Travel Boner

Booking travel makes me horny. The imagery presented on hotel websites features some kind of young woman draped across a chaise in her underwear waiting to get fucked by someone. And even when you’re married you still harbor fantasies that simply booking a room somewhere will cause mysterious naked women to become attracted to you.

We’ve gone back and forth over the last two weeks trying to settle on travel plans for the week of Christmas. First it was Denver, “A white Christmas!” Then it was Tahoe. “White, but with a nightlife!” Then as the money we were willing to spend grew it opened other possibilities: Chicago, New York, the Bahamas. Hell, why not? We’ve paid down our debts considerably and have saved a little over the year. All we do is work. We deserve it.

Unfortunately for us our bank has a clever method of tracking our monies which under closer investigation revealed that we were not so out of debt, not so in the green with savings, and despite the 60 hours we spend a week at work (in which I still have to squeak out time to write) we haven’t accomplished anything this year financially. We’ve cut cable television, nice food, dinners out, and a lot of other small luxuries and yet with our numerous misfortunes we may as well have just quit our jobs and sat collecting unemployment. “Fuck it,” we said, “We’ll just do Vegas.”

Vegas, worse than most cities with the exception of Detroit, is suffering in our current economic kerfuffle. Having put all its chips on condos and property, the city doubled-down on affordable housing and a bounty of jobs which quickly evaporated when the bubble burst and folks from here to Kickapoo realized that gambling was the first expense they should cut from their budget. And I, having lost my college shirt in the days when the city proudly pushed five-dollar slots across their floor, am now enjoying how easily the city is to kick when it’s down. You can get a room with a jacuzzi, a bar, and a living room for less than what a hotel room would cost in any capital city across the country. The casino floor is spangled with penny slots and cheap cocktails, and if you’re really feeling like an asshole there’s a stretch of highway 15 past stateline that is lined with foreclosed neighborhoods to laugh at. Not houses. Neighborhoods. I can only imagine the things they’ll find in those homes once this economy recovers and the banks have the human resources to break off the padlocks and actually look inside. Hobo corpses me thinks.

There are two dimensions in Las Vegas as I know it; Blue State Vegas and Red State Vegas. Blue State Vegas (or “Coastal” Vegas) appeals to city dwellers like myself who aren’t so much impressed with its blinking lights as we are with the idea that we can j-walk and not get ticketed. And for those of us kids who grew up in Los Angeles we were usually raised by parents that left us at Circus Circus during our quarterly “family vacations” back before there were gawdy pyramids and pirate shows. It’s nothing new. Hell, if you grew up in Los Angeles you were already accustomed to seeing prostitutes and people impersonating celebrities.

But then you have your Red State Vegas. And this realm I do not understand. And to be honest it was before I spent so much time this week becoming horny at travel websites that this aspect of the Vegas experience went from being part of the background noise to something I actually thought about. “Wait… a person would pay to see a Hoover Dam?”

Don’t get me wrong, the middle America roadside experience is fun for a laugh on the way out to Vegas, and I’ve posed for many a photograph fondling Big Boy or shaking my fist at that stupid giant thermometer, but once you actually get there? It makes me sad that there are people who’ve been so deprived of stimulation in their lives that they would express any kind of interest in watching Donny & Marie perform at the Flamingo or would pay $600 dollars to fly in a “whirly bird” over the city. And the Hummer excursions are the worst. Charging anybody to take them out to see the desert for four hours should be punishable with jail time. It’s flat and ugly and when it’s really hot it hurts just to breathe. And I’ve never been much of a buffet person now that I think about it.

On the other hand, the fact that there’s a gun range in town that boasts a “Terminator Package” featuring firearms as seen in the Terminator movies that I can aim and shoot makes me start clapping my hands together and barking like a walrus. If only they could transpose that package over one of the pictures from the hotel websites.

"Wow! Look at all them lights lit up at once!" - David Cross

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4 thoughts on “Travel Boner

  1. Funny you should mention Vegas. I’m heading out there tomorrow. It’s CHEAP these days. And if you can’t find a way to have a good time there. well just do the right thing and throw yourself into the white tiger cage. They’re hungry.

  2. Oh man, this sounds epic. Being an east coaster with the type of parents who would never voluntarily set foot in Vegas, I have yet to view that wonderful little slice of capital-A-America for myself. When The Best Friend and I get to LA, an early order of business will be to road trip our way to a magical evening of slots, cheap tequila shots, throbbing top-40 “hip hop,” and trash-tastic outfits that cause middle-aged business men with unfortunately well-oiled comb-overs to mistake us for prostitutes. Klassy with a capital-K, that’s me. I am so, so excited.

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