July 2020


Viva Las Vegas!

I’d tell you about what I did in Las Vegas, but… as the Las Vegas tag line goes, “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.”

So I have nothing else to say.


Not really, but let me be clear: Las Vegas’ initial impression, as I found at the airport, is not inviting. From Slot Machines (seriously?!) in the middle of the concourse as I exited the airplane, to the baggage claim hall – which was the noisiest most awful baggage claim hall I’ve ever seen (advertising everywhere, video ad boards with sound), I was not impressed.

The only reason I went to Vegas was to see an old college pal (and because it was cheap) for the first time in years.

The truth of the matter is that it is entirely possible to have a great time in Vegas and have limited exposure to the very things that make Vegas the kind of place that sane people want to avoid.

Berlin Wall: FactsNaturally I didn’t avoid the glitz and noise completely as there was one thing I wanted to do that was specifically in a Casino, and something that I suppose I could have done right here in Berlin, but because I was in Vegas, I felt compelled to go and pee on the Berlin Wall.

That’s right: Pee on the Berlin Wall.

The Main Street Casino has a piece of the Berlin Wall in one of its men’s toilets, so my friend and I went to the casino to have a piss. We paid our $3 to park (and got a refund immediately from the cashier’s desk), walked around the corner and into the toilet with the wall.

Berlin Wall: Taking The PissNaturally I posed for a photo and I took a piss – honestly I could do this in Berlin. I could have done it without paying for the plane ticket to Vegas, and I could have done it without having a urinal to pee into – instead actually letting my urine run down the wall and into dirt.

But I haven’t, yet.

Probably because I live in Berlin and the wall really isn’t that special here—and to be frank, I suspect that if one were to assemble all the pieces of the Berlin Wall that have been attached to postcards, sent to museums, and otherwise sold to people, that you would have enough concrete to reassemble 3 or 4 walls – it’s pretty much spread out across the world much like the pieces of the authentic crucifix, and multiplied.

Berlin Wall: Repurposed

Actually I had pause to consider this at the stop after peeing on the Berlin Wall: The Atomic Testing Museum.

The Atomic Testing Museum is a fascinating, if not somewhat disturbing, museum that reviews the role of testing atomic bombs – in particular those tested in Nevada. All things considered, it is fairly well done, but with a definite slant toward the “Atomic testing is good” perspective.

Unfortunately photography wasn’t allowed in much of the museum, so I couldn’t snap a picture of the fantastic JC Penny advertisement that showed before and after snaps of mannequins wearing JC Penny clothing—complete with notes like “face blemished, arm missing, but dress in perfect condition!”

Berlin Wall at the Atomic Testing MuseumHowever there was a piece of the Berlin Wall (that I could, and did, photograph), and in the temporary exhibit hall that featured stuff about Las Vegas and Atomic Testing, I found, and studied, a fascinating headline in an early 1950s era Las Vegas Review-Journal: “Vegans ‘Atom-ized’” – for the life of me I couldn’t understand why the newspaper was interested in vegans – and were vegans really on the radar of pop-culture that early?

My friends pointed out that I was mispronouncing and misinterpreting the word – it wasn’t vegans as in those who only eat plants and plant products, but it was Vegans as in citizens of Las Vegas.

Vegans Atomized

They were right; I am still disappointed that how I initially read the headline was incorrect.

4 comments to Viva Las Vegas!

  • koko

    I remember seeing all sorts of bits of the wall being sold when I was little. I also remember asking my mom, “you know, they are gonna run out of wall bits one day. how do i know this is genuine??” LOL

  • Ted

    I have a container of ash from the Mt. St. Helens eruption may 18, 1980. i bought it in July of 1980 but it may just be ashes from a local fireplace for all I know. A vegetarian is just a poor hunter. I saw that bumper sticker the other day.

  • Surely if they’re going to atomize vegans they should atomize vegetarians too. Isn’t it foodism if they don’t? Oh it’s a cruel world we live in…
    I pee on Berlin walls all the time by the way, which they usually are. Sometimes they’re not by the way but I pee on them too. It’s a Berliner thing to do.

  • You’ll have to forgive my toilet humour. I don’t really pee on every wall I see – I was merely taking the piss.