a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Monday, September 12, 2005

Vegas, Baby

While I'd like to claim that I wasn't posting all weekend because I was working on my script like a madman, actually the Wife and I went to Vegas, to meet up with my parents. My dad had never been there before, and I think I turned him into a slot jockey.

Otherwise, there isn't much to report, other than the fact that technology is ruining Vegas. Everything is now just as much about selling you overpriced stuff as it is taking your money at the tables -- though there is a monorail running up the strip, just to get to a monorail station involves running a gauntlet of about a half-mail of shops, and then when you get off you have to run another gauntlet to get back to the strip. Plus it costs $3 a ride; if you are with a group of 3 or more, it's cheaper and a lot easier just to grab a taxi.

But the worst is the slot machines (file this under "Important Stuff To Know If You Are Writing a Vegas Script".) Only a few casinos now even have slot machines that take or dispense coins any more; they only take bills, and if you do cash out you get a slip of paper to redeem at the cashier. With the exception of a few casinos, there is no longer the satisfying sight of a stream of coins plunking into the tray at the bottom of a machine; instead, when the slip of paper prints out, the machine tries to fake this same sound, badly and shamelessly.

So if a waitress asks you "Is that a roll of quarters in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?" it's probably the roll of quarters, stuck in your pocket because there are no longer any machines to put them into. Call it the blanding-out of gambling.


At 9:43 PM, Blogger Grubber said...

I know this is going to sound odd, but it sounds like they are doing to Vegas, what they do to 4&5 star hotels, they are taking the soul out of them.

Streamlining, downtime reducing, etc etc is all well and good, but somewhere along the line, these bozos need to remember that the experience is part and parcel of the whole package.


At 10:36 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Same with Times Square in Manhattan.

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Yeah and that roll of quarters seemed to last a lot longer than that crisp twenty you put into the machine now.

I'd rather roll the dice. More fun to lose your money with a group of howling ppl.

Mark's Screenwritng page

At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Juancho said...

I was in Atlantic City last Christmas (highlight of the trip was my Dad seeing Bill Murray in Bally's), and while I remember a lot of the machines taking coins, they too gave you a lame slip of paper to cash out.

Btw, if you thinking of going to AC...don't, it blows. At least, DO NOT stay at the Hilton.

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

A couple of years ago, I was loitering around a Vegas casino, waiting for my wife to come out of the bathroom. Loitering nearby was a drop-dead gorgeous, very very young woman, waiting for her man to come out of the restroom.

It turned out to be James Woods she was waiting for. Her father? Her grandfather? Um, no, not with that kiss...

At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

when you walk around Vegas and here that electronic voice droning over the loudspeakers, doesn't it remind you of Westworld movie?

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

And you never see any homeless people on the Strip any more; they must be sucked down pneumatic tubes that open in the sidewalk.


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