porn slappers are the only constant, they look the same no matter the hour, peeling off their cardboard invitations to debauchery and handing them out with an almost forced inability to meet anyone’s eyes. No words, no eye contact, just the unceasing rhythm of the cardboard photos of plastic boobs slap, slap slapping against their hands.
The homeless guy doesn’t really even push it at this point, just muttering “Dollar? Dollar?” as folks walk or stumble by from point A to point Z, and wherever in between they may end up.
Every once in a while in this bizarre ménage of humanity you’ll see folks wandering and watching. That was me. Just taking a walk back from one fish farm to another, leaving the bass-thumping glitz and chrome of the MGM for the unadorned chintz of the Imperial Palace, and walking down the Strip mainly because I didn’t see a convenient cab. The walk was long, but entertaining, with an astonishing number of staggering jigglies and stumbling fratboys mixed in with the dejected losers who put their cab fare on red for that one last wheel spin.
Traffic on the Strip even at this hour is ridiculous, one last opportunity to be seen, or heard, or both. The Escalade with the booming bass draws a chuckle when we notice the 19-year old cracker behind the wheel, bouncing like the baby kangaroo from those Winnie the Pooh cartoons, jouncing around in the car his grammy left him the money for, thumping out Busta Rhymes when the closest thing he’s even seen to the street was one NYPD blue rerun and a whole lotta Yo! MTV Raps when he’d finish up his grade school milk and cookies.
There was the mid-life crisis in the red Viper, complete with sunglasses at oh-fuck-thirty in the AM, a trophy slut in the passenger seat and a combover to match his burgeoning ear hair and untamed chest jungle. No manscaping for you, you’re a real man. And in that car, I’m guessing 3” fully engorged. And that’s with Pfizer’s little helper giving you that feeling like you’re 22 again.
So we walk, checking out the detritus of humanity as we meander, limping a touch now and starting to realize that even though it’s cooler now, it’s still floating somewhere close to 90. And as we take yet another escalator and pass yet another faux recreation of a world that really never existed, I realize that I love Vegas for one simple reason. No matter how fucked up you are, you’re not as weird as that guy.