Monday, May 10, 2010

McCARRAN INTERNATIONAL

There are thousands of chairs in McCarran airport.

But the only one that seemed to have my name on it was a Naugahyde beauty across from a bar.

A bar in Las Vegas' McCarran airport is a loud place. And an incredibly unattractive one. It's here that you find the confused. The middle-agers come to Vegas with friends, wrapped in the promise of an uninhibited weekend to remember. A weekend of things that stay right here.

This bar, a gloomy corner clad in distressed Corona surfboards and dusty lifejackets designed to make the boozers feel just beachy, spews inebriated couples of the Not Quite There And Aint' Never Gonna Get There variety. They're dressed in their best, but it looks cheap. Their hairstyles are almost current. The husbands wear khaki shorts, and the wives sport denim capris. And they flaunt their corporeal selves with an air that tells me that they're convinced that they're attractive. (They're wrong.)

Today they are bona fide boozers; for when you're in Sin City casual drinking simply isn't sociable. Here, you don't just have a drink to settle your nerves. Or knock one back to take the edge off. No, silly. We're in Vegas! Even if it is just the airport and the realities of returning to work await in the morrow.

The Vegas airport in all its plastic chrome-plated wonder embarrasses itself, trying to be a glitzy extension of the strip, a place where tourists can exert a last-ditch effort in maintaining the kind of buzz that deludes 'em into thinking they're hot and that the weekend they just had was racy, glamorous, and damn-near R-rated when the truth is that they spent the last three days walking up and down The Strip with a giant plastic souvenir cup full of a watered down margarita--past Mexicans slapping porn fliers and shoving them into unsuspecting hands--trying to find this mythical party that the topless sparkle of Las Vegas promises.

But these pathetic vacationers aren't all that McCarran's giving me right now. I'm also blessed with six or seven retirees guffawing over Betty White on Saturday Night Live. "Good Laws!" they yell (hearing aids all), "That Betty White's not as prim and proper as you'd think!" Duh, mister. Ever seen Boston Legal?

People who sit on the floor of the airport baffle me. I'd much rather stand, leaning against a wall, and wait for my feet to fall off from fatigue. Don't tell me you can't find a suitable seat. I'm right here next to the boisterous bar and lively retirees, and, my my!, there's an empty seat right next to me. And, my schmutzy friend--didn't you hear?--now Southwest assigns each passenger their very own boarding number. Sitting on the floor waiting by the gate isn't going to get you aboard our flying cattle car any faster. On top of that, the flight to Reno is all of an hour. I'm pretty sure that you can sit in a less-desirable seat for the duration and not keel over. I believe in you.

One more thing: people that travel with the pillows from their beds give me the creeps. Here's the deal: not only is my mind a lively one, but it's a highly visual one as well. I see your pillow in its striped and dingy pillowcase and think, Good grief. That's the pillow that bolsters your head during coitus, isn't it? And then that lively and visual mind of mine goes about painting a picture, a grotesque image of the pillow-toter in mediocre rapture.

(I wanted you to see the ceiling at McCarran in case you've never had the pleasure. Pray that I find the time to tell you why I look so fatigued (even after cloning out some of the dark circling under my eyes). It's a good story.)

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This post brought to you by my new MBP (that's MacBook Pro, for those of you who aren't married to an Apple wonder and in on all the lingo). I've gone mobile! I'm in love . . . (with the machine and the man that gifted it to me. What a dream!)

9 comments:

Winder said...

I'm with you on the pillow from home tote along. Disgusting. I think you might survive a few days away from your pillow. The problem is they probably always have dingy, filthy sheets and pillows.

Jessica said...

You got the MBP! I'm so excited for you. I'm also loving this discussion about McCarran. It's the best place in the world for people watching, in my opinion.

~j. said...

people that travel with the pillows from their beds give me the creeps.

MMMhm.

Señora H-B said...

McCarran is tied for first (with Miami) for worst airport in America. I have hated Las Vegas for as long as I remember. But I loathe the airport (or the airport I recall). I hate the overabundance of not-hermetically-sealed smoking areas. I hate the bloody slot machines (seriously, Nevada, can't we get a break from the infernal dinging of the slot machines ANYWHERE!?).

At least the airport makes up for it somewhat with its people-watching opportunities.

Sparks said...

Oh, but Señora I don't hate McCarran. I really don't. I don't know what kind of a relationship I have with that airport, but it's not hate.

And I love Nevada. It's the whole no-state-income-tax thing that instills a great love. Slot machines and all.

Señora H-B said...

Well, I will give you that the no income tax thing is awesome. I definitely miss that! You win this round, Nevada...

C.C. said...

Wow...I will never look at pillow totters the same again. I never took it that far as to visualizing them romping. Nice Sparks, nice.

rabidrunner said...

What about neck pillows? Do they gross you out? They prolly should, 'cause some of us use 'em fer coitus.

C.C. said...

Laughing out loud Rabid...too funny...