Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's In Vegas

Yesterday, I took part in a 24-hour Valentine's Day marathon in Las Vegas sponsored by the futuristic Yahoo Internet portal and Dr. Pepper, makers of several Dr. Pepper-related beverages. The video above features some of the highlights of my chunk of time hosting and whatnot. I didn't have a chance to shower or shave but other than that I think we can all agree I look pretty incredible.

I was originally supposed to host the 12am-6am block of mayhem but my plane from Los Angeles got all messed up because of crazy wind and stuff and next thing I knew they were sending a car to pick me up and drive me from the Burbank airport all the way to scenic Las Vegas. The car that showed up ended up being a fancy black SUV that one might rent for a bachelor party or to drive somewhere that Jay-Z was also going to be or something. There were a bunch of TVs in it and a mini-bar complete with Courvoisier snifters and everything. My driver was a nice guy whose voice sounded exactly like Andre 3000’s, which struck me as slightly strange since the driver was a white guy. It was fun to close my eyes and pretend Andre 3000 was driving me through the night just so I could get to Vegas and host a Dr. Pepper-related event. For the record, however, if Andre 3000 and I had to jump into an SUV and drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in the middle of the night, I would be perfectly happy to do the driving. I love Andre 3000 and would never expect him to do all the driving unless he really wanted to or something. Here’s to finding out for real one day! It would be pretty great to go for a long drive with Andre 3000. I wonder what we would talk about- some pretty cool stuff probably.

Before we set sail for Vegas, I asked the driver if he could go through a drive-through or something since I had been sitting at the airport for seven hours and refused to eat anything there since I figured a real classy meal was waiting for me in Vegas and I didn’t want to ruin it by going to Cinnabon. But then- faced with a four-hour drive through the desert- I figured I should fuel-up in case something terrible happened and we were forced to fend off snakes and vultures in the middle of the desert until help arrived for me and the driver who sounded exactly like the popular rapper-turned-actor Andre 3000. The driver said there was an In-N-Out Burger nearby and I got all excited because I really like that place and hadn’t been in a while even though I had spent most of the past ten days in Los Angeles, a place where In-N-Out Burger places are not that hard to come by. As it turned out though, the In-N-Out Burger was nowhere to be found (at least not by us anyway) and my options were McDonald’s and Wendy’s. At first I thought I’d eat nothing as some form of protest to myself and the driver, but then I was all like “Fuck it” and told the driver to pull into McDonald’s because I hate myself. I ended up getting the Big Mac value meal with a Diet Coke (because I am really healthy), a decision I came to regret in the miles between Los Angeles and Las Vegas as I started to feel like I was being punched in the stomach by an imaginary welterweight from the Golden Age of pugilism.

The drive itself ended up being not so bad after all. There was a DVD of the Dean Martin Friars Club roasts in the DVD player, which is never a bad thing as far as I’m concerned. I couldn’t get the sound to work but somehow bathing in the silent showbiz glow of Dean Martin, Don Rickles, Flip Wilson, Foster Brooks, Howard Cosell, and the rest of their tuxedoed friends as we made our way through the desert was still pretty magical. I put on my iPod to fill in any sensory holes and four hours or so later we were pulling up to the popular Hard Rock Casino right there in Vegas.

As hinted at in the name, the Hard Rock Casino is rock-n-roll themed in nature. There are guitars and leather jackets purportedly worn by prominent rockers housed in glass cases everywhere you look. It’s weird though how every outfit appears to be the same size and somehow they all fit onto the same mannequin just right. I guess all rockers are the same size or something. It’s hard to tell from the crowd sometimes. Particularly interesting was the jacket above, which supposedly belonged at one time to the popular actor Tommy Lee Jones according to the gold paint on the glass. I’m guessing it was really Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee’s jacket but somehow in the excitement the guy who painted the glass attributed the jacket to the star of such films as Volcano, Men In Black, and Men In Black 2 instead. I thought to say something to the concierge about this in hopes that they might right the situation at some point during my stay, but after driving through the night I didn’t really have the energy and decided to just let everyone think that the actor Tommy Lee Jones has a wild side that no one really finds out about until they come stay at the Hard Rock Casino. Then again, maybe this was the jacket he wore for his “Wild Hogs” screen test or something. “Sorry, Tommy, they decided to go with Tim Allen for this one,” his agent might have said delicately over the phone, “We’ll get ‘em next time. You’ve got a lot of heat on you right now. You’re just gonna have to trust me on this one.”

After a quick nap in my weirdly-large-for-one-person hotel room at the Hard Rock Casino, I pulled myself together and went downstairs to make the magic you see in the video above happen. It was roughly five hours of mayhem and when it was all over, I felt I had really earned the Toblerone they had in the mini-bar in my hotel room. I headed upstairs, dug right in, and then stripped myself down for another nap.

A few hours later, I headed downstairs to eat dinner alone in a restaurant called the Pink Taco. I’ve typed sadder sentences than that last one in my lifetime, but not many. Fortunately, just as I was finishing my first pass at the Pink Taco Appetizer Sampler, my friend Billy Merritt- also in town for the Dr. Pepper/Yahoo Valentine’s Day extravaganza- walked into the restaurant and we were able to get through the whole thing together.

Now it is February 15 and all of the above seems like some distant memory. I’m tired, groggy, and- were it not for the all the free lotions they had in my hotel room- even a little bit lonely. And if I didn’t have the Toblerone wrapper to prove it, I’m not even sure I would have believed it all really happened. I wonder if Tommy Lee Jones ever gets that way.

Dave Hill


Anonymous ben said...

Dave, it's Ben from the event. You were awesome. And terribly funny. See you soon.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Anywhere said...

That post was really, really super. I laughed, I cried, and overall felt a sense of having actually been there. The description of how it feels after you eat a Big Mac meal was pure poetry.

Great work, Dave.

11:17 PM  

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