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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Viva Blahg Vegas, Part II

The next day, Tuesday, Sylvia and I left the Imperial Palace, striking out for the MGM Grand. Once again, she used the scooter and I walked alongside, snapping pictures all the way, looking exactly like the tourist I was. (But then, I have a feeling that most of Las Vegas' two million inhabitants do their best to avoid the Strip.) The heat was unbearable (for me; Sylvia thrived on it), and by the time we made it back to the hotel, I was exhausted. I didn't know it at the time, but a nice case of heat stroke was waiting in the wings.

Still, air conditioning works wonders, and soon enough we were on the move again, this time sans scooter. We headed down to Treasure Island and watched Sirens, an outdoor musical held on full-scale pirate ships in a manmade lagoon. There was singing, dancing, and scantily-clad bootiliciousness (aha, I've coined a new word). Plus cannon fire and explosions. One thing about Las Vegas entertainment: it's not subtle.

After Sirens, we considered heading back to the hotel and calling it a night. But we saw that Treasure Island played host to Cirque de Soleil, and after a bit of debate, we decided to see the show. Great tickets, too - third row centre.

Sylvia and I nestled into our seats and waited for the fun to begin - little knowing that we'd soon be a part of it. To start the act, the lead clown/ringmaster made a game of escorting latecomers to their seats. The clown made a big show of leading the patrons up and down the aisles, booting other patrons from their seats, leading them back, losing the tickets, stealing popcorn, and so on, spotlights capturing the antics all the while.

And then he stopped right in front of Sylvia and I. He looked right at me: "Ah, you're the fellow."

He reached into his bucket of popcorn and flung a kernel at me. And like a well-trained seal, I tried to catch it in my open mouth. I missed. Much laughter from the crowd. Another try; I missed again. "Come on!" I barked. "I'm doing my best!" he replied.

One more try. I missed again, and, disgusted, he threw the entire bucket at me. A huge roar from the audience; I have no idea what my expression must have been. Probably some form of shock.

Sylvia loved it, and I have to admit, it was a huge thrill. Any chance to be a ham, I'll take it - first time I've performed (in the most minor sense, of course) for an audience for a long, long while. It's fun, and I miss it. Times like that, I wonder about the road not taken. The rest of the show was utterly amazing - I could scarce believe the wonders those performers could do with their bodies. It was graceful, erotic, magnificent, and worth every penny. I'm glad we took a chance and decided to see the show. I'm not big on spontaneity, but sometimes it works.

Anyway....that was the end of the second day. Day three wouldn't be quite so much fun...

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