People are Strange in the City of Sin and in Utah
By Royal Hopper
This week I went on vacation. My wife and I and several dozen other nature freaks (tourists) hiked down a well traveled trail at Zion National Park. Most of my fellow hikers spoke foreign languages, took lots of pictures, wore strange clothing and looked lost and appeared to have consumed a great deal of alcohol.
It was a lot like being on Las Vegas Boulevard or in a Las Vegas casino except of course the mountains were real and there were no cocktail waitresses and the air conditioning didn‘t appear to work.
As I was walking down the trail at the Emerald Falls train I had a Sin City flash back.
I responded to natures call just like any Sin City tourist ..I tried to ask what looked like a security guard directions to the bathroom and craps tables.
It turned out he was a tourist from Belgium who upon hearing my East Texas drawl looked like he had just walked into a real life remake of Deliverance despite the fact he didn’t seem to speak English.
“I no have money ..I no squeal like pig…” (watch the movie)
….No not really I just asked him where the falls were and he looked at me muttered a few words of French and smiled causing the young woman behind us to attempt to hide behind my and my wife as the strange looking gentleman approached the group of us walking up the trail.
Now I really felt at home. The frightened Frenchman was actually a drunken tourists making passes at women way out of his league in a foreign language and annoying said women to the point of pretending to be family members of strangers to avoid them.
( and no I wont tell you how I know about this technique)
Overcome by a sense of Sin City serendipity ( I don’t actually know what that means I once got a pat on the back for using it in a feature I wrote for a local newspaper. I actually once had an argument about what it meant and won even though I was wrong.)
Overcome by a sense of Sin City familiarity I immediately did a visual search of the surrounding vistas for the life sized cartoon characters who often pose for pictures on Las Vegas Boulevard thiking they had them in Vegas why not here in nature’s glory.
As luck would have it I saw what looked like Elmo and Big Bird. There by a large rustic looking bench near a fork in the trail ( it was a rock okay) was a tall yellow clad man with a bird themed costume and a shorter figure dressed head to toe in fuzzy red fur. They were standing by a fork in the trail waiting to take pictures with eager tourists for a tip or beer.
Unfortunately it wasn’t Big Bird or Elmo standing by the fork in the road. It was a couple from the Ukraine with bad fashion sense and an even worse sense of direction than me. They didn’t seem to mind having their pictures taken and even started posing and flexing a little….They were ….odd….and kind of scary …Just like Vegas I thought as I hiked my past the couple for here on known in my mind as Big Bird and Elmo…
Later I swear I saw Elvis hiking down the Emerald Falls trail and chorus girl with a fur lined coat and a homeless guy sleeping on the sidewalk.
IT turned out it was just a guy with a bad hair cut and a button up shirt, a child who carrying a small dog on her shoulder and a German tourist taking a nap after a long climb. I assume he was German. He was talking to himself in what sounded like German as others hurried past him hoping he would not wake up and ask for money…
Just like the city……
I arrived back in the City on Sin just as the sun was setting and back where the Elmo’s and Spider men posing for pictures were actually posing for pictures and the people laying on the ground weren’t resting. Here life is not simple, the air is polluted , the lights never go out and there are miles of neon and anything you want to buy is sold somewhere…
Such is Life in the City of Sin
Rock on Fellow Sinners
See you soon