The city of Las souls, Day 3

We’ve been working most of the time in the War Room, which is essentially a gigantic suite on the 31st floor that’s almost devoid of furniture. I’m pretty sure they use it as a storage facility when visiting conventioneers don’t need a place to work in relative silence. But for now, it’s our place to retreat and work when things are too hectic downstairs.

This morning we were looking out its windows at the main strip far below, where hundreds of tiny cars seemed to be at a standstill. One of us checked the news and found out that it was due to a leak of 200 gallons of sulphuric acid. The acid leaked when a pipe broke during delivery to a resort and things were exacerbated when a man was injured and fell into the ensuing puddle and wait just a stinkin’ minute, people, can we back up here and think about the real story? What kind of place needs a massive delivery of sulphuric acid???

Only in Vegas is it considered normal for someone to drop acid in the middle of the main drag….

So anyway, the War Room. It’s on the 31st floor and about as far from the elevator as you can go, because apparently we haven’t walked enough while working this convention. There’s also the matter of the three different elevator banks. In order to get to the higher floors quickly, two of the banks skip multiple floors, stopping only at common areas.

We need to use the bank that goes to the top third of the hotel, but each of us has a room on a different floor, so when we leave, we need to take the elevator to 10, then fan out like spies trying to cover different floors. One of us takes the middle bank. Three of us take the lower bank, but two of those go down from 10 while one goes up. If you could track us from the outside, we’d probably look like an equalizer.

Unless we’re going to our company’s hospitality lounge, which is on the first floor. In that case, we head for the same elevator and let our ears pop as we drop from 31 to the lobby in a matter of … well, 10-15 minutes, actually. Because we’re in a huge hotel with two major conventions, and everybody seems to be on the same elevator schedule at once. There are lines of people on each floor, waiting to get on the elevator.

Nothing’s worse than stopping at each floor and waiting for the group there to decide whether they really want to attempt to squeeze one more person into our elevator car. Some are drunk, some are smelly and some are just stupid, poking their heads in and holding the door while they ask, “Is this going down?”

Yes, it’s going down, you idiot! That’s why the lower light turned on after you heard the ding! Because it’s lower, it indicates that we’re headed in a direction that is downward relative to where you are now standing, delaying our trip to the lobby. If the upper light had turned on, it would have meant the next elevator was going up — just like my blood pressure.

But we eventually reach the lobby every time, and not in a plummet that resulted from too many morons squeezing into our car. I’m still expecting that to happen, but trying not to think about it.

Today we left the War Room around noon and reached the lobby in roughly the amount of time it took us to fly here from Raleigh. But lunch was still being served, so we set out for our lounge on the other side of the casino. Along the way, something caught my eye. Well, two things, really. And they were hard to miss, moving in that rhythm and presenting themselves for everyone to behold. I really wanted to pull out my camera and snap a quick pic for this very blog, but then I remembered that: 1) use of a camera inside the casino would likely lead to a severe beatdown; and 2) posting that pic might just qualify me as a pornographer.

I spotted her about 20 yards ahead of us, leaning on the arm of some guy who seemed too familiar with her to be just a customer. I’m pretty certain they were an item, which really confused me — if I’d been the guy, I wouldn’t have been entirely comfortable with the level of exposure being granted to the rest of the men in the casino.

The woman was wearing a non-descript top; honestly, I don’t remember anything about it except for the length. It stopped just above her hips — and this is crucial to understand. It didn’t cover any of the lower halfe of her body, where she wore leggings. Just…leggings. *

Nothing above them, nothing beneath them, nothing near them but what God gave this woman. And she was working what He gave her, just to make sure no one missed the fact that hey, by the way, here are two bare butt cheeks for all of you to see.

And just in case that didn’t work, I made doubly sure that everyone saw them by pointing and shouting, “Hey, guys, look what she’s not wearing!” We all had a good look and agreed that yep, she wasn’t wearing anything but sheer nylon. Which of course led to the question of, how does this outfit look from the front?

We never found out, as we reached the fork where one hallway leads to the technology convention and the other leads to the porn convention — the line of demarcation between geeks and freaks. Guess which hallway she and her companion chose?

I watched for another few seconds, but I wasn’t watching her — I was looking at the faces of the people passing her from the other direction, trying to gauge by their reactions whether they were seeing the same lack of coverage from the front. Nobody seemed shocked, but that doesn’t mean anything — they were, after all, returning from the porn convention. They’d probably seen much worse than whatever she was showing them.

Just to try to feel better about this matter, I convinced myself that she was probably wearing something like a codpiece — or at the very least, a Post-It note that says, “Don’t look at me!” Only then was I able to regain my appetite and take part in the buffet lunch that would give me enough sustenance to face the return trek to the War Room. I ate a little of almost everything.

Although I did skip the buns….

* Update from the next day: I’ve since been told those weren’t leggings, they were tights. Sue me; I’m a guy and didn’t know, and I asked another guy who didn’t know. But one of the women on our team said this is an important distinction to make, as leggings are thicker and more opaque. There was nothing at all opaque about what that other woman was wearing yesterday. To help the visual, it was like panty hose with a wedgie.

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About Dan Bain

Dan is an award-winning humorist, features writer, emcee and entertainer from Raleigh, NC. His collection of humor essays, A Nay for Effort, has earned him fans from one end of his couch to the other. Why not join them and buy one? (You won't have to sit on his couch.) Dan will donate 10 percent of the book's proceeds to education. You can check it out at www.danbain.net; thanks!
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