By Royal M. Hopper III
You gotta love the Japanese. In Japan the idea of Merry Christmas is a two for one special at KFC and yet they still find a way to smile politely and say Merry Christmas to employees of casinos they are visiting on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The Las Vegas Strip was full of Asian tourist this week as the Christmas season drained the wallets of those who practice the holiday and drove them home to sleep off the hazardous traumatic drama of “holidays” with the family.
Japan is one of places on my must see bucket list . Anyone who can smile politely walking through a Vegas casino and say Holiday greetings to strangers practicing a holiday they don’t honor or likely understand is okay by me. According to CNN the Japanese most associate Christmas with Kentucky Fried Chicken because in the past tourist visiting Japan in the past have hung out at KFC because there are no turkeys in Japan and they settled on extra crispy chicken for their holiday feast.
Now as a southerner born and bred this makes perfect sense to me but might seem a little strange to those from other parts of the United States where they eat turkey and ham and stay home for the holiday.
“What do you mean you don’t have cold slaw and chicken strips for Christmas dinner …What are you German…? “
I suppose that means people visiting Las Vegas for Christmas will most associate the holiday with bad smelling slicksters handing out flyers advertising pink haired prostitutes named Bambi, cocktail waitresses named Bambi with mountainous breast implants, free liquor and guys dressed like Snow White or pretending to be statues posing for pictures with confused tourist from Canada who wake up from a three day binge and remember where they are just in time to avoid a state wide manhunt.
Two City of Sin Tourists show off the stuffed animals they won at a local casino….Photo R.M. Hopper
I cant tell you how many health and welfare checks I have been a part of where the concerned friends spouts where were you we were worried sick and the party in question just spouts lebr e alonderg which in drunkese ( the international language of drunks) means, “I have a hangover and if you don’t stop talking I’m going to vomit on you”
“Oh and incidentally if you are playing slots or table games or just sitting there in a Vegas casino and someone asks you .. ‘Is that your dollar, purse wallet or whatever, don’t bend over and take your eyes off your property. This is probably a distract team and they are going to steal your stuff. Remember this is Vegas and people are evil…EEEEVVVVIIIILLLLL I tell you.
Anyway this week’s Asian invasion of the City of Sin was speckled with a horde of unique characters that barely drew a glance in this jaded adult Disney land.
There was a Japanese Bon Jovi with spiky bleach blond hair and pink vinyl boots and a blank expression apparently unaware that the 80s were 30 years ago and occurred mostly in the mid-west and parts of Los Angeles. I spent parts of the 80s in college and part in the Army so I saw both ends of the Me decade can tell you with certain authority that it is not 1987 and never will be again and you will lose man points for looking like Jon Bon Jovi’s hair stylist.
Christmas Day there was a father and son pair and the son who was at least in his mid 20s had a stuffed animal draped over his back and a small stuffed frog in his hand. Apparently he had won the stuffed critters at Circus Circus and could not bear to part with them as he wandered around the City of Sin with his father or grandfather who appeared to be in his 60s at least.
Generally speaking when I see two grown men so close together and so close I don’t ask questions. Whether its innocent night out or something less innocent and much stranger hey what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas unless someone has a cell with a camera as three enterprising college students found out a few months ago when they passed out on the sidewalk and Vegas passersby snapped photos and posted them on Facebook before they even woke up.
There was a line of patrons dozens deep at one local Indian restaurant for the ..the the …well I cant really pronounce it but they make good burgers too from what I am told.
A belated Merry Christmas, Blessed Yule, Happy Boxing Day and all hail Fred the Wonder Goat…
Hail and Farewell From the City of Sin
Til next week