Posts Tagged ‘Mandalay Bay’

The American nightmare

October 2, 2017

Mandalay Bay, pictured from the walkway into the neighboring Luxor.

If Charlie Manson checked into the Safari tomorrow morning, nobody would hassle him as long as he tipped big.Hunter S. Thompson, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream”

If we learned anything at all from the good doctor, it’s that anyone can bring anything at any time into a Vegas hotel room.

I’ve been doing it for years. Big black rolling suitcase with a big black messenger bag strapped to its handle, a camera bag, a 25-liter backpack, even a cooler. I always thought if anything drew a floorwalker’s eye, it would be the cooler.

“Sir, you’ll need to return that to your vehicle. We have beverages for sale in the resort.”

But nope. Not a peep. Not at the Luxor, anyway. And I’m gonna go way out on a limb here and speculate that Mandalay Bay doesn’t hassle Charlie either.

Regulars here know I own firearms, but nevertheless believe the Second Amendment was in dire need of a copy editor. And I’ll leave it to another Charlie, the invaluable Mr. Pierce, to bring the heat regarding our national acceptance of blood sacrifice on the constitutional altar.

But I will note that while eyes pop at massacres like the one in Vegas, their lids droop at the day-to-day body count in places like Albuquerque, where we are on pace to exceed last year’s 61 homicides, up from 56 the previous year and the highest number in two decades.

So I’ll encourage you to pester your legislators to consider both the cascade of blood and the steady drip, drip, drip. Urge them to do more than send thoughts and prayers, which have proven remarkably ineffective against the gun lobby. Remember that elections matter (we have one here tomorrow).

And cling to hope while remembering another quote from Thompson, a man with his own firearms fetish:

This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.

Last Roundup in Sin City: Luxor-ious

September 20, 2017

The golden idol of Mandalay Bay stands watch over the empty pools of the Luxor.

LAS VEGAS (MDM) — A long march through the desert that ends at the Luxor is exactly backwards. Moses fled the pyramid-builders for many sound reasons, and I expect the accommodations were high on his shit list.

Everything in the joint is old, faded and noisy. Like me, only more expensive.

Granted, it was early Tuesday afternoon when I slouched in, but there wasn’t much of a crowd. Nevertheless, checking in involved the usual fraud, bunkum and clusterfuckery, because this is the Luxor, and the room is ridiculous because likewise.

Vegas does not want you bunkering up in its hotel rooms committing journalism. It wants you out in the open, where it can get a clear shot at you. Thus there is no desk for the serious scribe, or even an unserious one, just a tiny, battered circular table with two stained, scarred “plush” chairs that are too soft and low for the comfortable generation of fake news.

There is, however, a phone next to the toilet. One never knows when the urge to conduct an ambush interview may arise.

“What the hell are those sounds, O’Grady? Do you have a Berkshire hog in the room with you again?”

There is a TV the size of a billboard because of course there is, and I turned it on once to see if there really was a Fireplace Channel (there was). No coffeemaker, of course, because there are a thousand Starbucks in the feedlot downstairs.

And no matter, really, because Le Shew Bigge is a mile away from here, in Mandalay Bay. It’s a long march through the clangor of a neon desert, and even at 6 a.m. a Marlboro haze hangs low, like many a throbbing head.

Sheeyit. Moses had it easy.

Next: Le Shew Bigge.

Interbike 2016: Hold the phone

September 20, 2016
Vegas, baby. What happens here stays here, until they tear it down and build some other here here.

Vegas, baby. What happens here stays here, until they tear it down and build some other here here.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (MDM) — Whenever I see an exterminator’s van in Las Vegas the temptation is to shout, “You’re targeting the wrong species!”

Maybe it’s because I don’t get out much, but still, damn.

Vato's got a ticket to ride. Orrrrale.

As I lurched in first gear over to the Mandalay Bay-Luxor casinoplex to set up the Mad Dog Media Interbike Hindquarters (the headquarters is someone else’s problem), I heard someone yell, “Pull up more, bitch!”

A fellow motorist one lane over had carelessly left a few feet of empty space between her vehicle and the one in front, and the gentleman behind appeared to be in something of a rush. Probably shouldn’t have been piloting a shitbox sedan on Tropicana come noontime, then, it being more of a parking lot than a thoroughfare. Bring your flying car next time, Ace.

Show credentials safely in hand after no wait at all, I dropped by Starbucks for a $5 cup of the black and was startled to see a well-dressed gent conversing at some volume with a person who was not there.

Silly me. I always forget that Very Important People use Bluetooth to chat up their invisible friends when they’re not busy hollering at other motorists.

Checking into the Luxor took a bit longer, that line being about like the one on Tropicana, only with less honking. Once upon a time people standing in queues used to speak to one another, mostly small talk like, “Standing in queues sucks, huh?” Now they all clutch the handles of their rolling suitcases like sword hilts and stare at their devices as though they were grails. Today’s champ: a guy herding three rolling suitcases while working a full-size laptop. Mad skillz, yo.

I cranked up the Fitness app on the old iPod for all of this wandering about and discovered that I’d walked 3.3 miles, burning 383 calories. Naturally I felt compelled to balance that ledger with a platter of fish and chips at Rí Rá, enjoyed while watching footy, a pastime which I understand not at all (Chelsea spanked Leicester City, 4-2).

Industry titans seen so far: Ray Keener, Chris Zigmont, Brian “Quadzilla” Sidwell and David Thom. Only Ray was too busy for a chat, and that’s because he’s Ray Fuckin’ Keener. OK, so he was on the phone. A proper phone, without the Bluetooth, so you could tell he was on the fuckin’ phone.

• Observation of the Day: When did every hotel chain in America start serving what they allege is “breakfast?” They only feed you this horrible crap because they know what you’re doing up there in their rooms, you nasty little people, and they hope you die.