So since gas is only a cheap $3.65 a gallon right now, I decided to drive to Las Vegas this last weekend for the leather/bear/cub/otter/giraffe/whatever annual smokeout. This is a gathering of bear-ish leathermen who meet up to see who can be the most conspicuously ostentatious Cigar smoker possible. But more on that in a minute.
The Drive from my place in Van Nuys to Las Vegas is about 250 miles each way, and about 20 minutes out it becomes all desert the WHOLE FUCKING WAY. If you think that driving four and a half hours straight through godforsaken nowhere is fun, then you’re badly mistaken. It’s even worse once you pass out of Barstow and through the Mojave desert, around the edge of death valley. Sweet lord. Miles and miles and miles and miles and miles of absolute nothing but cactus and tumbleweeds. Charming place names like Devil’s Punchbowl and Calico ghost town line the lonely road. ..And why is it that in all remote urban areas, the communications method of choice is used truck tires? You’ve seen them, I’m sure, hung on fences and posts in all corners of nowhereland. They’re painted white and around the walls are such missives as “DOGS 4 SALE” or the old favorite “POSTED LAND KEEP OUT!” or how about: JESUS LOVES U and 400 FEET AHEAD RIPE CORN CHERRIES NUTZ AND PIES
I mean, what the fuck? Is it against some rural dumbfuck tradition to just make a regular sign?
Of course, the punishment for undertaking this pleasant drive is the actual arrival in Las Vegas.
If there is a more god forsaken hellhole dystopian nightmare of a city on this planet than this, then I don’t want to know about it. Las Vegas is one big flat, hot, dusty dirthole jammed full of every and all variety imaginable of American crapiana all piled on top of each other. It’s like if a spaceship were to suck up every awful shopping mall and freeway factory outlet strip and dump them all in a smoking jumble in the middle of the baking desert. That is Las Vegas.
The whole awful place is an endless pockmarked grid of low wharehouses, concrete industrial buildings, dirt lots everywhere with huge piles of earth and littered everywhere with digging equipment and surrounded by miles of chainlink fences. Tolkien’s description of Orthanc or Mordor perfectly applies to Vegas
And the “theme” casino/hotel leviathans? Strictly from hell to cater to the basest lowbrow tastes. Describing the number and variety of abominations these awful monstrosities produce could fill a book. And the enormous masses of boobery circulating in and out of all this staggers the imagination.
The smokeout itself was located at the Alexis Arquette Park resort, which is a casino free site smack in the middle of the strip.When I stayed there in the mid 1980’s it was supposed to be a retreat away from the jam and congestion of what was then the Casino strip, but since then, the strip has metasized and surrounded it.Nearby is the Buffalo bar where some of the smokeout events were held. I met a few readers of my blog, which was nice because they were all handsome and smart, and it was nice to meet them in person. Hot and handsome describes the majority of attendees, who came from all over the country and even some from abroad. There were some complaints of attitude and such, but these things always have their fair share of that. Personally, I met (and made out with) a lot of really, REALLY hot men. The two events that I attended, the Pipe social and the uniform party were quite different. I’ll get into some steamy specifics in a later blog entry. The pipe bears were insufferable. Evidently, though I’ve been smoking a pipe since 1987, I’m a complete dilletante, as I don’t smoke huge, ostentatious oversized pipes. That was the rule of the day. Pipes the size of beer steins. I’m surprised that some of them didn’t have blinking lights and foghorns on them. Smoke anything smaller and more conservative and you’re shunned. One asshole said to me “I bet you’ve never smoked a pipe before coming here and you just bought that little thing at a drug store.” I said to him that on the contrary, if he knew what he was talking about, he’d recognise that the pipe I was smoking was a traditional Savinelli imported pipe, and just because it’s not the size of a fuckin saxophone does not mean that it is somehow inferior. I smoke a pipe for the enjoyment it gives me, mostly solitary, and it is not the sexual fetish that a lot of these fools insist that it must be. They all of them had serious size issues, apparently. Like a few (a very few) of the cigar smokers who had to make some sort of point by smoking cigars the size of colt malt liquor cans. Pathetic.