Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What happens in Vegas, goes in my blog.

Just got back from Las Vegas. What happens in Vegas, stays in my blog.

I arrived late to the Des Moines Airport after spending 20 minutes driving 20 feet on Fleur. Will it ever end? I walked up late to check-in only to have my friend Round Guy yell, "HEY, HERE HE IS! MURPH, COME ON UP HERE." Now an entire line of people already nervous about being late looks at me like, "Don't even think about it, A-hole." That's when Round Guy---who loves making me feel uncomfortable---says, "Hey, you guys don't mind do you. He's a celebrity." I want to melt into the floor when the Allegiant Air rep waves me up. I protest, but he mercifully, hands me a ticket in no time. I apologize, and everyone makes the plane with no problem.

We arrive in Vegas early. Every time I fly Allegiant Air we land ahead of schedule. It makes up for the $4 Diet Pepsi, and a quick flight is needed when you're on a 36 hour weekend. As we exit the plane, I feel like we landed on the Sun. 113 degrees, but "it's a dry heat". No it's not. It's just HOT. It's like an oven, or as Matthew Broderick says in Biloxi Blues, "Africa Hot".

We go to the MGM Grand, site of the Vargas-Mosley fight the next night. The MGM has more than 5,000 rooms and glows like a Timex watch with Indiglo. We immediately spot Rasheed Wallace, so the celebrity sightings begin.

Later as I'm waiting for an elevator, I see a crush of people moving toward me and holding cell phones to take pictures. Obviously, it's not me they're after. Who, I wonder? Then I spot him. Mike Tyson. He's so nice and accommodating to everyone, I momentarily forget some of the things he's said and done. I tell Round Guy about my elevator ride with Iron Mike. RG wants to know if I got his autograph. I tell him I'm not in the habit of asking a convicted rapist to sign something. Ultimately, we're all responsible for our own mistakes, but Tyson had plenty of help. There have been so many people over the years that just used and abused that guy while riding the money train... and Don King was only one of them. It's a sad cautionary tale.

On a less serious thought, I couldn't believe how short Tyson is. He's my height (5' 10") and no longer BIG. I'm always surprised how much shorter famous people are than we imagine them. They're only larger than life when you don't run into them in your life. Did you see Kiefer Sutherland next to Serena Williams at the ESPY's. Kiefer must be about 5'7", almost as short as Tom Cruise.

I digress. Back to Vegas where I met up with one of my best friends in the world, Jeff Ehling. Jeff's a consumer reporter at the ABC station in Houston. For years we've talked about getting our families together, but it became apparent that won't happen before all the kids graduate, so Jeff's wife, Megg, suggested we meet up in Vegas. Gotta love Megg.

Jeff talked me into trying sushi for the first time. I always pictured it being like Danny Devito biting into fish in Batman Returns, but it was quite civilized and quite tasty. I'll have more, as long as it's not as expensive as it was in Las Vegas.

When did Vegas get so pricey?! I remember it being an inexpensive place to visit because they plan to clean out your bank account in the casinos. Not anymore. It's ALL expensive. The food, the hotels, the shows. If they're not careful, we'll be broke before we make it to the slot machines.

Back to the night out with the boys... Have you ever been so full that you switch what you're drinking just to trick your stomach? This is very stupid. I think this is how they came up with the expression, beer before liquor, never sicker. I should have waited until the beer had more room. I'll leave it at that.

Saturday morning did get off to a slow start, and laying poolside sounds like a nice way to relax and recover, probably would be if it weren't hotter than hell. I'm not swearing. It was that hot.

Watching the fight would be a nice way to spend a Saturday night. We went to Carrot Top instead. Fight=$400. Carrot Top=$30. No contest. Plus, it allows all of us to make more of a donation to the casinos. If we were smart, we would have just mailed a check.

Carrot Top is really funny. I just knew him from 5 minutes on Leno with all the props, but he's great stretched out to an hour. One of the more pleasant entertainment surprises of recent years. (Warning: Don't go see Carrot Top if you're a NASCAR fan with no sense of humor, especially if Jeff Gordon's your favorite driver.) Catch him at the Luxor.

Back at the hotel, Round Guy continued toying with my shyness. The moment we step onto a full elevator, Round Guy says, "I wish I had remembered my lice shampoo. My head really itches." That one's his favorite, followed by "The towels here are so big and fluffy, I could barely get my suitcase closed." Karma caught up to Round Guy. He lost a lot of money at the roulette wheel, but he'll be happy to tell you this story about how he almost bet a $100 on black, and then it hit 11 times straight. If only... Yeah, Vegas was built on "if only...".

If only I didn't have to leave the hotel at 5:30 a.m. Sunday, I would have done a better job on SoundOFF that night. As I was leaving for the day, Tyson was coming in for the night. Only in Vegas...


Anonymous said...

Just wondering after that elevator ride with Tyson...do you still have two ears????

Anonymous said...

Is Jeff's wife insane? She trusted her husband with you in Vegas????

Kathy said...

My son lives in Vegas. Even staying with him it is expensive!! He took me by Tysons house once. Beautiful! (what you could see.)

Just found your blog this morning! I will be a regular reader.
Thanks for the smile this morning!

Kathy from Oskaloosa (ISU fan)