“I just have to ask,” said the man on the elevator after a few minutes of uncomfortable silence,”Why?”
“Why not?” I said. I mean, to this question – sometimes – what else can you say? If I had been in full drag and wearing a monkey for a hat, he probably would not have blinked twice. But in that I was just about to surf the Strip, I think that even for Vegas this was a little unusual.
After all, I was holding a skateboard as big as me and a stick that was even bigger. Okay – yeah, granted – I’m not that big, but this is a big board and it’s obviously out of place in the MGM Grand here in Las Vegas. And really, I can’t explain the Big Kahuna Stick even to people who ride. (Some things just need to be experienced…)
Things got a little weirder even when I got out onto the Strip. I rode past one man who wore live parrots as jewelry. People tried to sell me things that really shouldn’t ever be sold. Others offered to buy the board, and the stick, and – well, I think – maybe even me, but hey, this is Vegas, Baby. It ain’t nothing personal, it’s just that everything here has a price.
But for an hour, as I moved slowly north on the Las Vegas Strip and then turned around and came back to the hotel, I was the lone surfer on a neon-lit wave of polished concrete. Wave after wave of people parted around me like bait-fish before a passing dolphin. I passed the Bellagio as the fountains erupted, and the mists from them were like spray from a chlorinated sea. If this wasn’t real, it was the next best thing after ten straight days of outdoor tradeshows, indoors.
When SIA moves to Denver, I won’t miss this town much. But – hey – tonight Las Vegas, thanks for the ride. Thankyouverymuch!
(Elvis has left the building…)