Las Vegas Adventures: Mystery Edition
Las Vegas Adventures: Where's Elvis?
The Las Vegas adventures continue: and to heck with Waldo, or Carmen Sandiego, for that matter. TV has told me over and over again that when you go to Las Vegas, you should see Elvis. Or at least an army of Elvis Impersonators in the city of Las Vegas, NV. Yes, if there's one thing you shouldn't be able to avoid in Las Vegas, it's the King himself. Yet, in and out of dozens of Vegas hotels and resorts, looking all around the Main Vegas Strip, it struck me on my first trip that something was horribly, terribly wrong. Where was Elvis? There wasn't a sign of him anywhere to be seen. Not a glimpse. Not even an odd tourist who maybe, kind of, out of the corner of a blurred eye after a dozen cocktails maybe looked like his cousin. Nothing. This really concerns me. Can I really go on a Las Vegas vacation and claim a Vegas adventure without even a mention of Elvis Presley?
Even more strange: no one visiting or working here seems that concerned with the incredible lack of Elvises in the area. Is the King missing? What hideous force could be behind such a thing, and what's with all the flair bartending? And maybe there's a major mystery afoot and this is my time to shine. Maybe it's a good thing I came when I did and not a moment later.
Hopefully this quest will find me as a Sherlock Holmes, and not a Las Vegas version of Don Quixote or Hunter S. Thompson.
Las Vegas Mystery: Have You Seen This Man???Click thumbnail to view full-size
Las Vegas Mystery Suspects: Blue Man Group
Who in Las Vegas could hold the power to make Elvis disappear, and yet cause life to go on for tourists and citizens alike to go on as if nothing at all has happened? Rita Rudner is entertaining for some, but she doesn't hold nearly enough sway. Elton John? Entertaining, but what would he have against the King? Wayne Brady? I really hope not because, well, I like Wayne Brady. Then again there was that ugly Dave Chappelle incident...unless TV was fooling me...but what are the chances of that, really?
But there was one group who kept coming up again and again. Their faces were everywhere, staring with hypnotic intensity. Everyone talked about them glowingly, and it seemed they were considered the best show in Vegas...a perch once held by the King. They were based in the sprawling and opulent Venetian, a worthy castle for any super villains whether in Las Vegas, NV, or elsewhere. And there were three of them...making them an overwhelming favorite against any individual. That's right. I'm talking about Vegas's potential Elvis kidnappers: The Blue Man Group.
I have no solid evidence yet, but they could have overpowered the king, they are competitors with a different style of strange music, and they seem to be everywhere. They look surprise or suspicious, so there might be something there. Now all I need to do is investigate without getting sidetracked in Sin City.
What Happened to My LSD Bathroom
Apparently Elvis isn't the only one who left the building here in Las Vegas. Pop culture had taught me two things about Vegas that I thought I could count on: even the Las Vegas episode of The Simpsons made these references, and yet I'm stunned.
From Amy's Casino Theme Review via CheapoVegas.com:
"Your body may be able to "rest" in the Harrah's restrooms, but your eyes will be jumping around like speed addicts on a bender. It's not just the red and purple sinks. It's the red and purple sinks plus the brown and white parquet floors, the pink, purple and yellow slatted doors and the pink and salmon wallpaper. Up near the ceiling, the wallpaper has a border of frolicking, reveling jesters and their dog. As a whole, the room has the blocky, colorful architecture of a preschool, something not usually associated with casino bathrooms."
So this meant that my hotel had LSD tripping bathrooms like out of a Hunter S. Thompson. I was looking forward to this sinks and walls, and to writing part of a hub in the Thompson style (with maybe a modernism dash of Denis Johnson a la Jesus' Son), adding a sixties beat feel meets gonzo journalism section. That would have been a cool hub part, and I wouldn't have had to stretch too far to have my catalyst be a bathroom with red and purple sinks with yellow slatted doors, pink wallpaper, and jesters looking down on me with their dogs.
This could have been such a cool freaking section of the hub. Now I feel like I've somehow only been distracted. I was searching for something...but I can't quite remember...hey, a Michael Jackson impersonator!
Possible Elvis Kidnapping SuspectsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Blue Man Group - The Suspects
Elvis - Viva Las Vegas...The Missing?
Staying on the Trail – Trip Update, Random thoughts, and Helpful Tips
This trip to Vegas has been a first for me, and it's been a lot of fun. One thing about Las Vegas is that you can fit two weeks of vacation into two days, and so you'll really want to pace yourself. For this section I wanted to include some serious info that might be helpful to someone who hasn't visited the city before, but would like to someday make that Vegas trip. There are a lot of little things that can help.
Las Vegas Tips & Advice:
One thing to know: consuming alcohol on the strip, not on any open street, but on the strip itself, is legal. You will see a lot of people doing it. Just don't be a stupid obnoxious drunk.
There are two companies that own pretty much all but a handful of casinos on the strip. If you think this could be a recurring vacation destination, than make sure to sign up for their reward cards. In theory you could stay at six different casino resorts on six different trips and have all the comp points count on the same card.
Another point: there is never a pure "down time." This is a city that prides itself on being Vegas, and that includes the image of being a city that never sleeps, so make reservations and expect at least decent crowds even during "down" times.
Food tip: Food can be expensive. If you don't mind McDonalds, there's one by the Harrah's, buy ten sausage mcmuffins for $1 and reheat as needed. If you're on a budget or find your budgeting wasn't up to snuff early, this is a way to compensate.
HUGE TIP: The average tip for "free" drinks is $1. Every book, guide, and website I looked up said this. Yet it amazes me how often a person won't tip at all. My brother and I tipped the recommended amount, $1 per drink, and often found that so many people weren't tipping that we would be getting visits every 15 minutes with drinks that became progressively stronger. This continued even after tipping $10 and running out - the appreciation remained. So tip. Many of these girls make minimum wage plus tips, and that's it, so a lot of $1 bills does make a big difference, and they're not going to waste time with people too cheap to tip a simple dollar.
Hope those little things help. Don't miss the free fountain show at the Bellagio at night. It's amazing.
Vegas, Mystery, Elvis & Blue Man Group
- Las Vegas Vacations: Three Travel Tips for First Time Tourists
Las Vegas can be overwhelming for first time visitors. Following a few simple tips can help make a trip to Vegas go smoothly and be one to remember.
- Las Vegas Adventures: Part I
The pre trip, about preparing for my first ever trip to Las Vegas. You know, before I found out Elvis was missing.
- Offical Site of the Blue Man Group
Entertainers, big draws...Elvis kidnappers?
- Elvis Conspiracy Theory Documentary
Why do all consiracy theories always have the word "truth" in them?
- How to Be a Private Eye
Great resource on how to be a private eye.