Monday, December 2, 2013

Detritus of Las Vegas

Who knows maybe in some far distant future archaeologists - human or otherwise - will be trying to understand curious ruins from the early 21st century.  Written records will have long since vanished as all information after about 2020 will have been strictly digital and probably not sufficiently backed up. The enigmatic residue of documentation will be heavily skewed towards remarkable pictures of kittens, word fragments such as "LOL", and an encyclopedic body of data regarding the Kardashian family, evidently the ruling caste of this confusing era.

I suppose your average suburban neighborhood will be understandable, if only by repetition.  But what on earth will these hypothetical archaeologists make of Las Vegas?

Personally I think careers will be ruined and friendships severed over the controversy as to whether this in fact was actually the location of Paris.

I'd like to help out these scholars from the far future, so on a recent walk around Las Vegas I picked up various small bits of ephemera.  My only requirement was that the size and shape roughly conform to the famous Vindolanda Tablets that have opened such a personal window into antiquity.

I am pretty sure this does not advertise two for one drink specials

Ok, here we go, the cultural history of Las Vegas on small bits of cardboard:

Yes a product called Snus, that had a malodorous camel as its emblem.  It flat out told you that your teeth would probably fall out.  This could actually be sold.  But you had to knock the price down a bit and perhaps direct your marketing to folks who no longer had cause to worry about tooth loss...

This item will be a poser for them.  Were there actually non alcoholic beverages consumed in Las Paris?  But the dumps on the outskirts of town only contained millions of metric tons of Bud Lite bottles...

craft beer drinkers apparently being extinct by this point in history

Another extremely common artifact from the site are these colorful cards.  The exact commercial transaction being proposed here is not specified, nor is there any indication as to how a price of $47 was arrived at.  I am simply speculating here but one imagines that the slogan "What Happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" does not apply to micro organisms.  Individuals who want to go for some kind of stupidity trifecta, take note, you can charge whatever this is on any major credit card for your wife or boss to notice.

note wedding ring.  worn at all times

These cards are handed out by shifty looking individuals out on the brightly lit Strip.  There are about two teams per block, more on the weekends.  They are for some reason always a man and a woman.

Vegas does take pride in a sort of free wheeling, uninhibited air.  But underneath it all is simply much that is seedy.  Wander away from the neon for just a hundred yards or so and you find beggars, homeless people, and sterile parking lots beyond which lie the darker and far more modest quarters where the actual workers of Las Vegas live.  Many of them come here with high hopes, with dreams of finding glory and riches at the blackjack table or on the stage.  My final artifact probably was dropped by one such soul, someone whose name I will redact.

A plasma donor card from back home.  I hope they found fame and fortune under the bright
lights.  I hope they did not have to sell anything more precious than blood.

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