The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Las Vegas



This summer, I met a friend in Las Vegas. Where we were once youthful, dewy, and full of energy, we are now jaded, cheap and enjoy early bedtimes.  Instead of fighting it, I decided to embrace it. Here are my top tips on how to be at your curmudgeonly best in the city of sin.

At the Pool

Complain about the volume of the music coming from the wave pool, a.k.a. the “young people’s pool.”

Question whether they’re playing the songs of your dead youth ironically or because they can’t afford to license the stuff all the kids are listening to. Sing loud and proud to the complete catalog of Nelly’s greatest hits – several times.

Roll your eyes as the wave pool DJ seeks contestants who wish to participate “in a respectful manner” in this afternoon’s booty shaking contest.

Injure your lower back by laying in a beach chair. Now you can shuffle up and down the Strip so your outward age appears to match your inner one.

On the Strip

Mutter your way through Walgreens in search of thigh-chafing remedies because why is the Strip so long anyway?

Easily score dinner reservations at the hottest restaurant on the Strip…by eating at 5:30.

Yell at the men handing out postcards for escort services because they refuse to give you one, and, as a woman, you believe in non-discrimination and equal opportunity. Shuffle past while they look at you quizzically and still deny you a postcard.

At the Theatre

Attend a Cirque du Soleil show where, as a man hangs three stories above the stage twirling on the end of a rope held between his teeth, audience members stand up, loudly take all the drink orders for their party, and head to the bar. (“MOM WANTS A CORONA, BRAD!”)

Grimace as the audience treats the curtain call like a fire drill and stampedes toward the exits before the first bows are over.

Have the show photographer take the most gorgeous picture ever of you and your friend on the Cirque du Soleil red carpet. Balk at the $40 price tag and walk away. Contemplate a late-night trip to the dumpsters behind the theater to dig the picture out of the trash because, hey, where are you going to be tonight – the club? Reconsider because, as mom always said, no good comes to people who hang out late at night near dumpsters.

At the Outlet Malls

Acknowledge that the only people who go to outlet malls in Las Vegas are curmudgeons and Chinese tourists.

Go early to take advantage of the slightly-less-than-hellacious weather and to avoid the busloads of tourists. Resist the urge to point a wizened finger at tourists from other countries while shouting, “I remember when MY currency ruled the world!”

Commiserate with sales clerks about the high sales tax, ignoring the fact that your home city has the highest sales tax rate in the United States, which you pay without comment.



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