Sunday, April 25, 2010

Viva Las Vegas Kindness

From the Parkville Luminary

LAS VEGAS—Is there a kinder, more considerate city than Las Vegas?

Take the casinos, for example. They’re just so nice there that you almost have to pinch yourself to see if you are dreaming. They give you a big smile when you walk in, and they always say good luck. Why, they’re so charming that they even offer you free booze—and you get as much as you want. Just like nice Midwesterners, the kind casino folk don’t seem to mind at all if you get a little tipsy (they do object to stumbling down drunk), even if your tipsiness might somehow impair your good judgment. At the friendly casinos here, they don’t judge you, they just want you to have a good time.

In addition, considerate, pretty girls, like the wholesome kind you would see in any Midwestern small town seem to congregate here in abundance. The Daisy Maes, and Daisy Dukes, are out in force. At the casinos, they have apparently taken every pain to hire only the most beautiful young ladies as waitresses, probably because beautiful women are better at serving drinks. Like their country cousins, the young casino waitresses are always dressed in only the most tasteful outfits (“ancient slave-girl” and “painful bustier” seem to be popular motifs).

The same type of young ladies can be seen on the streets of Las Vegas as well, and they are just as kind as they can be. Some of these ladies were even considerate enough to flirt with me. Now, were this any other American city, I would think that they had ulterior motives, and perhaps that they were “businesswomen” trolling for customers. But here in Vegas—perish the thought! These young women were just being considerate, knowing that it would make me feel a little less old if they flirted with me. Why, these street women are so considerate, they even wore low-cut dresses, short shorts, and makeup that looked like it was applied by a trowel. I can live without the makeup, but it was nice of them to think of me—the Las Vegas conventioneer—when they dressed themselves in the morning.

A great deal of kindness and consideration is also on display here on nearly every street corner, where clusters of racks offer up free newspapers. Of course in Parkville or anywhere else, you have to pay for newspapers that you buy from a rack, but in Vegas, they must really care about keeping their residents and visitors informed. Granted, some of these publications aren’t as famous as the kind that cost money, or have reporters, but any newspaper is a valuable community resource, right? One such publication, “College Girls”, no doubt includes study guides, fashion articles, and dating advice for coeds. Another ubiquitous publication, “After Hours”, is undoubtedly related to on-line stock trading that takes place during the evening. The most colorfully titled newspaper, “Barely Legal Asian Girls”, unquestionably tells stories about Asian women who, having recently obtained visas (that’s the barely legal part), are hard at work accumulating capital so that they can open nail salons.

Strangely, there weren’t any newspaper rack clusters at the convention center. However, there were classier gussied-up women adorning the exhibition hall there that hosted the National Association of Broadcasters/Broadcast Education Association annual convention. The exhibition hall was crammed full of advanced broadcasting electronics, fancy audio/video stuff. Every exhibitor seemed to have a considerate, well-dressed, attractive woman greeting passers-by and kindly distributing information about their camera or microphone or electronic doohickey. In other cities, these info-distributors may have been sweaty men or other unappealing types. Only in Vegas are they nice enough—considerate enough—to hire nice, pretty, friendly types that make browsing for electronics a delightful experience.

In fact, everything about Las Vegas is delightful, and I don’t just mean free booze, newspapers, and comely lasses. Many of the shows have considerately resurrected ancient stars like my son’s favorite, Cher, and Donny and Marie, who don’t look like they’ve aged a day in the last 20 years. Also, some of the big hotel shows are throwing a line to foundering “stars” of today like Carrot Top. (Is there a more annoying human being?) Since hiring Branson-quality entertainers like these can’t possibly have anything to do with making money or building prestige, the only conclusion to reach is that these delightful hotels are just being kind to the stars.

So, the next chance you get, spread a little kindness, Las Vegas style. I know I plan to start by passing out some free newspapers to my Park University students.

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