A pouring rain came to Vegas. And, being in a desert, Vegas has a problem with rain.
5 problems, actually.
First, people don’t know what to do. I mean, in Vegas, even Vancouverites don’t have an umbrella packed away in their backpacks. No one has jackets. No one’s prepared. So mostly they stand in the hotel doorways looking up and muttering, boy, it’s raining outside.
Second, traffic becomes a nightmare. I’m honestly not sure why it suddenly becomes worse. Maybe people are looking up instead of driving. Maybe they’re worried about the slippery roads. Or maybe Vegas cars have a reaction to the rain and automatically slow down.
But we didn’t mind. I even took a picture of The-Youngest in the rain, right by the Hershey store sign. He was not happy, but at his age, he can’t tell me to go f*ck myself like The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-world would.
Running out of time to get all our sights seen, we made a mad dash across the bridge from NY, NY to MGM Grand to see the other candy store, (M&Ms) and check out the Coke store. The M&Ms seemed bigger. Hell, they even had a car in it, and The-Youngest found about 200 things to buy.
He found cups with his name on it, key chains with his name on it, license plates with his name on it. It thrilled him to know people thought about him and wanted to put his name on things. Me, it’s why I’ll always try places like Original Joe’s, Joe’s Lube and Oil, or Joe’s Sexy Lingerie Shop.
The-Youngest drooled over slot machine-like dispensers. A toy jeep with M&Ms storage in the back, toy helicopters with a bomb bay full of M&Ms, animal dispensers, you name it, they had a way of dispensing M&Ms from it.
I think there should be a contest. What’s the rudest thing you can invent that dispenses M&Ms? Have at it.
Luckily, The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-Wold found an M&Ms dispenser that looked like a pencil and didn’t cost as much as a smart car. Not that he was spending our money on any of these things, he was using his own hard-earned pooch-poo-picking-up-cash, but we still wanted to make sure he had some cash for stuff he’d invariably want in 10 min. Or one day.
The Coke store was a bust, though. The-Youngest wouldn’t go in. Big bear outside. The stuff of nightmares. I don’t think any of us were really disappointed.
Outside, it continued to rain. I loved it. That wet, hot-water smell tinged with dust. The lack of smog in the air. The way the cars sounded slicing through the rivers that began to form on the roads…
The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World’s migraine began to become debilitating. But she kept up her good cheer and wanted to go on, just not in the pouring rain, so we stayed indoors, found pants in Marshalls and the most awesome shirt for The-Oldest that made him look super handsome.
The youngest kept hugging his new super soft Jolly Rancher pillow like he’d found his best friend.
When the rain stopped, we ventured out. We had planned to take a bus or a cab to our next location and that’s when we hit the third way that Vegas has a problem with rain.
No cabs. Everyone is taking one. And with no rain, all those people who had been inside, decided to go outside. Just like us. The sidewalks were crowded with hundreds of people, all of them super annoying. The Russian gangster wannabes with their mirrored sunglasses and girlfriends in super-short, shorts. The zombies walking so slow they were almost moving backwards. The hawkers trying to give your kid a card for free cocaine or something.
And while walking, we ran into the forth thing that is a problem when Vegas rains. When the sun comes back out, that lovely, dry heat turns into something muggy and humid. Something sauna-like.
It made The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World’s migraine so bad that if we wanted to get to our next location, the famed High Roller roller coaster, then we would have to cab it.
It took a while to find one, but we finally found a grumpy cabby who looked like Ted Nugent after a hard night of partying and smelled like he’d slept inside a cigarette carton. (Not the best when all smells make The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World sicker.)
Then we came upon the last and final reason why Vegas doesn’t do rain that well.
Being me, and somewhat stupid sometimes, I looked at the river of water pouring down one road and into what looked like an underground garage and said, OMG that’s so cool.”.
I probably would have looked at the Hiroshima bomb and said, OMG, wow, look at that amazing mushroom cloud!
The Ted-Nugent guy looked at me. “Cool? Not for the people who are affected by the flood.”
Clearly Ted Nugent was not a fan of the awesome destruction of nature like me.
I think in my next life, I want to chase storms for a living. Or create them, depending on if I’ve evolved into a god or not.
But despite the rains and floods, we’d reached the High Roller.