Have you read David Foster Wallace’s essay “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”? If you haven’t, you absolutely should. But not right now, right now you should finish reading this post. The title says it all anyway.
The essay is about Wallace’s trip on a cruise ship. Las Vegas offers a very similar sort of vacation, except with more desert and less ocean. It’s all shiny, organized fun, cheesy tourists, too much food, and some palm trees. As a bonus, there’s excessively loud music playing everywhere at all times, strange men on every corner trying to hand you the equivalent of baseball cards for female ahem, escorts, and enough bright flashing lights to give even the healthiest brain a seizure.
I’ve only ever spent a maximum of three nights in Vegas, which is usually two nights too many. I’m not sure what happens to people who stay for longer than that…
I was there most recently for a bachelorette party and, while Vegas is full of frights at every turn – I found the man on the street dressed up as Sponge Bob Square Pants particularly terrifying – I was willing to overlook those things in exchange for the hot weather & pool time, the champagne and the quality time with my girlfriends.
Going into the weekend I knew I was in for good, loud fun fueled by copious amounts of champagne, which, let’s be honest is really no different from any given Sunday with this group of gals. But I was worried about two things; the first was the club crawl we were scheduled to participate in on Friday night, the second was the heels I was required to wear in order to participate in said club crawl. (I know wearing heels is standard for most women my age in most cities around the world, but I hate them. And one of the many benefits of living in the mountains is that you absolutely never have to wear them.)
The club crawl started promptly at 9 PM. We were instructed to meet our guide at a cocktail lounge in the Mirage. We arrived a little before nine, feet already weary from uncomfortable shoes, and reluctantly shelled out $55 a piece to be pushed and shoved in crowded clubs all around town for the night.
The benefits of this fee were discounted drink prices at the cocktail lounge, though it became obvious this wasn’t the slammin’ deal they made it out to be when the bride-to-be was refused a free glass of water at the bar. In a desert? Where most people are likely consuming excessive amounts of alcohol? Not cool, Vegas. Not cool.
Other benefits included complimentary shots on the obnoxious party shuttle in which they drove us from one club to another – no thanks, I’ll pass – and VIP entry into each club. My heels got the best of me before the third club and I was asleep by the time my counterparts landed there, blissfully unaware of the thumping beats and intoxicated crowds that greeted them, but I’ll tell you the second club didn’t even have a line to bypass at the entry point. I almost asked for a refund at that point, or at least to be taken to a club with a line because I am very important, dammit, and no one’s going to know it if I can’t get somewhere faster than they can.
The first club did have a bit of a line, so that was nice (let’s overlook the fact that the reason people were lined up wasn’t because the club was full but because it hadn’t opened for the night yet). We got inside and headed to the dance floor where we spent less than five minutes getting aggressively pushed and shoved by the great orb of a crowd before retreating back to the bar area. We found ourselves a resting spot, tossed our shoes into a pile and sipped on a shared Red Bull vodka, which was collectively all we could afford.
I’ll admit that the first club wasn’t half bad. I believe it was called Light (because all the cool clubs in Vegas have just one name, like cool singers, so you know immediately that this is the place to be… bonus points if you find a one-name pop star inside, which we didn’t. I’m still disappointed about that.). It’s a Cirque du Soleil club and therefore full of performers in bizarre costumes who dance really well. They performed a little show about an hour after the club opened for the night and that alone was worth the $55.
The second club was on a rooftop. I can’t tell you which one, not because there was anything exclusive about it but because I didn’t care enough to take note. It was a neat experience but I’d had it with the crowds and the heels at that point. Plus I wanted some water (and I’d learned my lesson about asking for that) and by then our tour guide (who was mostly very disappointed about the lack of enthusiasm coming from this particular bachelorette party) for the evening had gone from too smiley to full blown creeper, hovering over us on the dance floor with that smile. I didn’t linger long before calling it a night.
And that, my friends, is a supposedly fun thing I’ll never do again.
As for the rest of the weekend, it wasn’t half-bad. In fact, it was pretty fantastic, mostly because of the people I was with (and the warm weather). There’s no substitute for good company and this trip proved to me, once again, that my friends rock. We did indeed drink copious amounts of champagne, laughed a lot, relaxed and enjoyed McDonald’s cheeseburgers at four o’clock in the morning. And, well, I’ve said too much already… all the good stuff (and there was a lot of it) that happened that weekend, well, that will have to stay in Vegas.