My nephew on my wife’s side got married in Las Vegas this weekend. I have to confess I’m a little biased because I don’t really care much for Vegas. I’m not much of gambler or a fan of fancy shows.
I like the architecture and I’m amazed by the amount of money people have spent to turn that place into what it’s become.
We took a cab from the airport to our hotel. The cab driver set the tone for my weekend. He wasn’t singing the praises of “Sin City.” No, he was telling the ugly truth and getting free therapy all at the same time. In fact we paid him to drive while he vented his way through his session.
Our new Chamber of Commerce nightmare was an out of work electrician. He worked seven days a week driving that cab to support his wife and four kids. He taught us a lot in a short amount of time. We learned that Nevada, made up mostly of the population of Vegas was the leading state in the Union in unemployment at around 14%.
He was just getting started. He said, “You know Vegas has more bankruptcies than any other state too.” He continued, “They have to tear down one of the bankrupt casinos that were under construction when the “hammer” dropped. I guess it rusted or something, now it has to be imploded”!
“That one over there,” he pointed, “was put on hold, that was gonna employ 300 electricians.” His voice trailed off.
The electrician-turned-cabby had me in a somber mood at this point, but being the comprehensive instructor, he still had a few more facts for us to learn. “You know this place is “number one” in the country for childhood prostitution”! “Really,” I answered, although not at all surprised. “Yeah, and for high school drop-outs too.” He added.
I sat there listening and knew some of the statistics, but not all of them. His viewpoint made the facts more real than just hearing them in the media. After he dropped us off in front of the hotel he finished with a spark of enthusiasm, “Have a good weekend Bro”! “Thanks Man,” I replied.
I enjoyed my weekend but for different reasons than the majority. I enjoy spending time with my in-laws and we don’t get to see them that often living almost 1000 miles away.
I bought a new pen Saturday for this posting occasion. I love pens, I love what they represent. I cherish the hope of what can be done with a pen, and I’m excited at the prospect of it.
The pen was beautiful and expensive. It has a matted gold body with a brilliant gold clip, rings and tip. My classic new pen ran out of ink after I got around 50 words into this post.
So I experienced in Vegas something similar to what others experience in Vegas. Disappointment… My disappointment was temporary and my need easily fulfilled. I used a cheap throw away hotel pen to temporarily squelch my addiction. My guess is that the general population there won’t be as lucky.
Last night as we were passing through the casino we heard loud cheering. An average guy who looked like he hadn’t slept in a few days started screaming. “WhoooHooo”! “I’M THE KING OF ROCK AND ROLL”!!! “WhoooHooo”! “SEVENTEEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY THREE DOLLARS”!!! “I TOLD YOU”!!! “I TOLD YOU”!!! “I TOLD YOU”!!! “WhoooHooo”!!!
Although, not being a gambler, I thought to myself, “I bet he doesn’t get out of here with that $1700 bucks.” I don’t think I could have found anybody to take that bet.
Oh, my pen? Yeah, I lost the receipt.
That shiny new pen reminds me of Las Vegas. They both offer glitz, glamour and hope. In the end, they both delivered regret.
To some Vegas truly is “The City of Broken Dreams.”
For me, it’s just “The City of Broken Pens.”… and “Lost Souls”…