Old Before Their Time
Four Vegas Veterans Tell Their Tales of Woe in the Oh-Eight

Part 5 - Sunday Morning Coming Down
Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4

While the night's sleep was fitful, the next morning I felt ready to take on the world again. Or, at least, another quality buffet. While Main Street Station hit the spot--again--I know I didn't do it quite right, for I was ravenous a mere 3 hours into the bus ride back home to Phoenix. I cannot describe the miserable hunger that ensued for the next, nearly eternal 5 hours on the rest of the ride home.

The morning was leisurely by necessity. Nobody felt much like dancing. A large group of us met up at Main Street Station to pee on the Berlin Wall (there's a piece of it in the men's room, which I'd never noticed before). Jacqueline and Bill Walsh came to breakfast and tried to hide, but we spotted them before they could get away. In the dining hall, we moved several more tables next to theirs so we could all eat together. With Stack in the middle of the table with his stacks of food, the mood was slovenly and ravenous with a touch of disgusting.

After breakfast, Stack, Jeff and Jerry wanted to go to The Hilton. The Star Trek Experience had lost its contract and was likely to be gone before we came again to Las Vegas. Jeff and Jerry, both tending toward that kind of nerdliness, wanted to bid the place a teary farewell. Since Jerry was my ride to the airport later, I tagged along.

We shambled through the Star Trek gift shops and sat at the bar for one of their Klingon or Romudork drinks, but when the price turned out to be twice that of a normal beer (for a normal beer with normal blue food coloring added), we all balked... and left the bar. But not before the Klingon bartender told us that that he firmly believed the contract would be renewed. Klingons are so deluded.

Out in the casino area with the fading Star Trek theme, 80s rock videos played. I sat down to try the Star Trek slots. Shakes made them a lot more fun by rigorously shaking my chair as I played to match the sound effects coming out of the machine. Flailing to keep my balance, I whacked my wrist on the chrome, opened a bloody gash on my shin against the pedestal, incurred whiplash to my cervical vertebrae--but it was all worth it. What I suffered--and the coins I lost--were nothing compared to what Captain James Tiberias Kirk has gone through!

So engrossed were we in Star Trek Vegas that Stack and Jeff Barr decided to "flat tire" it at the airport, that is, purposefully miss their flights for later ones. They did this after having checked that there would be open flights later on.

Still, they had to head out before Jerry and I. My flight wasn't until seven. So we went to check out a British pub that Jerry had heard about. It was really, really cool. They had great French fries (which the English call "chips") and a laid back atmosphere--plus ultra-hot waitresses. Seriously H-O-T! And dressed like slutty school girls. Jerry, naturally, flirted with several of them. I both tried to flirt and tried not to flirt. I needed a drink, so I ordered a Black Velvet, the drink Bill Walsh had recommended some time before.

It was good. It was good, good.

And finally, Jerry dropped me off at the airport in time to find out that my flight had...departed?!

Yes, it wasn't scheduled to leave at seven, but to arrive back home at seven. I must be going senile. I saw Stack and Jeff minutes before they were called to their predicted standby flight. But me, I had all evening to wear out the batteries in my iPod, my PDA and my cell phone before I got on the last flight to Oakland.

I was the last standby passenger called and got the very last seat on the plane--smack between two enormous men who glanced over at me in the middle seat.

"So you're the victim, huh?"

Ninety cramped minutes later, plus ninety more minutes to get to my front door, and I'm in the shower, vowing never again to go to Las Vegas. Until around February.

Bye. I really don't want this trip report to be compared to Caddy Shack.

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