Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Ol’ Robbo flew home from Vegas late last night and BOY are his arms tired! (Ba-dump-da!) Somehow or other he thought he was going to get today to rest and recover from what really was a pretty grueling week, but instead has spent the bulk of the morning and early afternoon attending to all matter of tasks about Port Swiller Manor that seem to have stood still since his departure. Heigh-ho.
Anyhoo, a few minutes off allows me to jot down some notes from my latest excursion:
* I don’t have much to say about Vegas itself. As regular friends of the decanter will hardly be surprised to read, that sort of thing simply isn’t ol’ Robbo’s speed. We stayed at one of the older hotel/casinos downtown because it was within walking distance of where we needed to go. It was clean enough and all, and the food was actually quite decent, but it had a definite air of the second-string compared to the flashier places down on the Strip. The clientele seemed to match: A mixed bag of the elderly, foreigners and families (who the hell brings an infant, or any child for that matter, to a casino?), most of whom looked decidedly working-class. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. My point is simply that they didn’t exactly look like high-rollers.)
My first morning, just after my flight had got in, I found myself in the elevator with a young sportsman – tatted to the nines and already well advanced in some sort of intoxication despite the earliness of the hour- who decided he was going to show his doormat of a girlfriend what a wag he was by embarrassing her in front of the stuck-up square from Back East. He started by pressing all the floor buttons and then relapsed into literal “potty” talk, adopting the manner of a four-year-old.
I was so tired that I simply ignored him. As for teh girlfriend, she was quite embarrassed. I hope she kicked him in the nuts and left him forever after that.
* Oh, the one other thing. The city was pretty disgusting, but the desert surrounding it was truly beautiful in its particular, harsh way. (I felt the same thing a couple years ago when I had to travel to Phoenix and Tucson.)
* As for the traveling bit, I can honestly say that I am getting better and better about dealing with flying. I’ll never actually enjoy it, of course, but I no longer feel that the only thing keeping the plane aloft is my clenched stomach muscles.
* Speaking of the flights, this was the first time I can remember for years and years that the pilots felt compelled to act as tour guides. Back in the day, they were always noting waypoints and interesting landmarks, but then they seemed to stop some time in the 80’s. (Which was just as well to me because my reaction whenever they started nattering was, “Shut up and fly the damned plane!”) On both legs this time, however, there they were on the intercom pointing out Grand Canyons, Castle Rocks and the like.
* Also speaking of the flight, thank YOU, US Air! When I asked for some wine on the way home last evening, the steward Johnny pulled out a genuine half-bot of Pinot Noir, something else I hadn’t seen on a plane for years and years. Yeah, I had to pay 15 bucks for it, but on a 4 hour flight? Totally worth it.
* Robbo’s usual method of whiling away the time on a flight is to do crosswords. This time around, I couldn’t help noticing some truly ridiculous clues/entries. For example, lib politicks had to rear its ugly head in the form of a 3-letter word for “Pro assault weapons org.” (NRA, of course, being the correct, albeit false, answer.) For another, the same “B” was used for “Ba’al” going down and “Bar Mitzvah” going across. (Did the author have any idea how grotesquely tacky this is? The clue for Ba’al was “Semitic nature god”. Never mind that he was actually a devil who demanded child-sacrifice.) A third clue employed the word “Gringolandia”, which I’d never seen before, to describe the United States. Racist we much?
Mind you, this wasn’t Pravda on the Hudson, this was a simple Kollector’s Krosswords magazine. Is there no escape?
* Speaking of escapes, Robbo was delighted to escape the ubiquitous blarings of Airport CNN this time around. The tee-vees weren’t working when he left National on Monday morning and the Las Vegas airport doesn’t seem to have them at all (most likely because they want you to pay attention to their slot machines instead).
*Finally, speaking of tee vee, ol’ Robbo was able to catch Game 7 of the World Series and stuck it out to the end. Robbo was rayther disappointed that the Giants won, given that they had offed his beloved Nats in teh first round of the playoffs. However, he did get a small piece of consolation in the fact that the series-winning RBI came off the (broken) bat of none other than Mike “Beast-mode” Morse, who played for the Nats a couple years ago and was (and is) immensely popular here. You’re not going to get as much attention as you deserve in the shadow of all the hype over Bumgardner’s pitching, but Well done, Mikey!
Whelp, there you have it for now. Back to the salt mines!
** A double reference. I never did get the Bugs Bunny joke, which is the first. The second will be instantly obvious to fellow Morons and meaningless to anyone else.