Journals of an Insane Genius - June 2000

I'm browsing through the mail, optimistically disregarding the bills that aren't threatening litigation yet. What's this? The Stratosphere in Las Vegas is offering me three free weekend nights in a "Player's Suite", along with a free dinner for two at their finest restaurant. Apparently I did far worse than I thought during my last visit if they're this anxious to get me back in their casino again. Jen, my good friend and roommate, has never been to Vegas. I grab the phone, mash the speed dial button, and instruct her to pack light so we have room for souvenirs.

We land at McCarran International Airport around 11:00 pm on a Friday. It takes 45 minutes, three cigarettes, and a fifteen dollar cab ride to get to the Stratosphere. The mob at the cab stand is the last line we have to stand in until we return to the airport 53 hours later. This is the first time I've been considered a VIP by a casino. We get to bypass the registration desk and go to the special "Invited Guests" check in where we receive a special card that allows us to walk pass any other line in the casino. It is a pleasant experience. We get a 2 room suite but, this being Vegas, we don't spend a lot of time there.

On Saturday we head over to the Las Vegas Hilton to check out the Star Trek Experience. During my last moment of clarity before free-flowing alcohol puts me on autopilot, I remember my hospitality duties for the upcoming Regional Gathering my local Mensa Group is preparing to host and I purchase two bottles of Klingon Blood Wine. I'm on the prowl for the 6 foot 4 female Klingon officer, Major Kha-Lin. In the mean time a hip Ferengi slicky-boy named Roggle stops by the table to try to get us to part with our money (Ferengi are relentless in their pursuit of profit). He agrees to pose for a picture and I motion for Jen to stroke his large ears (an extremely arousing thing - for a Ferengi anyway). "Ahh-Ah, none of that", Roggle protests. With a wicked snicker, he tells us that earlier in the day he was asked if it was true that his ears were an "erroneous" zone. I tell him that he should have replied, "Oh no, there's nothing wrong with them".

Next a silver-haired male Klingon Warrior stops by. I ask him where his sister is and, in typical Klingon fashion, he gets angry and starts yelling about how he has no sister and accusing me of questioning the honor of his bloodline. I smooth things over. Then he notices Jen's new hair wrap. She's had multi-colored floss and hand-made beads woven into her hair to form a braid about as thick as a pinky finger. Klingons aren't much into aesthetics, and he questions it's purpose. I figure since it's my story I'll make it as big as I want, so I lie and say that it designates her as a lethal assassin. Although it's too short to fit around a Klingon neck, it wraps around a human one with room to spare. I point out that unlike a Klingon, most humans don't know what to do in that situation and simply attempt to grab the braid to pry it loose, inadvertently tightening it. "And then", he adds smugly, "lacking the will to find an alternative, they choose to simply die." Jen meets his gaze, raises a single eyebrow, and says, "Yeah, something like that. Perhaps you'd care for a demonstration?" Apparently she's tired of our male posturing. Just as I'm beginning to worry that she isn't here, Major Kha-Lin arrives.

Our eyes lock. A flash of recognition and, dare I say, lust crosses her face before she masks her attraction behind a Me and Major Kha-Lin (she wants me)veil of hostility. "So! The human called Doug has returned". At first I'm a bit surprised that she remembers my name, but then I recall that Roggle had asked for it and I figure he must have coached her. I start to complain that she never called me after my last visit when she waves her hand dismissively at Jen and asks, "What happened to the other one?" I stand corrected, apparently she does remember me because I was splitting a Warp Core Breach (9 kinds of rum and SoBe Power-Ade served over dry ice in a glass the size of a bowling ball) with Mel the last time we met. I play it cool, "You know how it is, these earth girls just can't keep up with me. How about it? You gonna let me take you to a sushi bar so I can teach you how to eat 'gagh' with no hands?" (gagh is a Klingon dish - slimy, wormlike, very much alive and willing to put up a fight to stay that way). She sneers. I can see that once again she is afraid to let her true feelings show. Desperation kicks in and I start to whine, "I only want to boldly go where no man has gone before." She laughs out loud, "It would kill you!" "Yeah but it'd be worth it". Sensing that her will is about to fail, she retreats. I let her get half way across the bar before I pitifully cry out, "Call Me!"

Later that night and we've somehow made it to the Luxor. Their headline show is Blue Man Group and we have advance tickets. I just love walking past a huge line. I've read three different reviews of the show, all good, but I still have no idea exactly what it is they do. Since it's Jen's first trip to Vegas I splurged and went for the most expensive tickets, $72 apiece. We had our choice of "ponchos required" or "no ponchos". Ponchos. Definitely ponchos. Center section, fourth row, these are great seats.

I lack sufficient lexicographical mastery to adequately describe the experience. Suffice it to say that this is the best live show I have ever seen. After the show I use my charismatic abilities (what can I say, I'm Doug) and we get to meet the Blue Men. Earlier in the day Jen had used her feminine charms to get me to shave off my moustache for the first time in fifteen years. The Blue Men commemorate the event by providing me with a I meet the Blue Menblue one. I hope this stuff comes off.

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