The Bellagio

122198-bellagio-hotel.gifSo it’s come down to the wire again. Surprise, surprise: it’s four days before Christmas, and I haven’t done any shopping yet. To be fair, I don’t need to shop for many people. And thankfully, I can put off shopping for my family because I’ll be seeing them in person at the new year and can give them their gifts then. They won’t know the difference.

I’m so sly.

It’s a guy thing, isn’t it? Testosterone has some mystical property (as yet unbeknownst to modern science) which makes it impossible for the human male to enter a shopping mall of his own volition before said malls reach their maximum occupancy level. Most of my male friends are probably at the mall right now, standing in line even as I type. I think it’s a guy thing. With cars, we strive for maximum velocity. With malls, we hold out for maximum occupancy. Yes, I think that’s it. From now on, this’ll be the official House of Rapp Holiday Shopping Theorem.

122198-bellagio2.gifOne of the things I’m searching for is a CD with the music from the Bellagio commercials. You know the one. The one that looks nothing like an actual Las Vegas mega-hotel, but rather like the set from a commercial about a new Las Vegas mega-hotel. In reality it’s probably a beautiful but overly crowded place filled with pot-bellied tourists and the incessant sound of slot machines clanging away. Funny how they never show that in the advertisement.

Las Vegas has become such a funny place. Didja know I lived there? Yep, for five years. And in those five years, the city made the transition from a place of character and moderate mob influence to a sanitary Disneyland of wholesome fun for the entire family. Well, except for the seedy looking guys who hang out on the street corners and peddle flyers for strip clubs and live, private porn.

122198-bellagio3.gifI have no idea who the artist is who sang it for the commercial, or even what opera or other piece it’s from. Somehow it irks me that even with a copy of the Da Capo Opera Manual sitting on the shelf behind me as I write this, I still don’t know–yet because it’s so popular, there’s a pimply 13 year-old kid working at Tower Records who undoubtedly does. That’s just wrong. I’m kind of embarrassed about having to ask, because I feel like I should know these things. Nonetheless, I’m sure eventually I’ll have to fall back upon the superior knowledge of a 13 year-old walking acne advertisement. That’s why being 13 is so great–you have nowhere to go but up. On the other hand, of course, there is junior high. Not exactly a fair trade.

Actually, I’d like to visit the Bellagio. I’m sure it’s an amazing feat of architecture, and the fine art gallery sounds fabulous–originals of famous American and European 19th and 20th century sculptures and oils. It’s always amazing what you can do with a few billion dollars. I just wish there was some way to avoid the crush of people. Most places in Vegas don’t even try to mask the fact that you’re treated like a lemming. Kind of like a shopping mall at Christmas.

And on that brilliant segue, I’m off to shop. If I’m not back in six hours, send for help.


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