Saturday, October 27, 2007

Las Vegas - Valley of the Dollars

I'll See Your Tourist and Raise You One Newbie
Las Vegas is my home town. Home of Elvis (I'm sure he passed me on the Strip the other day) and more churches per capita than any other city in the world. Makes you wonder what all those people are praying for. Word has it that some of the churches actually accept chips in their collection plates then send their Sunday offerings to a local monestary to have the monks count the money and avoid any hint of impropriety. Not just any monks are permitted to count the money, they must be certified chipmunks.
Las Vegas is special. We don't have California earthquakes, Louisana floods, Florida hurricanes, or Texas Tornados. We do have the Eifel Tower, the Statue of Liberty (two, actually - one on the Strip and one on Sahara Avenue), the Staten Island ferry, and the MGM lion. We have an active volcano and the Via Venito complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers.
We import most of our prominent citizens such as The Donald, Steve Wynn, Sheldon Adleson, and Sigfried and Roy. In fact, since our community has been growing at the rate of 5,000 - 7,000 per year for at least the past decade, most of our prominent citizens were born elsewhere.
Imagine, that means about a million new Las Vegans since the beginning of the Clinton administration! Although some refer to the Clinton years as "Sex between the Bushes," our population growth has resulted primarily from people driving to the desert rather than from the miracle of birth.

We do have some home grown celebrities. Andre Agassi is probably the best known but there are others, not including Sigfreid and Roy's tigers.

Despite the rapid growth in the desert - everybody from Ohio, Illinois, Virginia, and points east, wants to have a green lawn just like they did back home - it is the tourists who drive the economy.

About half the tourists come from the left coast, or as San Andreas once said, "That's not my fault." But they fly in - Las Vegas McCarran Iternational airport is the fourth busiest in the U.S., drive and, I imagine some swim, as Arizona is across Lake Mead from Nevada. They come for conventions, for the gaming (that's gambling for the uninitiated), and for the for the food. And of course, because we all know that what happens in Las Vegas....

I love Las Vegas but I liked it better in the old days when the population was a little more constant - every time a baby was born some fellow left town. I miss the days when the air was clean and sex was dirty. But I continue to live here because beneath all that phoney neon, glitter and tinsel you'll find real, honest-to-goodness neon, glitter, and tinsel.

Dr. Forgot

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