Thursday, January 8, 2009

Why is Las Vegas vile?

I wrote:
Las Vegas is by far the most disgusting place I have been.
Brian commented:
You are going to have to be more descriptive if you want me to believe that Las Vegas was more disgusting than the Great Salt Lake!
And another friend wrote in an email (with heavy sarcasm I assume):
I can't believe you guys didn't like Las Vegas, you must have missed the
$.99 all you can eat buffet.
It's a tough call whether the Great Salt Lake or Las Vegas gets the prize for most disgusting place ever. I will describe Las Vegas and let you decide.
  1. As we approached Las Vegas from the south, the traffic reminded me of Los Angeles. It couldn't have actually been that bad, but that's what I thought of.
  2. From the highway at night you could see a 200 square mile blanket of ugly yellow streetlights covering the valley.
  3. There are virtually no hotels, only casinos with rooms.
  4. We stopped at a casino on the outskirts of town to get a room. Lots of ugly flashing neon. Laurel went in, had to walk a mile through a room of one-armed bandits to get to hotel registration to find out there was no vacancy. She came back to the car stinking of cigarettes.
  5. (OK, so most of the "one-armed bandits" are actually no-armed bandits. And they don't take quarters.)
  6. Stopped at another casino on the outskirts of town. The only rooms they had left were "Apollo" rooms. Apollo was a god, so maybe that's a good thing? No. That means you pay $109 for a room with no bed, just a pull-out sofa. On a "smoking-optional" floor.
  7. (Good thing #1: hotel security guards patrol the parking garage on bicycle. Given the excessive nature of Las Vegas I was surprised they didn't each drive a Hummer. With whale-skin hubcaps.)
  8. We each had to take two showers that night: one because we stank from camping in the desert for 2 nights, then another because we stank from hanging out in a casino until midnight.
  9. Our only prior casino experience was Foxwoods in CT and Harrah's in New Orleans. We assumed there would be some variety of live music or some kind of entertainment. Nope, just one cover band that didn't start until later in the evening.
  10. (Good thing #2: the Mexican restaurant gave us lots of nachos with good salsas, moles, etc. to dip them in. Pitcher of margaritas was pretty good too.)
  11. Drinks were expensive at the bar.
  12. People at the bar were busy punching lit-up buttons built right into the bar -- obviously you don't want to take time away from gambling to drink.
  13. We would have been the youngest people at the casino if a few families hadn't dragged their kids (5 to 10 years old) along with them for the night. What fun.
  14. In the morning a handful of people were still punching buttons and sucking on cigs.
  15. "Penny-slots".
  16. Greaziest breakfast ever for only $2.49.
  17. (Good thing #3: the Hoover Dam is nearby, go see it if you dare to visit Vegas. Better yet, drive through Arizona to see it and park on the AZ side, where parking is free.)
  18. After visiting the Hoover Dam we wanted to see "the strip". Just wanted to drive by, didn't feel the need to stop in any of the casinos after all the fun we had already. Lots of traffic.
  19. The brown cloud hanging over the city was as high as the surrounding mountains. Disgusting.
  20. Lots of litter.
  21. You know those "take one" newspaper boxes you see by bus stops that have free real-estate magazines or free want-ads? Well in Vegas they have free whore-ads in those boxes.
  22. Everything in excess.
  23. More traffic. We could have walked the strip faster than traffic was moving.
The Great Salt Lake is disgusting, but it is natural. Las Vegas is pollution of every kind. It has been made that way. That's what I find so vile about it.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Well that description is a little more convincing. I guess man-made vile generally beats natural vile.

I will say, though, that things could have been better. When I went there on my road trip, I stayed at a Travelodge on the strip; it was clean, quiet, smoke-free, and about $60/night. Of course, returning to the hotel with a bulging wad of C-notes in my pocket after playing poker with a blisteringly hot Asian chick (in a smoke-free poker room) helped somewhat too.

Made it easy to forgive (or perhaps not even notice) the rest of the vileness. :)