“Remember, my dear – people suck.” said Socrates to Aristotle shortly before being dragged to his hemlocky death. Or something. Or not. Whatever.
I’m reminded of the made up quote mid-paddy as I tear around my Las Vegas hotel room at ten to five in the morning, my decadent Nevadan lie-in plopped on from a great height by the savage loudness of a construction site coming to life. It’s barely light outside and my earholes are being pneumatically raped. It would be a vile assault at any time, but before 8am it’s even worse. I have been deprived of my rights as a human. Amnesty International probably do entire conferences on this stuff. I think what’s worse is not the volume but the random rhythm of it. Just when you think it’s ebbing, it redoubles. Just when you think it’s stopped it’s back, making your water ripple like that scene in Jurassic park when the T Rex comes to play. I thought waking up in Vegas would be like having your ear gently tickled by Frank Sinatra while Dean Martin croons in the corner and Sammy Davis Jr brings you coffee and croissants. It’s not. It’s rubbish.
Getting older and wiser (or at least pretending to be wiser) has turned me more cynical than I used to be. I ponder plausible adult theories like whether the mafioso hotel bosses wake you up dead early here so you scurry out like bleary-eyed gambling rats and spend more money so they get richer. STUPID MAFIA. A few years ago I would have assumed that the workers just liked getting their work done extra early so they can go swimming in the afternoon. I would have waved at them encouragingly from my window. Now that I’m terribly mature and clever I just think they’re stupid mafia suck-ups and hope they get slapped by Joe Pesci a lot while Marlon Brando watches and Robert De Niro laughs maniacally.
Vegas is a dump by the way, for any of you who haven’t been. Don’t bother. Save your money for somewhere nice. It’s a vile abhorrence. It smells of smoke, air freshener to cover the smoke, and poo. A pit of all the worst things of humans all lit up by neon like all the worst things of humans are something to be celebrated. They aren’t.
I do the only thing I can think of to try and block out the sounds of the desert being ripped up by a giant whisk. I turn the telly on.
On the news is stuff about money, death, and celebrities. In between the news is adverts about what to do when you have no money, how to get money to pay off the money you don’t have, how to spend the money you don’t have to delay death, and how to look like celebrities. All fired out at such a rate I think I’m going to have a super-sized anxiety attack.
Actual advert (slightly paraphrased): “Hi. I suffer from Fibromyalgia. It’s been pretty tough. But my nerves are so much better since taking ‘Generic American Sounding Drug’. Warning: MAY CAUSE HAND-SWELLING, SPLEEN-WHISTLING, AND CONSTANT SUICIDAL URGES.”
Americans are weird. I hate them a bit right now to be honest. I’m sure once I’ve had some more sleep and they’ve served me some more pancakes I’ll love them again, but for now I huff at them, reader. I huff. (But quietly. I don’t want the mafia to kill me.)