August 2008
part two
Cher closet part 396
to you
LEFT and part
690 to your
RIGHT.
Then, like a book end of the trip, Wednesday arrived and my Mom was ready to hunt down Cher tickets. Luckily, we had our cell
phones to do some improvised coordination.

I called mom from the Tickets-4 Less both to tell her that they finally had Cher tickets…for $179 each, but you had to be a Tickets 4-
Less VIP member, which means you had to pay another $25 bucks for membership. Even with that, it was iffy we could get good
seats as 4-Less was a third party. As timing would have it, Mom was in Caesars Palace and was making her way to the ticket office to
check out their prices. Between the 3rd and 4th call between ourselves, Mom was told that a pair of tickets, seated on the front center
row on the 2nd mezzanine had just cropped up, going for $140 a piece. After the shock that they were cheaper than Tickets 4 Less,
Mom picked them up.

As we arrived for the show, many of Cher’s wardrobe was on display at the front entrance to keep the line preoccupied while
everybody was going through metal detectors, which made me think who were more dangerous; the terrorists, anti-Cher League or a
bootlegger recording the show.

Our seats had a great view of the stage and pretty much everything around it; the speakers, lights, the front section of people who
either can afford it and/or major Cher fanboys and girls. A large moving starfield was projected through the front of the theatre with
some moody/new age spacey BGM playing quietly, adding to the atmosphere.

However, this mood changed when the scheduled 8 pm showtime came and went and the audience took over by chanting and
clapping their demands to get the show going. The “starfield” responded by blasting Bee Gees ‘You Should Be Dancin’ which settled
everybody down.

A few minutes later, the show started with a crack band and dancers, then came Cher, coming down from the upper corner of the
building in a bubble. This entrance went down well and drove the Cher crowd nuts.

The rest of this 90 minute show was obviously all things Cher: the music, the career, the Sonny Bono years, the outlandish and the
occasional skimpy outfits (she sure knows how to take care of herself), the video montages, the dancers, the fans crowding the stage
and so on. Even the Village People showed up during Cher’s disco era segment…well, puppets of them anyways, but weren’t they
always?

Cher was clearly determined to put on a good show and she didn’t disappoint, especially for us in particular as she warned during
her opening monologue that her voice was not in good shape and she thought of canceling tonight’s show. It was even more to the
point as she cancelled the next night and they flew in Jerry Seinfeld to cover. I also felt sorry for the Cher fans holding the tickets for
THAT gig.
A little bit of 2008 wrackage: ABOVE: what used to be the
Stardust before THIS was shut down.
RIGHT: the now big
blue whale that once was Fontainebleau West
Afterward, I did the usual aimless people-watching until I saw the commotion at the blackjack area near the entrance of the
Flamingo. They turned a row of card tables into a strip show, complete with very skinny models in skinnier bras and panties, make-
up on overdrive, shaking their moneymakers on top of some of the tables while some where trying concentrate on their cards with
dealers who where also dressed in similar lack of outfits. To keep things “equal”, they had one male model card dealer for the
ladies, but he was just standing there looking bored while the guys where keeping the gal dealers busy by stuffing their loses into
their panties.

Being a straight guy, I found this scene annoying and was getting a headache from it. I then realized that I was eye-to-eye with a loud
sloppy yet aggressive form of The Fear, so I cut the wandering short and got the hell out of there for another Banana shake at the
Fatburger.

Far more stranger things had happen in this town and will continue to do so as my little non-lethal drop in the bucket is nothing but
filler in this town’s collective legacy. That’s one hard fact that you have to accept about this town, no matter what you do here, you’re
only one of the countless dreamers who continue to feed off and sucked into this legacy. However, there was one Vegas dream that I
was reminded of while I was heading back home that I’m glad it didn’t happen.

Soon after my initial Vegas discovery and when my obsession just kicked into gear, I dreamed about living and working in Las
Vegas….particularly in the casino business, like a card dealer. Like any kid’s dream of the future, it was feed by the media and any
other forms of misconceptions that blocked out the black cock of reality that was waiting to kill the dream and mangling the dreamer’
s ego.

Over the years, I slowly leaned that card dealers are pretty much the plankton of the casino food chain and, thus, pay is incredibly low
and the job pressure is incredibly high with pit bosses looking over your shoulder with none to little hope of promotion. Only a fast
food cook gets more respect…though not by much.

Then there’s what’s currently happening to that “small town” I first fell in love with back in 1978: the population explosion feed by the
town’s booming economy and bottoming out economy pretty much everywhere else and all of it’s domino effects. One UNLV history
professor in one of the Vegas documentaries I saw mentioned that he didn’t want to be around should the population hit the 2 million
mark.

This nice little Vegas trip had one more “subtly” left in its arsenal though. As we were flying closer to our airport at Santa Maria, I
casually looked out the window from my battered copy of Literary Las Vegas and saw nothing but grass!...two seconds later, nothing
but sky. Then a loud hard thud! Apparently, our pilot, Evil Kenevil Jr., flew in so fast and hard that he had to make a few steep turns to
properly line up with the runway and kept lowering the plane until the wheels found the runway.

Maybe I should of taken up commercial aviation pilot. If he can get away with banging up the plane like that, maybe there’s hope for
me and my dreams yet.
Goodbye from Jack Chick!
Part One
Travelogue