I just spent an entire week in Las Vegas, Nevada performing at the Comedy Stop in the Sahara Hotel & Casino. I knew it was going to be a trip when this was the first sight I took in when I got off the plane.
Let me preface by saying, this was the longest time I have ever been in Vegas voluntarily. If it were up to me the kitschy slogan wouldn’t be “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” But, “Las Vegas- where you can get more than just hope sucked out of you!” I think you’re already starting to catch my drift about how I feel re: “Sin City”. Now, I’ve been to Vegas a couple of times before. Staying the perfect amount of time—3, maybe 4 days max. There are cities all over the world like that. Perfect example: Pisa, Italy. You go see the Leaning Tower, grab a slice of margarita pizza or gelato; call it an afternoon then high tail it to Roma. Done. End scene.
Part of the issue is that I am a snob. I have no problem whatsoever admitting that. All of my previous stays in Vegas were in gorgeous hotels like the Mirage or the Bellagio which also happen to be right in the center of all the action. This trip, I was at the dead end of the Strip. Which is like the difference between living in the hood vs. living in Beverly Hills, shopping at Wal-Mart vs. Saks Fifth Avenue, eating spam vs. filet mignon. It was rough y’all. But in all fairness Las Vegas, Nevada is a different experience for different people. For some it’s pure heaven, for others it’s a hell they can’t escape.
I don’t gamble or drink so I was REALLY out of my element. I swear to God I have never seen a greater collection of people who were missing teeth but made up for it in mullet length. I didn’t stand a chance of fitting in where I was, because I wasn’t a morbidly obese tattooed chain-smoking gal whose wardrobe was made up of mostly spandex and halter-tops. But had I the urge to get inked up all I had to do was hit my hotel’s lobby and pay a visit to these guys (who were very nice by the way).
Most of the folks I encountered had waddles that put ducks to shame. Almost everyone I encountered just looked like they’ve lived HARD. I ran into a 5 year old at the arcade in the NASCAR section of the hotel (Yes, there was an entire section of space dedicated to NASCAR!) This poor kid looked like it was all he could do to make it to the first grade.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the highlights. And there were some. I worked with two really great and funny guys—Mike Donovan and Robert Duchaine; and all the staff at the Comedy Stop were wonderful. That said, if my dear friend Christy hadn’t come out from Ohio I probably would have started cutting myself. We went shopping- not one of my favorite pastimes, but I did find Lealah, my Chihuahua, a killer pair of red boots for this winter.
Oh, and on Halloween Christy’s friend, Nikki took us to Stoney’s—a local hot spot that was also having a costume contest. I don’t recall who won the grand prize of $1,000 but “Eve”…a girl only in green body paint with a g-string of leaves and an apple in her hand, came in 2nd place. My recollection is probably foggy because the most memorable event that evening was the 6 foot 8 inch cowboy, with a missing ring finger, who kept me on the dance floor for 3 different versions of the electric slide. Ah, Vegas… Good times.
Karith Foster: Humorist, TV Radio Personality, Speaker, Author
Karith Foster is a stand-up comedian, motivational speaker, TV & radio personality, actress, author, blogger and entrepreneur.
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