Category Archives: Poky Town


Let me give two examples of just how different life is here in Las Vegas.

Earlier in the month, a complete stranger sidled up to me. He asked where he could score some “H.” Some smack.

Drat! If only he’d sought hookers instead.

It wasn’t an integrity test because those involve straight-up cash for providing/procuring abnormal services and goods. Or swiping property from the premises or persons on them.

Facilitating the request or thieving is never the problem. Getting caught, as one in the hospitality sector does now and then, is the problem. For a destination marketing itself as a place where inhibitions can be left at home, at the airport, or abandoned inside hotel rooms, Las Vegas has contradictory notions about sinning.

Sorry. Vice.

Financial ruin through gambling and dissipation by assembly-line cocktail bingeing is accepted. In fact aren’t both encouraged?

Yet the sexual exchanges can only be so mercantile and deviant, while drug usage tests the full extent of schizophrenia. Several topless shows and male reviews render the artifice of naughtiness entertaining. However, the authorities cast cold eyes upon visitors and locals alike who seek to forsake life through vicarious distance for actual fleshly delights.

Nevadans who approved cannabis use laughed then dismissed the “medicinal purposes” nuisances in order to enjoy weed recreationally. But giving the people what they want and allowing it are two different things. Instead of standing aside, legislators established vindictive hurdles in regards to where marijuana may be consumed.

Happy to report that in libertarian Nevada, the rules are being ignored. The aroma of icky-sticky wafts around public places and in prohibited hotel areas. Fortunately for all involved, the authorities aren’t crusading to keep sidewalks and parks free of stoners. Also, hoteliers quickly understood an increasing percentage of their guests looked upon the restrictions as less reason to visit the Big Mayberry.

After all, what can’t happen in Vegas?

The hotel industry realizes much clearer than the soberest bureaucrat that a good percentage of Las Vegas visits are impulsive. No one here wants such trade to put much thought into a Las Vegas journey. The concerned enterprises want that first germ to sprout and overwhelm all other contemplation with its abundant blossoms.

Thought beyond the initial urge could call into question whether it would worthwhile paying Strip addresses’ exorbitant restaurant and cocktail prices, the high fees for amenities, sundries, and parking as well as shouldering a club’s table service expenses. Thinking about any or all of them may be enough to cast shade upon visiting Las Vegas.

Simpler is better for those in every facet of the industry. They don’t want prospective guests pondering. They want prospective guests looking eagerly to the journey and adventures once here.

Anyway, about the visitor seeking a deck to calm the monkey on his back I could do nothing. Thankfully for us both he wasn’t jonesing. Despite my inability to aid him directly, I suggested a few avenues he might pursue. Surely on one of them he’d find a hollowed-out figure who could help him score.

In February, the above encounter has not been the month’s most unusual. Nor its least unpleasant.

Driving home from work for the weekend, one of the city’s legion of wild-eyed homeless men accosted me at a red light. At least he wasn’t scabby, grime-encrusted. His hair wasn’t unkempt and matted.

After a shower, a shave, and detox he might’ve appeared presentable enough to have applied for a job. Bet that notion never pierced his voluntary haze.

A nice high desert day, I’d rolled down the car windows. Normally the beggars perched on the sidewalk curbs make quick pitches. Until relocating to Nevada I never gave “spare change” much thought. Employed throughout adult life, my money has been fairly rigidly apportioned.

Being unresponsive normally suffices to have the pavement wretch “bless” you then shuffle along to the next possible soft touch. Not this one, though. Not only was he anchored at my window, he was also insistent.

Hearing his rapid patter, why wasn’t this cat on some store floor persuading gullible customers to make unnecessary purchases? Isn’t there good money in that?

He reminded me of a salesman working on commission. One who had to close steep sales goals in order to receive his percentage.

Rough living had aged him. Subject to the elements and these exacerbated by whatever chemical compositions coursed through his system, the poor devil couldn’t have been far on either side of 30. Despite this he was still in better shape than me.

Seeing his target resistant to parting with any coins at all, he tried guilt-tripping me. Give him this, for a crazed piece of drug-addled, two-legged vermin he was observant. He spied my watch and driving glasses. Yes. Both carried prestige labels. Yes. Both were expensive. Neither were gifts. I bought the latter after earning the money through work; the former a reward from opportunity provided by industry.

About the glasses, I love the brand. In fact I own a pair of shades bearing the same mark. You bet they get workouts during Mojave summers. Besides, wearing them makes me look cooler. The watch? The watch has a background that has startled listeners.

Practicality and sentiment. Two attributes I knew my supplicant had lost any and all appreciation of if he’d ever possessed either.

The way he rattled on must’ve lengthened the time at the stop light. Or maybe it was another manifestation of Einstein’s theory of time. In a second’s duration, a kiss from a lovely girl lingers less than an instant; holding a red-hot poker lasts an eternity.

My tormentor had enough time to delve into personal insults.

Nice to know my withholding a contribution had driven him into further desperation. My refusing to donate, really barely acknowledging him actually, frustrated him further.

No. Us both knowing he lacked any outlet probably angered him more.

No. My taking satisfaction in us both knowing him stuck in futility when the light finally turned green and me moving on while he remained mired in whatever hell he’d created himself hopefully angered him the most.


Sidewalks Are Not for Sleeping

Middle of November 2019, the Las Vegas city council approved ordinances to corral the homeless. The legislation will ultimately frustrate all involved and prove meaningless. The only good which may come from them is a somewhat honest public debate regarding transient control and the funds taxpayers will wish to dedicate to such.

There should be no doubt that a good portion of residents will suggest loading vagrants onto Union Pacific freight cars then shipping and leaving them in the Mojave. Here in libertarian Nevada, the idea of an individual making him- or herself incapable of carrying his or her own water, of being an intentional public burden, will rankle. Continue reading Sidewalks Are Not for Sleeping

Imaginary Grace

Shouldn’t Las Vegas be the one place in America free of evangelicals? After all, people visit the Big Mayberry to escape the godscreamers’ “old time religion,” their moral superiority, and as well as their judgmental natures.

But even here there is no respite from the moralizers and holier-than-thou intending to make another’s life as hellish, narrow and proscribed as theirs. Continue reading Imaginary Grace

Living Art

Higher evolved as humans claim themselves, maybe the lower primates, four-legged creatures, and fowl have the whole relationship matrix grasped better. For the most part they answer to instinct. A time of year triggers them to couple, copulate in order to assure continuance of the species, then diverge.

Easier than what Adair endured. Continue reading Living Art

People Who Parlay

Perhaps the man/woman parlays which follow were just as bald back in New York. There, though, unlike here in Las Vegas, the couples involved are more discreet.

The Mojave Mecca’s transient nature permits the sort of convention flouting which would make proper Easterners recoil. Of course Westerners could claim by their openness they’re unbound by rank hypocrisy. Continue reading People Who Parlay

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

For the first time in my five years here in Nevada, the Yuletide has had a joyous feel. Not that the locals have brightened up the Mojave with glitter and approaches which correspond to the merriment derived from the period’s significance. After all, it remains bizarre seeing Christmas lights decorating palm trees. Continue reading The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

For Hire

Lola and Anastasia are in “the game.” Both are “working girls.” Nice euphemisms, eh?

Las Vegas lures a lot of good-looking women with negligible abilities. Taking honest stock of themselves, and deciding what they can offer shouldn’t be wasted behind a counter for minimum wages, or making babies from the jump, these entrepreneurs have decided that marketing their sensual commodities the most viable route to happiness and fulfillment.

Well, the pursuit generally starts out with that intent. But doesn’t life invariably derail dreams? Continue reading For Hire

Little Terrors Solved

Why are children considered so precious? Human beings, after all, are animals. Higher evolved, yes, or so we’ve come to believe, but animals nonetheless.

While we have turned copulation into pleasure, the ultimate reason behind our mating is to reproduce. To continue and expand our genetic lineage. Same primal directive as every other species inhabiting this planet.

That we derive joy from procreation leaves simpler animals unencumbered with the plentitude of human dramas associated with sex. After they rut, it’s over. The male goes his way, the female hers.

Whenever human males try following that instinct there’s a hell to pay no animal can conceive. Continue reading Little Terrors Solved

Distressing Displacements

Was the summer heat so relentless in Southern Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert, as it is in a Las Vegas set amidst the Mojave? Just as likely. Possibly even more so. The Sonora sits at a lower altitude. Its desert classification aside, it’s also a less arid ecosystem than the Mojave.

Youth, accompanied by more involved living, frequent insobriety, and greater disregard of nuisances like heat and lack of sleep, probably registered those Arizona Augusts on some lower discomfort scale. The escapades immersed in then must’ve somewhat negated the arduous climate.

Almost five years living in Las Vegas and I’ve learned to evade a trap that snares too many willing natives and long-time residents. I’ve managed to look through the transients, deadbeats, and bums littering the street corners and raised medians. Continue reading Distressing Displacements

First Dibs

Video poker machines and the city’s transient nature make establishing a hangout in Las Vegas difficult. The screens divert eyes and muddle hearing. A continually changing cast of barflies constantly juggles what elsewhere might be considered a roster of locals. And Las Vegas jobs with their Las Vegas schedules also add obstacles to continuity. Continue reading First Dibs