7th August. Here we are in the queue for check in at Treasure Island hotel/resort/casino. My god it makes airport security seem a blip on the screen. We have time to slaughter it seems, so I write this on my ipad as we patiently queue.
Before this nightmare though the 150 miles from Caliente were interesting. Over some mountains and through several long flat valleys through what on the face of it looked like desert. It must see some rain though, there are some green stripes in the shallow bottoms, the rest of it though, blimey, how can stuff grow? There are cacti of course and what I’m calling sage brush , some brown grasses growing in tufts, and a couple of other bits of hardy looking. one is called “southoughtu-weretuffhu?” and another, you have to see this as a plant standing in this inhospitable topography, with a root planted firmly in the ground, another balanced on a nearby stone, chest thrust out, arms akimbo, clench knuckles placed firmly on it’s hips, and chin raised challengingly. I think it’s Latin name is “kumonif u thinkurardenough”.
There are the odd settlements, nothing there though, the roads are straight, pretty much, 70 mph limit. So where did that c–t of a Highway patrol officer come from ? to pull the bloke in the Honda over for speeding . Why can’t you speed along here for gods sake, there is nothing ! If you want to travel at warp speed and have an accident, well get on with it. You are not going to be rescued from your mangled wreck any time soon. Your going to die anyway, so get on with it. On the plus side your decomposing corpse would add, admirably to and be very gratefully received by this impoverished ground, to help it hang on to some moisture, you could be recycled as humous.
We pass signs that say ” open range” how generous. The one that really got my goat was one that said, ” your public land, managed by——–” I can’t remember exactly who I start loose interest then but the thing is, what is there to manage? Not a lot. The bits that have been touched by the fickle finger of humanity, look either like a shit hole or a deserted gypsies camp. So not managed at all then! A pound to a pinch of sand it’s some quango, on a nice government budget sucking up tax dollars. Does that make them suckers of blood or clever bastards?
Another road sign that made me laugh and there are quite a few of these, I have mentioned there can be sod all living here , how could there? It’s a boiling semi desert. Some optimist however and I imagine these signs were erected in the late60s or early70s by a guy with a pick up full of the things. You have to imagine, he pulls over for a herbal cigarette. 5 minutes later he can see a majestically prancing antlered deer leaping across the road, maaaan he thinks, I’d better warn folks with one of my prancing antlered deer signs, so he hammers one into the ground and moves on. Only to the next fag break, now he is seeing hundreds of the fuckers and hammers in another sign , adding the words “major crossing point”. It can have happened no other way, until he reaches Vegas with an empty pick up truck, “man I had a great day”!
After finally reaching the desk, signing in and receiving a modest but compulsory reaming, although the room was prepaid, we unpacked then had a walk along the “strip” in the roasting sun. Vegas turned out nothing like I was dreading, no, it’s worse! Everywhere you go it’s music competing with music, or a tart advertising something or other via a hidden loud speaker. I felt like I was in a future time zone, being controlled by “the unseen one” . We pass several beggars , and touts wanting to flog some crap or other, be it a show, an excursion, or an emergency prostitute if we needed one. Perhaps one day when the town council are feeling a need to raise the classy image of Las Vegas a little. they will have the waste bins made in the form of “female flaps” which could be parted as you put your empty beer can in!
The stuff that has been built here though has still been designed and built by someone and it is, quite, fantastic, almost unreal. It is real and jolly well done. The Palazzio, the Venetian, the Mirage, Caesars palace, the Paris , and the gaff we are in, Treasure Island. It oozes pride and authenticity, you can’t fault it. We decide we’ll go and see the free TI show at 7pm. We had heard so much about this outdoor revue from so many different friends, “ they actually sink a galleon in front of the hotel several times a day”. It sounds right up my street, I love a bit of piracy.
It was based on Sirens attracting Pirates to their fate. It turned out to be more like the Scout and guides pantomime, bags of over acting, which you do have to when doing it outside fair enough, with a bit of lewdness thrown in. Though not in a “carry on camping” way, it seemed to have less charm than “carry on” and therefore was crumbier somehow. Sue got worked up straight away when the bikinied girls came on, hackles were up and no way she was going to enjoy it, her mind was made up! The bits I liked , were the blokes, maybe I’m turning queer? It’s a bit of a worry to be honest. There seemed to be a bit of humor in the bloke bits and the stunts, well the 2 they did were quite well done, versions of walking the plank but with zest. Then there was a chest/knee/thigh slapping laeder hosen scene, coupled with stamping like a Zulu and beating the deck in tune part. That was good. On the whole I would describe it as a bit of witless seaside post cardery, if it makes me seem a miserable sod, I’ll have to live with that.
The technical side of it was very good, and the heat from the “explosions” was intense. On the whole it needs more wit and less simulated sexual intercourse. Come back Sid, Hattie, Barbra and Kenneth you are sorely missed here. A good director, that could fix it!