Last time we flew in at night, so all we saw was the luminous ‘Strip’. How a pilot can land in all that glare is nothing short of miraculous.
This time, we approached in daylight over a desert landscape of hills, crater-like calderas, and ancient lava flows. It was a topography more suited to the moon than to human habitation, yet there the city shined in spite of itself–proof that money is the most nutritive of all fertilizers.
Sure, breathable air is a pretty big difference from moonscape. The sun seemed just as bright, though. And while Las Vegas may not exist in a vacuum, it wields a powerful vacuum effect on pockets, lines of credit, home equity, retirement accounts, and dignity. From the second we touched down until our escape flight home, we felt a constant draw on our wallets like we were standing in front of a jet intake. It wasn’t until our detox on the long flight home that our addled brains came to terrible revelation:
Outer space is airless not because of molecular scarcity and gravity, but because the fabric of the universe is made of casinos.
We release this hypothesis to the scientific commons in hopes it may finally lead to a breakthrough in String Theory.
Now, having said all that, one might think we didn’t enjoy ourselves.
As we’ve noted in the past, we love going places where others are paying. There are advantages in being a small press, you see, so long as you have good business partners. And our partners took excellent care of us.
The pinnacle of the trip was dining at Twist in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. We entered through a long stone hallway lined by candles and fresh tulips like the entrance to Pharaoh’s tomb. Inside, the place was intimate, tasteful. The service was prompt attentive. The food… The food was as alien as the city. Culinary Philistines that we are, we tucked right in.
In short, the flavors were complementary, harmonic, and synergistic in effect. From Zezette Broth to Mediterranean Sea Bass to Chocolate Latour cake, the experience was of being in the presence of great art. Seldom are we acquainted with the truly unique and special, so it was with sadness and shame that we reflected upon what it would become in eight hours.
Business (mostly) concluded, we opted for a more familiar bacchanalia:
From our taxi, we spied a Bavarian-styled building rising up from the avenue like a beacon of hope to the common man. Naturally, we stopped in to pay our respects to the landlord.
After two liters of German courage, our author found himself on stage with staff, hat, and a hot mic. Whatever he was shouting, it sounded like outtakes from the movie Das Boot.
For a performance that bad, punishment was inevitable. Not like it took much convincing to get the waitress to throw him over a table and beat him with a wooden bat (A lady can take only so many bad pick up lines, you know).
We saluted her Teutonic vigor and slipped her a twenty to ‘Put some stank on it’.
As for the new book, progress on Exhausted Dead continues. Barring any serious mishaps (like sudden disappearance of the author, for example) we expect a finished manuscript by April with a final production release by end of June. Ambitious goals, considering we said the exact same thing this time last year.
C.O.P.: Any smart comments, Farnham?
C.O.P.: Good. ‘Cause if you miss this deadline, we’re shipping you to Bogota in your underwear and a DEA T-shirt.