Fear and Loathing In The Star Trek Experience

by

We were somewhere over Oklahoma near the edge of the desert when the Benadryl took hold…

Mrs. Sarcastro has a conference in Las Vegas this week.  I got to tag along as arm jewelry.  This is our first vacation since getting married, so it gets to serve as a half-ass honeymoon.  As I don’t really do drugs anymore and have cut way back on the booze, the first sentence is as close to Thompson as this narrative is going to get.

The trip began with a wonderful two-hour delay in the Nashville airport.  While waiting, I have formulated a theory about the Southwest boarding procedures.  As many of you know, SW divides their passengers into a shitty little caste system.  The "A" passengers get on first, the "B" passengers get on next, they are of course followed by the "C" passengers who board last.  I usually wind up a "B" passenger.  Even printing my boarding pass at 23 hours and 59 minutes prior to departure, gets me on the "B" list.  Every damn time.

The "A" passengers know they have it made.  They know they are getting on first and will have their choice of seats.  They don’t have to queue up in order to ensure they get to sit with their travelling companion.  The "C" passengers know they are screwed.  They will get whatever seats haven’t already been taken.  They will not get to sit with anyone they know.  They have a fatalism about their situation you usually only find with teenage Mormon brides and Islamic suicide bombers.  They don’t have a care in the world.  It is what it is.

Alas, the poor "B" passengers.  They are always the first to queue up.  If they can get in line early, it is like an upgrade to "A".  If you wind up at the end of the "B" line, you might as well be in the fucking "C" line.  The "B" passengers are the Jan Brady of air travel.

**********

Flying into Vegas is always an educational experience as far as urban design and economics are concerned.  McCarran airport is right off the strip.  You see all of the big casinos directly adjacent to it.  One wonders why they don’t have a monorail that goes from the airport to the strip hotels.  It would put the maniacal cab drivers out of business, that’s why.  A cab ride from the airport to any of the strip hotels will cost you between $10 and $20 bucks.  It is a ride you soon won’t forget.  If NASCAR is wanting to expand their fan base, they should get our driver Hajji behind the wheel.  He would blow them hillbilly boys off the track.  Can you imagine a couple of thousand immigrants from Somalia and Yemen descending on Talladega for the big race to cheer on the Number Hamza car?  That would be a dream come true.  I wonder if Halliburton would sponsor the car…

We are staying at the Las Vegas Hilton.  It is a great hotel if you have a time machine set for 1977.  The decor of our floor is what I call, "Grandma’s Sitting Room".  The casino and lobby have been updated to a more modern look.  The entertainment is the perfect storm of Barry Manilow and The Star Trek Experience.  The LV Hilton is aiming for that middle of the road demo.  They aren’t going for the creepy French Canadian circus acts or the low budget strip attractions.  Occasionally, they have Nashville acts like Vince Gill and Big & Rich.  There is a statue of Elvis out front celebrating his run here back in the day.  It is as every bit as tasteful as the statue of NB Forrest off of I-65.  Everything about this place celebrates an America of my childhood.  Elvis was a Vegas act, Manilow ruled the charts and I was interested in Star Trek. 

I couldn’t bring myself to eat at Quark’s Bar.  There is no way I can order the Sulu Toss or the Grilled Chicken Khan and a James Tea Kirk to wash it down with, and not break into hysterical laughter.  I am also not buying a Captain Kirk tunic for thirty bucks, just so Aunt B can have a giggle.  But, it was tempting.

Everything in Vegas is tempting, until you see the price.  It is like $40 to go on the Star Trek ride.  You can spend the day at an amusement park for that kind of dough.  Nothing else is a bargain in Vegas any longer, either.  Seems that the days of the $.99 steak have gone the way of The Rat Pack.  Who, thanks to the endless numbers of tribute acts, are a plague.  You can’t swing a dead Tribble without hitting a Frank or Dean impersonator.

Where shall I spend my few dollars budgeted for entertainment?

More to come…

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5 Responses to “Fear and Loathing In The Star Trek Experience”

  1. S&F Says:

    Dude, I threw up in that hotel! How cool, you could have stepped on my old vomit stain!Cheap food is still there, but not on the strip…the old strip with the cowboy sign or off the beaten path altogether to the ‘suburban casinos’*.*’suburban casino’ is a phrase I just created, it sounds marketable so all rights are reserved. Look for it in your next J. Peterman catalog.

  2. S&F Says:

    Dude, I threw up in that hotel! How cool, you could have stepped on my old vomit stain!Cheap food is still there, but not on the strip…the old strip with the cowboy sign or off the beaten path altogether to the ‘suburban casinos’*.*’suburban casino’ is a phrase I just created, it sounds marketable so all rights are reserved. Look for it in your next J. Peterman catalog.

  3. SistaSmiff Says:

    I can’t believe the Hilton is still there. I thought they tore down everything built before 1990.

  4. Exador Says:

    Mrs Schwartz’s parents always go to the way-off-the-strip casinos. They do it because those dives still allow you to smoke just about everywhere, and the slot machines are set to allow more winners, although in those digs, ‘winner’ is a relative term.

  5. karen Says:

    That hotel is nasty, I advise you not to eat there. As to SWA, being a "C list-er" has its benefits…YOU get to choose who to sit with. I always look for normal sized people who appear to have regular bathing habits and are holding a book to their nose in an attempt to convey their unwillingness to converse with anyone. I may be in the middle, but I can breathe easy.

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