[Content Disclosure: 34% Poker & Casinos; 55% Life in Las Vegas; 26% Dark Underside of Life; 9% All of the Above]
No I am not Leaving Las Vegas, in any sense of the phrase, at least not yet. But I do hear often from friends about living here. Some won't even visit because of the dark energy of Sin City. So, how is it really? You might ask.
Well those who know me well, understand that I can stand in the middle of loud noisy crowds and be mostly unaffected. I don't have a problem with the proximity of greed, avarice, depravity or lust. About the only thing that really bothers me is being in the ongoing presence of stupidity. But Vegas does present some challenges.
First, this is a city like any other city. You can get dry cleaning done or your muffler fixed (No, that is not a sexual reference). People have normal lives here, even when 8 hours of your day might be working in a casino. But it is also true that the excesses that bring visitors to Las Vegas, do come up on a regular basis when you do the job I do.
I often leave casinos alone, well after midnight. A single, middle-aged man, who dresses normally and is in a casino alone late at night or very early in the morning does get propositioned. To deflect the lovely ladies of the evening I go with my standard response: "Why thank you Miss, but I am much too tired this morning to truly enjoy the company of someone so fetching as yourself."
Practice that line a couple of times, until it rolls smoothly off the tongue and it works wonders with out implying insult or superiority.
Now I am not suggesting that Las Vegas does not wallow in excess. It clearly does but I am a bit of a teflon shield when it comes to becoming deeply mired in the muck. Not so some of my friends, who also trod the land of glitter as writers. Should you truly wish to experience a glimpse into the dark side of my current hometown. I would like to highly recommend two blog posts from my friend and darkside resident Dr. Pauly Mcguire.
I am particularly fond of these two offerings from the Dark Doctor, as I have spent some time myself at the "Hooker Bar" he inhabits in the first piece. All the poker media have, as this is the closet libational emporium to the convention rooms at the Rio where they hold the World Series of Poker. But Pauly brings that place to life or something that resembles life.
The second piece reflects on the underside of Las Vegas, that anyone who stays up long enough is likely to encounter. I recommend both articles highly but suggest you keep a light on while you read.
1. Existentialist Conversations with Hookers: Malestrom at the Hooker Bar
2. Emissaries from the Land of Indulgence