Thursday, October 13, 2011
RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS
Evidently the Las Vegas we knew 10 years ago no longer exists. It was touted as "kid friendly" back then and the city was proud of the distinction. Families took vacations there and had a good g-rated time. Since then the town has undergone a transformation and now it's the equivalent of an Adult Disney World. Peep shows are advertised, x-rated pictures are plastered up on public buildings and 5-inch stilettos are the preferred foot wear! Mobster looking men line the sidewalks selling tickets to the latest lewd performance.
After discovering and enjoying the monorail, I spent my first day wandering up and down the "Strip" taking in all the sights I wanted to see and several I didn't! Tourists are thick as fleas on a dogs back and just navigating the side walks reminded me of Manhattan. People were everywhere! I wandered in and out of Paris, Bally's, Bellagios, New York - New York, Harrahs and the Venetian, all mega-moneyed temples of sensual pleasures.
Exploring Caesar's Palace was enlightening and exhausting. The thing is almost as big as the real ROME! The high-end shops were entertaining, the moving statues fascinating, the people passing by were of all shapes, sizes, and nationalities. As I rested on a bench in the middle of the day a man came by and quickly and "discreetly" took my picture. (What was that about? ) I decided to get out of there and be aware of anyone following me. Why would ANYONE need a picture of this Granny?
I stopped by the casino at Caesars and made a memory there! Having gambled a total of one other time in my life I knew absolutely nothing about gaming! I sat down beside a slot machine and decided to give it a whirl. Those bandits are VERY complicated. Finally I figured out where to insert my money and slipped my designated "gambling" $20.00 in the lighted hole. It sucked it in quickly! After 10 minutes of staring at the thing I decided I was supposed to push some lighted buttons. That did the trick. The screen lit up like a Christmas tree and I was on my way to financial independence! I kept hitting buttons until a siren started wailing and the thing announced that I had WON some "extra spins." The machine started spinning FOR ME! My financial future was out of my hands as I watched the pictures go round and round. Finally it quit and announced that I had WON the JACKPOT! All $14.00 of it! (At first I thought it read $1400.00 and I nearly had a heart attack!) Next step was to try to get my winnings out of the thing. Finally I got a receipt printed and I RAN to another machine to CASH OUT! Yep, I took my original $20.00 and my newly acquired "$14.00 and beat it to the door! I'd been warned that if I had any winnings at all to pocket it deep and leave the building! I knew to quit while ahead!
The next day I decided to skip the strip and go shopping at the local outlet mall to spend my $14.00. After negotiating a cab ride I arrived at shop heaven. Miles of walking were ahead of me. I explored all the shops, tried on and purchased clothes, ate lunch, tried on shoes, socks and unmentionables. It was a fun productive day.
At the last store I visited, late in the day, I asked the clerk for the directions to the taxi stands. An older woman standing nearby interrupted and quickly invited me to come with her. She was staying at a hotel near mine and would gladly give me a lift, no sense in paying a taxi driver. I gave her the once over and quickly said, "sure, why not?" We headed off to find her car. After a few minutes of wandering she remembered where it was. (I'd found a kindred spirit.)
We proceeded back into the city and headed for the Srip. She was depending upon my knowing where my hotel was located and I was depending upon quickly finding "something familiar" so I could steer her in the right direction. We took a couple of wrong turns, u-turns and good turns.
We had a lovely conversation, talking about husbands in town for conventions, children, grandchildren, Las Vegas, shopping, hometowns and great places to eat.
Finally she pulled up to my hotel and I proceeded to thank my new friend. We said goodbye with promises to look each other up if we were ever passing through!
What an odd day! Right there in the middle of sin personified I'd experienced a "random act of kindness."
Surprising things happen in Vegas!