ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Wonderful Wizard Of Reno

Updated on November 13, 2012
The "Silver Legacy Resort Casino"
The "Silver Legacy Resort Casino" | Source

A Confession...

I have a confession...You have been lured here under false pretenses. Undoubtedly...you expected a long story. Oh...don’t worry...it is. It is also unfinished with an, as yet, un-formulated ending. (No...I mean like I don’t have a clue...).

That said...I have accepted the challenge of my new friend, Lapse, and the advice of an old friend, barbergirl28, to publish a multi-part (Interactive) story that could quite possibly bend to comments and suggestions. Please feel free to contribute in the comment section or via email. Although not every idea will be able to be included...I wish to thank everyone who participates for what (I am sure) will be awesome ideas!

Enjoy.


The "Silver Legacy Resort Casino"
The "Silver Legacy Resort Casino" | Source
So grave is the conflict that many dressed in flip-flops, no ass torn jeans and white t-shirts to show their respect for their fellow strikers.
So grave is the conflict that many dressed in flip-flops, no ass torn jeans and white t-shirts to show their respect for their fellow strikers. | Source
Source

Fear the Midget...

Reno, Nevada.

The Biggest Little City in the World.

Where dreams come to die and washed-out rock bands from the 1970s come to revive.

I stopped typing and looked at the opening lines for my new Reno-Tahoe tourism brochure proposal.

I assumed it would need a retool prior to acceptance by the local governmental functionary assigned that task.

My heart wasn’t in it.

I didn’t want to write travel pieces for pennies a word. I wanted to write one story and be paid millions of dollars for it. I just needed that ONE story...

A friend had disabused me of this notion. “I’m pretty sure every writer wants that, right? Why would you get it before someone else?”

Prior to hearing about this, hither fore, unacknowledged horde of unacknowledged writers vying for my spot in the sun...I just assumed I wanted it more...

“What have you heard?” I ask worried.

“What do you mean...what have I heard? I have heard that writers want to become famous and make millions of dollars.”

The secret was out.

She continued this depressing dialogue. “You have to do these travel things until you make it big. It’s the whole philosophy of having to do gay-porn before you get a chance to do straight-porn thing.”

She was right. The fact of having to do gay-porn, before getting a chance to do straight-porn, was just one, of four factors, holding back my straight-porn career...

This had been earlier in the day. It was now later in the day and the fruits of my labor can be seen in the sad three lines above. Perhaps if I used a different font?


This is the corrected flag of the City of Reno, NV showing the state in its correct rectangular shape.
This is the corrected flag of the City of Reno, NV showing the state in its correct rectangular shape. | Source
Midget professional wrestler Short Sleeve Sampson at a 2CW show on April 11, 2009 in Syracuse, NY.
Midget professional wrestler Short Sleeve Sampson at a 2CW show on April 11, 2009 in Syracuse, NY. | Source
The "Silver Legacy Resort Casino"
The "Silver Legacy Resort Casino" | Source
"Poster advertising The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, issued by the George M. Hill Company, 1900"
"Poster advertising The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, issued by the George M. Hill Company, 1900" | Source
Geisha houses and tea houses, brothels, bars, and cheap eateries...It has a unique atmosphere - elegance and traditional beauty really do balance with seediness and the slightest hint of danger.
Geisha houses and tea houses, brothels, bars, and cheap eateries...It has a unique atmosphere - elegance and traditional beauty really do balance with seediness and the slightest hint of danger. | Source

Don’t fear the Dwarf...

I’ve lived in Reno for near on a decade. I should probably have a closer connection to the town; however, our introduction had been marred. I came here from the Bay Area for (I thought) a transitionary six-month period following my divorce. That was almost ten years ago. It’s like there’s a magnetic pull from the bowels of the city that feeds on desperation, depression, and debauchery. A trifecta from within that traps, trips, and trashes.

As pure happenstance would have it...I was feeling trapped, tripped, and trashed.

I needed to get out of the house and among the crowd.

A ‘typical’ crowd in Reno, Nevada is a terrible sight to behold.

The town was overbooked. Five extravagant shows, three major conventions, and two contentious protests were all vying for my money and attention. I had little of the former and less of the latter.

Midget Wrestling, the Dog Show of Little Dog Shows, Snow White on Ice, a Judy Garland Retrospective, and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon Laser Extravaganza were all on the menu of options.

The state-of-the art National Bowling Stadium was hosting the National Championship of Bowlers while the Reno Convention Center proved the nexus for hunters and Gun Show enthusiasts. As always in Reno...there appeared to be a meth-amphetamine convention going on...there were tweakers everywhere...

Scattered about town were small pockets of groups (protesting and supporting) the Federal Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) proposed round-up of wild mustangs on public ranges. Several fights had broken out between the two groups following the release of dramatic footage which showed those, quintessential icons, of the American West being ‘run to death’ by pursuers in helicopters...

I went to the Silver Legacy and Resort. It’s fairly classy.

It would have to be considered the premier ‘upscale’ Casino in town. Its bold architectural statement and green illuminated facade dominate the Northern Nevada skyline and is evocative of L. Frank Baum’s Emerald City in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz...

The 1,700-room hotel and 85,000 square feet of gaming space absorb two full city blocks. Attached to this imposing edifice is the world’s largest composite dome, measuring 180-feet in diameter which provides a unique environment for using the latest in lighting, sound and special effects technology within its’ 75,000 square feet of interior space.

Tonight the orbed structure was slated to host one of the four extravagant shows billed for the evening...Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon...laser show...

I remembered an urban myth regarding (side one) of that album about it’s syncing up with the first twenty minutes of the 1939 movie classic...The Wonderful Wizard of Oz...

An attempt to test the theory in the early 1980s failed due to inferior technology. As I recall, our Pink Floyd cassette tape was temperamental and the Wizard of Oz V.H.S. tape proved recalcitrant. We never achieved sync.

The Silver Legacy was out of my comfort zone...

I normally like to haunt the seedier establishments. They seem more true to the character of the city. I know, however, that I need to reinvent my view of the town in order to guarantee commercial success for my new tourist copy.

I had settled in at the machines. Unlike the (said) seedier establishments...The Silver Legacy doesn’t cater to the “penny” machine crowd. The ten machines of our gaming station were found in the basement along an unpainted wall, cowering beneath exposed wiring and dripping pipes...

The cocktail waitress would make the circuit, once every six hours, dispensing the complementary watered down drinks...

Unbeknownst to me, a brown Russian Dwarf hamster and a Rainbow colored ‘My Little Pony were observing me from behind a salt shaker. In a series of mental flashes...they made their decision and I was it...


"Tales of the Cocktail" Drambuie VIP Party at The Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans. She's serving Drambuie cocktails
"Tales of the Cocktail" Drambuie VIP Party at The Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans. She's serving Drambuie cocktails | Source
Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster on a bed
Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster on a bed | Source
The Cowardly Lion as pictured in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Cowardly Lion as pictured in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum | Source
Toto in concert - Falling in Between Tour (Milan, Mazdapalace, 2006, march the 18th)
Toto in concert - Falling in Between Tour (Milan, Mazdapalace, 2006, march the 18th) | Source
Float in lot before parade with caricatures of New Orleans mayor Nagin, Louisiana governor Blanco as Wizard of Oz characters and "Yellow Brick Road Home"
Float in lot before parade with caricatures of New Orleans mayor Nagin, Louisiana governor Blanco as Wizard of Oz characters and "Yellow Brick Road Home" | Source

What was That About Midgets...?

“Here she comes!” Says Creative Voice. He moves over a seat to my right while Internal CD player occupies the spot to my left. We accept the three rum and cokes we had ordered an hour earlier and tip the waitress seventy-four cents...

Internal CD player was playing the title track from Elton John’s, signature 1973 album, Good-Bye Yellow Brick Road...

We were languidly sipping our drinks as the Emerald City slot-machine slowly reduced my estate in increments of pennies per spin...

“So, you want to know about the magnetic pull that traps people in Reno, huh?” Asks the slightly plump, brown, Russian Dwarf hamster. He was sitting in an ashtray. His fine whiskers twitch as he appraises my suitability for his mysterious tasks...

I consider him in return.

“I wouldn’t mind.” I admit. When negotiating with a Russian Dwarf hamster, it’s always best to be forthright. They appreciate it.

“The Wonderful Wizard of Reno should be able to help. I can show you how to get there.” He offers.

I suddenly noticed something that seemed to serve as an undercurrent to the day’s events. There were a lot of references to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Look! It starts in the title...yeah, yeah...L. Frank Baum, Yellow Brick Road, Emerald City, Judy Garland, midgets and such...you know...the Lilliputian guys...no...That’s Gulliver’s Travels...still...my worry was a real one...

“This isn’t going to turn into a musical is it?” I ask warily...

“It might.” He candidly admits to the danger. It was then that I smelled Sushi...

I have always found the shear number of sushi restaurants in this land-locked, desert city, to be incongruous. I mean...we’re land-locked. In a desert. Where’s all the fish coming from?

I hear a rainbow colored snort. From behind the Russian Dwarf hamster prances a rainbow colored “My Little Pony.” She relates a tale so horrific as not to be believed.

I buy into the whole story...

With the completion of that mental transaction, Creative Voice transformed into the character of the Cowardly Lion while Internal CD player adopts the persona of the Tin man. I looked down to see that I was dressed normal.

Phew.

The story was still missing a Dorothy and a Scarecrow. I don’t look good in pig-tails and I smoke entirely too much to be comprised of straw.

Introductions are made. The flamboyantly colored, diminutive, equine was named Applejack. The Russian Dwarf hamster named himself as Toto.

“As in the 1970s washed-out rock band by that same name?” I ask.

“I think it’s designed to be more evocative of Toto in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Points out Toto.

It made sense. “Oh, sure...that makes sense.” I agree.

“What’s his story?” Toto inquires of Creative Voice who is dressed like the Cowardly Lion and shadow-boxing with his own demons...

“Put ‘em up! Put ‘em up!”

“He’s afraid of writing contest judges.” I inform the curious rodent. “Ever since our recent foray into the land of competitions...he’s been gun shy about showing his work...”

Internal CD player was sadly singing the Tin Man’s song about wanting a heart. He always believed that with a heart he would be able to compose his own music; thus enabling him to stop having to play cover tunes. I explain this to the Russian Dwarf hamster.

“The Wizard of Reno should be able to give your friend his courage back.” Announces Toto. “Your little mechanical friend can probably get a heart for his musical career.”

“And the Wizard will explain the diabolical magnetic pull of Reno that traps, trips, and trashes?”

“You Betcha!” I was startled by the reference. My memory searched for a lost file in a messy drawer...hmm...Who else says...You Betcha...?”

“So...I guess we are off to see the Wizard.” I state as I put away that riddle and ponder how this new situation could be turned into a serviceable article about tourism in Reno...The Biggest Little City in the World.


Woman and child (Jackson's own caption). Magic lantern image from Bombay.
Woman and child (Jackson's own caption). Magic lantern image from Bombay. | Source
Carpet in the lobby of Radio City Music Hall, Manhattan, New York City
Carpet in the lobby of Radio City Music Hall, Manhattan, New York City | Source
Slot machines in The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino
Slot machines in The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino | Source
A Human Heart...
A Human Heart... | Source

No...It was a Dwarf Thing...

For those unaware of recent demographic changes in Reno, Nevada...allow me to explain. Over the past decade, swarms of Californians have moved to Nevada as their own state slowly sank into a cesspool of debt, over-regulation, and taxation. Damn Californians.

I don’t count myself in this number. I didn’t flee California because my state had turned into a cesspool of debt, over-regulation, and taxation. I left because my marriage had turned into a cesspool of debt, over-regulation, and taxation. To talk to native Nevadans, however, one finds that distinction largely ignored.

As an outsider I have come to believe that the town is run by an ‘Old-Boy’ network composed of conservative ranchers, miners, and politicians. Parochial. Small thinkers. Tiny ideas. Fearful of change and intolerant of new ideas and perspectives. A lot like my ex-wife...

After tonight’s adventure I would be surprised to find just how right I was...and just how wrong...

“So, now what?” I ask Toto. “The Yellow-Brick Road?”

“No. That’s old-school wizard finding thinking. To get to the top in Reno...you have to go to the bottom first.” He indicates the carpeting below my feet.

For those unaware of casino design...allow me to explain. They are dedicated to robbing the gambler of his or her senses. No windows, clocks, or outside stimuli are allowed to interfere with moving the hapless gambler from one table to the next.

In the classic military maneuver of “Fix and Destroy”...the bright lights and flashing machines “fix” the rube and their greed “destroys” them.

The indicated carpet was a busy pattern of flamboyant colors doing unnatural things for the sole purpose of keeping the gambler’s eyes up on the action, rather than, down at their feet. Casinos don’t make money when people are looking at their feet. That may be true of most industries. Well...not shoes...

It has been my experiences that if you gaze too long (or too deeply) into a casino carpet...you will spew the $7.77 Buffet meal you just fought through to “get your $7.77 money’s worth.” In all likelihood...that gastronomical gag reflex is a contributing factor to the busy pattern of flamboyant colors. It should probably be inferred that you never want to take your shoes off in a casino...

I didn’t so much as, ‘stare down at the carpet’ as much as, ‘the carpet stared up at me,’ in a brazen display of un-carpet like activity...at least...in the traditional sense...swirling...vortex-ing...other-ings...truly...I was about to lose my rum when my eyes went into survival mode and jerked away from the unruly patterns...

I glanced around the nearly deserted section of casino. Creative Voice was still shadow boxing and Internal CD player was playing Ann and Nancy Wilson’s signature 1970s rock anthem...”Barracuda...” Applejack was flying around nervously...her small wings beating a tattoo of desperation at our hesitation...


Ladder, Vertigo
Ladder, Vertigo | Source
The roller coaster at the Linnanmäki amusement park in Helsinki, Finland.
The roller coaster at the Linnanmäki amusement park in Helsinki, Finland. | Source

I’m Pretty Sure I heard Them say Midget...

No one seemed to notice my discomfiture...

Except Toto...

“You suck. You ain’t got no skills.” The slightly plump, brown, Russian Dwarf hamster declared as his fine whiskers twitched disgustedly.

I close my eyes tightly to help ease the queasy feeling that was, occasioned by the maelstrom of colors, emanating from the carpet. I slug the last of my rum which proves to be mostly melted ice...

“Fuck you little man.” I bite back. “I’ve coughed up bigger and furrier things than you.”

“YOU’RE FIGHTING THE PATTERN!” He hissed loudly. “You need to swirl when it swirls...vortex...when it’s vortex-ing...other-ings...

“Yeah, yeah...I get it.” I cut him off. I concentrate on the carpet...sounds fade...

(OOOH...Barracuda...)

(Put-em UP...Put-em UP...)

Suddenly, the carpet sexually assaults my left eye while leaving my right eye free to watch the desecration. I catch a swirl...I grab a hold...the vortex-ing nearly unseats me and I drop my empty glass...I hold on...I did what I thought was...”a vortex...” As it turns out...it was a vortex. A door in the carpet opens and reveals a set of stairs leading downward...

Applejack darts in quickly...comes out and begins herding the shadow-boxing Cowardly Lion and rocking-out Tin man down the stairs...

“Perhaps I didn’t misjudge you after all.” Toto says gravely.

“Oh, no,” I assure him. “You’ve misjudged me; but we’re 2,000 words into this mess and there’s no going back now...I may as well go down the stairs.”

“That’s the Reno Spirit! We’re already in this deep?? ...Fuck it!” He declared happily before scampering down the stairs...

As I prepare to follow I noticed a woman crying. She was a mess. She was pretty, but she was a mess. Mom raised me right and I’m a gentleman...I approached her with a grip of cocktail napkins and a concerned look on my face...I was concerned that I didn’t have enough napkins to even start to clean this mess up...


Tourists (Croatia)
Tourists (Croatia) | Source
A hapless tourist...
A hapless tourist... | Source
Flag of Kansas
Flag of Kansas | Source
Stamp from Tux Paint.
Stamp from Tux Paint. | Source

No, No...It was About Dwarfs...

The napkins and a (luckily) found table-cloth stemmed the tide. Conversation served as a levee against her surging emotions. Turns out...she was a tourist. She lost all her money. Those that know me well...know I don’t care for tourists. They tend to smell when wet and continuously clog the city’s arteries as ‘real’ citizens attempt to conduct their daily lives...

I gave her some sage advice and directions...

“You always want to keep forty dollars in your shoe. If you have forty dollars in your shoe, you can get home to the Bay Area.” I tell her prior to giving her directions to the local blood bank...

“But I don’t live in the Bay Area...” She mournfully replied.

“Oh, that doesn’t matter,” I tell her. “The key is to get out of Reno. The Bay Area is WAY better than Reno. Also...you never want to take your shoes off in a casino...”

We started talking. She cleaned up good. She was pretty and I liked her.

“My name’s Thomas.” I state as I stick my hand out.

“My name is RealHousewife.” She tells me while taking the proffered hand.

“Wow. Your parents had very specific expectations, huh?” I ask.

“Right? You can call me Kelly if you like.”

“Can I call you Dorothy?” I probe.

“Is that your thing?” She parries.

“Where are you from?” I deflect.

“St. Louis.” She confirms.

“Kansas?” I’m hopeful.

“Missouri.” She corrects.

“Can you be from Kansas?” I probe.

“Is that your thing?” She parries.

“Sometimes.” I concede...

A deal was struck and Kelly transformed into a, rather saucy, 1930s farm girl. As we move towards the stairs we hear a voice...

“Hey guys...do you have a cigarette, ten-dollars, or a car-battery I can sell?”

Oh Shit. A tweaker.

We turned and looked at the sorry specimen of a human being. He weighed less than a pile of straw, was barefoot, and wearing threadbare clothes. It seemed obvious to me...

“Ok Scarecrow,” I tell him. “We’re off to see the wizard...maybe he can give you a brain and you will stop tweaking.”

He twitches at the suggestion but relaxes when I say...

“You being a tweaker, I doubt it. Maybe he can get you a motel-voucher though. Don’t steal anything and leave the girl alone.” I finish.

Scarecrow (with visions of a motel-voucher in mind) was eying Dorothy lasciviously...

We walked down the stairs and into another world...

(End of Part 1)

(Part 2)(Part 3)(Part 4)(Part 5)(Part 6)(Part 7) (Part 8)(Part 9)(Part 10)


working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)