Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Morning After

Vegas After Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas,
And throughout the Strip,
All of the wise guys,
And their molls who were hip.

Walked through casinos,
And into the Malls,
Ignoring the Roulette Wheel,
And other games calls.

They hoped they'd find bargains,
Their glassed-eyes were bleary.
The girlfriends with no jewelery,
Were disgusted and teary.

Etc. etc. etc. There have been so many spinoffs on "The Night Before Christmas" that I thought I'd bring you up to speed on what things look like in Las Vegas the day after. And they look pretty much like Dubuque, Iowa or Winston-Salem, North Carolina, except for the leftover tourists who have not yet departed. That and the casinos and the buffets, and the all the things that make the Valley of the Dollars a unique place to live.

December used to be dead time in the old days. Shows went dark and performers went home to visit with their families. Then some clever marketer thought, "Why don't we take these slow times and bring in some action?" And before you could say, "Yippie Kai-o" the National Finals Rodeo moved from its cramped space in what New Yorkers call the Southwest, to the real Southwest. December has become the real cowboy month with pickup trucks and big belt buckles and lots of hats.

Years ago the December holidays would be used as a "thank you" for locals, especially cab drivers, culinary workers, and the people who make this giant carnival wheel turn. Hotels would provide comps, 2 for one shows, and many other perks and all you had to do is to prove you were a local. In fact, one year, the local school teachers were trying to decide who would represent them - the union or the teachers organization. The union brought in a university - the first ever besides UNLV, and the teachers organization cut deals with the hotels to comp teachers to food and beverages as well as shows. The result? Free food and shows won out over university credits.

This week the community is gearing up for the giant new year's eve celebration. Some 300,000 visitors will come from around the world to celebrate. Local legend says it is second in size only to that ball-dropping experience in New York, complete with fireworks, blocking off the Strip, back-to-back and belly-to-belly crowds, and lots of booze and entertainment.Let's all raise a cup in hopes that 2008 is a better year.

Are you ready for the blogging music maestro? No, I don't think it is too early to start to practice "Auld Lang Sayne."

Dr. Forgot

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