Downtown musings

In light of recent shootings and stuff, the question has been posed: Is downtown Reno getting more dangerous? Our own Deidre Pike grappled with this one last week, and she ended up firmly refuting the notion. I wouldn’t disagree. But I would add one caveat to the modern guide to downtown—you’ll always be cool, if you honor the Rule. The Cinderella Rule, that is.

Even though you’ve never heard of it, you already know what it is. The Cinderella Rule states that if a person wants to cut way, way down on his/her chances of getting robbed, beaten, knifed, shot or just hassled, that person does him/herself a major favor in this regard by getting the hell out of downtown by midnight. This is the Neon Babylon Theory of General Negativity: The odds of having to deal with an asshole or a pack of assholes rises exponentially with every hour stayed in downtown past midnight. Let’s do the math. If midnight equals 2 on the A-hole scale (it can’t be 0, because some a-holes do indeed get goin’ relatively early, mainly men who start drinking at 2 in the afternoon), then 1 a.m.=2 squared, 2 a.m.=4 squared, and so on, until you get to 5 a.m., which, amazingly enough, is 65,536 squared, and that’s about 4.3 billion. An outrageously huge number, yes. But considering the creeps, cretins, crankheads and crudballs who are spilling out of bars and casinos at that hour, it’s also a number that sounds just about right.

I do realize that to G.T.F.O. of downtown at midnight can sometimes be a bit sticky. Some events and functions just don’t conclude at 9:30 on the dot, unlike all concerts at the Sparks Nugget. Sometimes, nice people can be having a nice time in a perfectly safe and sane situation, look down at their watch/phone, see that it’s already midnight, and experience the dilemma of wanting to depart as per the Cinderella Rule, but not yet wanting to leave for a host of decent reasons. Very understandable, and for the most part, we can allow some wiggle room here by saying the C.R. at least starts the clock at midnight, but you won’t be in violation until 1 a.m., giving you a one hour grace period. This grace period is even more graceful if you happen to have a gun, machete or bodyguard.

The C.R. is in total solidarity with that old saw that says nothing good ever happened in a strip club after 2 a.m. It’s just a bit tighter, and a bit more general, allowing for the disturbing trend of dolts, oafs and louts seeming to have many more weapons in their pockets these days. Observe the C.R., and greatly improve your chances of never sitting in, or being treated in, an E.R. at dawn. There is one Nevada town where the C.R. can be completely forgotten, and that town, of course, is Black Rock City.