What a tool

For years, I’ve driven my pickup truck with my toolbox in the bed of the truck, sitting there in the open, exposed to the world. I’ve grown used to this practice, as sloppy as it is, security-wise.

Well, someone finally relieved me of my box load of crummy, rusty tools. The dastardly deed occurred while the truck was parked overnight in the parking garage at Mandalay Bay in Vegas. Which seems fitting, somehow. Along with my horrid, well-below average tools, the thief also got away with my gym bag, containing T-shirts, socks and shorts that haven’t seen a speck of detergent in nine months. Enjoy your plunder, mouth breather.

One of George Clooney’s great lines in Up in The Air occurs when he pronounces the Luxor “a shithole.” I haven’t been to the Big Black Pyramid lately, but if a Clooney character is sayin’ it, I have no reason to doubt any such declaration. Of the Vegas hotels I have stayed at in the last year—Mandalay Bay, Aria and the Venetian—I can tell you that the first two are decidedly not shitholes. Not even close. The Venetian, however—well, I don’t know. Stale, faded and overpriced, it’s perhaps not a shithole per se, but it does smack solidly of Squaresville. I would tell you, the cool, finger-poppin’ RN&R reader, to avoid it completely. Except for its club Tao, which is still one of the hot night spots in LooneyVille.

I can tell you one hotel/casino that does qualify as a full-on shithole, and that would be Hooters. Jesus. If you’re looking for a joint with all the ambience of a Jacksonville spitoon, there ya go. Why did I stay there? Momentarily overcome by parsimony, I impulsively opted for a $50 room close to the Strip. Translation: cheap bastard. All I can say is, I got what I paid for. And no, I didn’t go to ogle orange-shorted hotties. Truth be told, every goddang hotel in Vegas has a legion of thoracically-enhanced, apple-bottomed ultra-babes slingin’ the drinks. One does not have to go to Hooters to ogle attractive waitresses. Not by a long shot. In fact, the Hooters girls of Vegas are seriously out-babed by the girls of Aria, who have a tendency to peg the needle on the va va voometer in the red.

Coming in December, the last mega-opening for quite some time. For some reason, nobody wants to build billion-dollar hotel casinos any more. Work on the Cosmopolitan began in ’05, when things were quite a bit more optimistic, and it’s now finally wheezing its way to completion. This sucker is a doozy. Price tag—$4 billion. Four billion! Hell, Las Vegas’s entire City Center development cost $8 bill. So the Cosmo ought to be pretty wild, glam and sensational. It’s right next to the City Center, right in the middle of the madness that is The Strip. It opens partially in mid-December and opens full blast for New Year’s. With its 10-digit price tag, this joint would appear to be shithole-proof.