I knew that things were going to be good when we rounded the corner to our hotel (The Riviera) and saw that the Village People were playing there. That kind of made up for the Elvis show at the Aria being dark for the week.
Andrea and I went to Las Vegas from November 9-13 ostensibly to get re-re-marries on 11/11/2011. Fittingly, this is our 11th anniversary year and we had originally planned on getting married on 11/11/2001 until the date was changed on us. Long story. Let's just say that family politics were involved and we still shake our fists and gnash our teeth in anger over this one. Regardless, we were there to set the record straight and take advantage of the date. As it turned out, a lot of other couples were in Vegas with similar plans.
Our wedding was one of three that were performed within the twenty minutes we were at A Hollywood Chapel on Las Vegas Blvd. The place had it down to a science, including adding in all of the extra perks to charge people more money. "With the package you get a roll of film. If you'd like, we can give you digital pictures for $20 more..." "No, that's fine, we'll take the film." "With the package, you get the ceremony on VHS. For $30 more, we'll give you a DVD." "That's fine, we'll take the VHS."
There's no VCR in the building and the photographer was obviously using a digital camera. When we were getting ready to leave the same saleswoman told us that the officiant/minister was so nice that he bought us the upgrade. I think we were supposed to then tip him for his generosity but I think he would have been fairly surprised to hear that he'd paid $50 out of his own pocket for us. We laughed about this all day.
Weddings were in the air; one couple even got married on stage at the Village People concert that night as part of the encore. Alas, they were a hetero couple. I had hoped that the Village People might be a little more progressive than that. Maybe the boys were being on good behavior since Felipe's father was in the audience but they were posturing as very straight all evening.
I had figured that the guys going under the name "The Village People" these days would be six twentysomething dudes who might have seen Can't Stop the Music a couple times and knew the lyrics to "Macho Man" as a qualification. Surprisingly, apart from The Leather Man, all of the guys in the Village People had been in the band since 1980 or earlier.
Apart from a couple of teenagers, I think I was the youngest person there. The show was good though they didn't do as many of their original songs as I'd have liked. I had really hoped for more of a Live and Sleazy playlist with some Can't Stop the Music tunes in there too. They did some of their hits and a couple covers but I could have done for a few more hours of Village People music.
Most of our time was spent reading, walking, eating and gambling; in that order. On Thursday and Saturday I was in my glory as we got to hang out with Greydon Clark and Marly a bit.
The other high point of our weekend came just as we were leaving. We took a taxi from the hotel to the airport. The driver did the usual patter, asking us where we were from, asking about the weather and the politics happening in Michigan, and giving us a dismal forecast of the future. He seemed very down on the state of things as he and Andrea talked state funding. I almost said, "It's too early to talk politics," to try and shut him up but I'm so glad I didn't. As we went along we went past the Occupy Las Vegas camp the driver started telling us that the whole Occupy movement is actually a government-created plot to keep people busy, all headed up by a good friend of President Obama.
And then he went off the deep end.
"I'm going to tell you something that's going to blow your mind," he told us. I wished that I had started recording him because what he laid on us was an incredibly dense web of conspiracy theory nuttiness that just couldn't be topped. He told us that Barak Obama's real name was Barry Soetoro and that he had been to Mars as part of the colonization of our sister planet (via Tesla-based teleportation technology, 'natch). He spun this wild tale of Martians, the Rothchilds, and Queen Elizabeth II. When he was at a breaking point, with a straight face, I told him, "That's funny because I had heard something very similar but about Gerald Ford..." I went on to tell him a little bit of the plot outline of Mondo Ford. I hope like hell that he looked it up when he got home and believed every word of this Ricardo Fratelli classic:
The scariest thing about what this guy was spewing is that I just googled "Obama Mars Barry" and came up with two million hits.