Thursday, April 23, 2009

What happens in Vegas

I visited my Dad in Vegas for Easter weekend; my sister and brother in law flew in from New York as well. Here's my favorite memory from my trip:

Dad, Second Wife, SisterGirl and Brother in Law went to see Cirque du Soleil's LeRéve at the Wynn on the Monday evening following Easter weekend. Having already seen LeRéve during my previous visit at Thanksgiving, I decided to walk around and check out the Wynn during the hour that they'd be in the theater.

I wandered through the casino and out onto a terrace that faced a giant waterfall and pool. There was a bar at the far end and plenty of chairs and tables were available. I walked over to the bar and asked for a Jameson and ginger ale. After having a funny conversation with the bartender about the Irish origins of the word 'whiskey', I settled into a white wicker chair that faced the waterfall. It was about 7pm.

I made a couple of phone calls so I could catch up on the rest of my life after a weekend of family bonding. Half an hour later, I was thinking about taking another walk when fireworks began to go off above the waterfall. I decided to stay put and see what happened; I called my friend Tabitha so that we could catch up.

It was a gorgeous night; the chairs were beginning to fill up with hotel guests. As I was dialing, I looked up to see a disheveled, 30-ish guy in a black leather jacket and black knit cap, who pointed to the chair opposite me and asked if it was taken. I told him it was free and he sort of sunk into it, pulling his own cell phone out of his jacket pocket as he blankly stared in the direction of the waterfall. He was clearly coming down from a very potent high.

While I was chatting with Tab, the fireworks ended and the waterfall was lit by colored floodlights as music started to play. "Hang on, something is happening," I said to Tabitha. A few seconds later, a giant (I am not exaggerating, it was probably 40 feet wide) inflated, animatronic frog popped out of the top of the waterfall and began singing Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World." The thing's eyes were rolling, mouth moving, giant suction cup froggie fingers tapping in time to the beat. How Vegas can you get?

So I'm describing this scene to Tabitha over the phone when Black Jacket guy leans across the table to me, gestures at the giant singing frog and asks, "Do you see that?"

Um. "Do I see it?"

"Yeah. Is that really there?" Oh god, the dude was having a genuine Hunter S. Thompson moment. He thought he was hallucinating.

"Hold on, girl," I said to Tab and put my phone down for a second. "The frog? Yes, I see it."

"You do?"

"Yep. It's really there."

"Is it smoke?" he asked.


"I think," he murmured, almost to himself, "they did it with lights and smoke." He was fiddling with his blackberry like crazy.

I started to feel sorry for the guy, who was clearly trying very hard to not freak out. "No, it's inflated," I said as patiently as I could. "It's real, I swear! I see it too."

Black Jacket got up and wandered (unsteadily) over to the balcony. He started taking pictures of the giant singing frog (I'm assuming for later proof that it was really there). Meanwhile I described everything that was happening to Tab; she was dying of laughter on the other end of the phone.

When the song ended, the frog deflated and retracted back into the top of the waterfall. Black Jacket sat back down.

"I'm not sure," he repeated slowly, "that I just saw that." I just smiled at his unblinking stare.

I'm thinking that he didn't believe I was real, either.



Anonymous Olivia said...

Hahaha...I'm not sure I should feel sorry for the guy, or happy that he had such a good time in Vegas.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Linnaeus said...

A few seconds later, a giant (I am not exaggerating, it was probably 40 feet wide) inflated, animatronic frog popped out of the top of the waterfall and began singing Louis Anderson's "What a Wonderful World."Not to be an insufferable pedant, but I think you mean Louis Armstrong.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Aaaaaaahhhhh! It's fixed. You know what's funny - I checked the spelling of Armstrong's first name because I knew there was a comedian that spelled it "Louie." Then I used the wrong last name - typical!

9:37 AM  
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