Las Vegas, NV
It was a relatively cool early evening in the Nevada desert. Our caravan, having carved through the mountains, now approached a glimmering cluster of shiny buildings in the middle of a vast wasteland of rock and the occasional crispy cactus. As we moved closer to the city, we saw that it was a hodgepodge of novelty architecture, decorated with sleazy graphic design.
We weaved our way through the city trying to locate the venue. We pulled into the driveway of an abandoned motel. Presumably, this is where we would perform. We passed broken windows, terrible smells and recent crime scenes, and we were seriously in fear for our lives. It seemed as though it would not be out of the realm of possibility that instead of putting on a show, we would all be murdered that night. We stopped just past the police tape. We were at the venue, and it was time to load in.
The venue was called either the Aruba Lounge or the Thunderbird Lounge. I was having trouble deciding what to call it, since both those names were on the building. There was a dress code, and the number one rule was “no plain t-shirts.” So, it was clear that this club would only let people in who gave free advertisements to large corporations.
But I was distracted for a long time by the establishment next door, which claimed to provide themed weddings and wedding receptions, including “007 weddings” and “vampire fly wedding.” The arbitrary use of the singular and plural of the word “wedding” made me think that perhaps there was some more specific meaning to those words than I could tell just by looking at them. In any case, I was staring at the LED sign out front for an hour waiting to see it repeat what I had thought was a “celtic wedding” with a picture of a bride and groom dressed in black and bleeding with flames behind them. I found out that what I thought I had read as “celtic” was actually “gothic.” That still doesn’t explain the bleeding or the flames.
We were afraid the Vegas audience would be unimpressed by our burlesque show, but it turns out that in Vegas there are very few burlesque performers, and they were impressed, and we had a great show.
The World Famous Whip-boy, a bull-whip artist, magician, comedian, stuntman, and probably a few other things, performed at our show, and allowed me and a few others to stay at his place, and he gave me his copy of My Life Outside the Ring by Hulk Hogan, ghost-written by some other guy, and Whip Boy autographed it for me. So now I have that book.
In the end, we left Las Vegas with no noticeable wounds.