By the time we had got back to the Fitzgerald from the Hoover Dam it hardly seemed worthwhile heading back out to the strip. As useful as it was, the Deuce had become something of an ordeal. It took over half an hour to get even half way down the strip, and it was usually time spent trying to avoid getting into too deep a conversation with a local drunk while wedged in the middle of large groups of impatient gamblers.
So, we decided to stay on Fremont Street. The best way to describe Fremont Street is that it is like a smaller version of Las Vegas Boulevard. It likes to be referred to as the Fremont Experience, but is basically a few long streets lined with casinos, bars and maybe the odd (ahem) gentleman's club. Like the strip it has street entertainers and people in fancy dress whose real purpose always manages to escape me. Is it enough that someone hangs around on the corner of a street dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow? Is that classed as entertainment? I can hear you shouting 'yes'. Whatever, it catches the eye whether you like it or not. More on which later.
The centre-piece of the Fremont Experience is the huge Viva Vision canopy. This covers the pedestrianised streets (this must be the only place in America where nobody drives) and is roughly around the length of five football pitches. A quick glance upwards and you will bear witness to some pretty impressive light shows which are projected on to the underside of the top of the canopy. Currently showing is a tribute to Queen, with 'We Will Rock You' blasting out at a billion decibels followed by 'Don't Stop Me Now' while couples everywhere have the obligatory argument about whether it is actually called 'Mr Farenheit. Who knows? Probably not even Freddie. No point asking him anyhow.
Similarly unable to speak for himself is Jim Morrison, former front-man of The Doors and fully paid-up member of the 27-club which someone completely invented last week after the untimely death of Amy Winehouse. She was 27. Who knew? 'Break On Through (To The Other Side)', 'People Are Strange' and of course 'Light My Fire' all get an airing during the next, Doors-related illuminated spectacular. That might be more your thing than Freddie's mob, but personally I can't find it in me to idolise a man most notable for exposing his penis on stage and simulating oral sex on his guitarist. If I did that I'd be arrested. Assuming anybody noticed.
Now, I am nearer to death than either you or I are comfortable with, so at this point I should tell you that drinking beer in the casinos had been making me terribly sick. I'd have one or two, and then feel like I had something stuck in my throat. Please. So, I would begin to cough and.....well......before you would know it I'd be struggling to breathe. I'd rush to the 'restrooms' and begin wretching up half a pint of what Rik Mayall once famously referred to as green globules. It's an entirely nasty business which happens to me every few months or so and is no doubt an indication of the impending death of my kidneys. Are you worried yet? Me neither.
Anyway, like an addict who values the brief high over his long term preservation I had been enduring this problem for days. But enough had become enough, so what do you do? You switch to vodka and orange, is what. This may not seem like the most medically sound suggestion for overcoming such a problem, but I'm on my holidays in Las Vegas. I might never be here again and it works for me. Besides, they tasted glorious and reminded me of my younger days spent racing to oblivion with Mr Reid. I didn't always win the race.
Emma and I gamble away very little of our money in the name of cheap shorts in such esteemed establishments as The Golden Nugget, The Four Queens, Binions and Main Street and get predictably and tongue-twistingly messy. That's drunk. Lest there be any doubt.
We go back outside and take a walk down the length of Fremont Street and it's big white, light-show-displaying canopy. There's a woman dressed as a pirate. She's not Jack Sparrow. I know this because she has breasts and she has them exposed. A brief double-take ensues and then a glance to Emma to see if she's noticed. She has and she just laughs it off. I decide to stick rather than push my luck as we go past the gentleman's club next door to Binions.
Instead we spend a pleasant while watching people in comedy fake pink mullets belting out rock songs by Roxette or Guns'n'Roses. I genuinely can't remember which. Both, I'd reckon. I can tell the difference but the pink mullets cloud everything. The last time I saw a fake barnet like that it was attached to the head of the in this case aptly named Pink (P!nk for afficionados and fecking nerds) as she writhed around some pole in some showy, musically deceased manner. That show got much better though. Fabulous Janice Joplin tribute set.
I digress. Some of the other people watching have been here long enough to go through several cans of lager which they have rather untidily discarded. I remember thinking that any longer than half an hour watching some of these bands would send me over the edge, but then if you ask the people gathered here they might not necessarily recommend spending three hours in a casino playing electronic poker so that you can get cheap vodka. It takes all sorts. In any case, any decent lawyer could argue successfully that I am already over the edge. It is just me or does this blog seem a little erratic by normal standards? I can't be arsed to edit it, frankly, so screw you.
We eventually arrive at a pizza place that doesn't have any pizzas, and so trot all the way back to a more expensive place just outside the Fitzgerald where the evening began. Lights, vodka, spew, pink mullets and all......