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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Surrealistic Sunday ~ The Field Trip, Chapter 2

Preface: Most readers will want to have reviewed Chapter I of this adventure before proceeding. Those with good recall and humor won't need to do so. One may also want to click on the images contained herein to be reminded that the overarching theme of this outing and this destination is "wrong". I don't like this stuff. I'm fascinated by how wrong it is. Who thought it up? Why is it here? Who in the world would buy it? And why would they buy it here?

Please rejoin me at the World's Largest Gift Shop where we are about to make our way from all the lovely bacon and toast items and Naked Men In Oven Mitts to the "what the hell?" section and then to the Mother Lode ~ Naughty Town. Having rushed through the departments that don't draw us, now we tend to inchworm our way along, guffawing in an unbecoming way. The Bonanza gets high marks from me for carrying merchandise that will fulfill all the souvenir and gift-buying needs of every visitor who comes to Las Vegas. Come on! Get out your list and follow me.

Possibilities for one's fun and kicky friends and relatives:

I know those things always keep me entertained on a Saturday night!

Here in the garden section are some lovely potential gifts for your friends who enjoy cultivating plants. It thrills me that these icons of the desert southwest, the Joshua tree and the giant saguaro cactus, germinate in 11-21 days and 3-10 days respectively. The packages say they are easy to grow, although I suppose they would not flourish in some parts of the world. A bigger problem, however, is the age of your gift recipient. One would want to present these thoughtful presents to a younger person. The Joshua tree grows five feet in a decade and begins to bloom after about 12 years. The giant saguaro grows one foot in 15 years and ten feet in 40 years. They actively grow for about 100 years and live up to 200 years. If you're looking for the gift that keeps on giving, these may fit the bill. For decades and centuries and generations of the gift recipient's descendants.

If there's a cook in your life, this item might be a hit! One could backtrack to the bacon and toast and Naked Men in Oven Mitts to fill a brunch-making basket. Remember there are bacon placemats and bacon mints. The shop abounds with ceramic Las Vegas bowls, dishes and coffee mugs . . .

Who has a pious little auntie? The Deluxe Miracle Jesus Action Figure with glow in the dark hands can't fail to please! He turns water into wine and feeds 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes. It says so on the box. Or perhaps St. Joseph, the patron saint of real estate would be appropriate. St. Vivian, the patron saint of hangovers might hit the spot if auntie enjoys a nip. Or if she keeps a pet, here's a lovely St. Gertrude (patron saint of cats) figure.

My mother is a world traveler and an avid Egyptophile. She has a beautiful home filled with fine art reflective of the things that please and intrigue her. I know I'm always proud to add to her collection of antiquities with another purchase from the Bonanza. It's so convenient, too!

Who has a little boy's or girl's name on their list? What child wouldn't want a fun and furry little jackalope?

Or dolls? Beautiful dolls!

May this be fair warning to the more sensitive reader: We are about to enter Naughty Town. If this distresses you, take a detour. But be forewarned. Naughty Town features some delightful items for still others on your gift list.

Speaking of dolls, we are greeted at the gates of Naughty Town by Mayor John and his wife Judy. Judy still hasn't received the memo saying turquoise eyeshadow was outlawed, but she's the first lady of Naughty Town, so we slide her some slack. As both she and John are inflatables, a foot pump may be a nice addition to the gift. Judy is an old stereotype. John intrigues me more. While both are guaranteed to "not snore in bed", I "get" Judy's function and purpose, but I'm not so sure I "get it" about John. I shall have to think about that. His look does not appeal to me, for I like dark eyes, not blue. I'm not sure John and I would be a match. But then, I am not Judy.

Should anyone have a gentleman on his or her list with an approaching birthday, this lovely lady might be a hit. The birthday boy wouldn't even need any actual humans to celebrate with. This sweetie will sing "Happy Birthday" and pretend to throw the pretend birthday cake in his face. No mess on the carpet from a virtual cake throwing. Birthday Girl is a veritable party in a box. Is it just me, or does anyone else think Birthday Girl might benefit from a large competent brassiere?

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I love the desert and most everything in it. The package caught my attention immediately. After all, I have been dubbed The Queen of the Reptiles. I wanted to open the box and look at the little fella ~ truly one of my favorite animals in the world. Maybe I'd even hold him in my hand and stroke the little lizardly spikes on the back of his head as I do when I nab one in the Mojave in the spring. Oh. They look so different in the Preserve. Not green. Hmmm . . moving along.

I will forever regret that it was not I who spotted the piece de resistance. I heard him say, "What the hell? Come here, look at this!" We chortled like snarks, and then it hit us at the same time. We weren't actually looking at the kit. The display box was empty. Here at the Bonanza, the World's Largest Gift Shop, the place whose motto is "If It's In Stock, We Have It", this very wrong item was SOLD OUT! It must be their best seller. OK, stick a fork in me, I'm done. "Ready to get out of here?" "Boy, howdy!"

It has been my true pleasure to serve as tour guide and personal shopper on my (approximately) biannual trip to Destination Wrong. As usual, I drank deep from the well and I won't feel the need to return soon. In my hand you see the familiar yellow bag with my $5.36 worth of purchases. That's about what I spend every time. I bought three postcards with the vintage images I so enjoy. I bought one box of Peppermint Cat Butt Gum with which to make the home dudes howl. The Peppermint Cat Butt Gum will require a post of its own.

In my ears right now:
Can't get enough R.E.M. My little birds love "Shiny, Happy People"! No, I don't think parakeets have musical taste, but some upbeat tunes make them chirp happily while ballads cause them to make quieter, throaty little noises.

Something that charmed me:
"Les, how does that gum taste?" "I wouldn't know, homes. I don't chew gum."

Photo credits:
Bonanza Gift Shop exterior, LimesNow and the Gift Shop denizen - J. D. Morehouse

Gift Shop wares for sale - LimesNow with her point-and-shoot


  1. That was a great post, L. The Bonanza looks wonderful--a must-see if I ever get to LV again.

    Thanks for the shout as well.

  2. Princess Erin, I'd be proud to take you there, show you the ropes and buy you a souvenir, too!

  3. @ the Badger ~ Which, the rendition or the actual experience? Did you save the date for the 2012 expedition? And may I offer you a stick of Peppermint Cat Butt Gum?

  4. Les, imagine you're 14-old and walking through that store.

    If that doesn't work, imagine you're a 14-old boy and walking through that store.

    See the appeal, now?

  5. @ Kirk ~ Oh, I get that, my friend! Although I profess not to get it, perhaps I protest too much. You notice that I express dismay about a lot of it, but I also say repeatedly that we're laughing our asses off the whole time. You notice that the wrong-ness of it all does not prevent either of us from returning to the scene of the crime for another look. ;~} Good point about the 14-year-old boy. The place would be a mecca for him.

  6. Of course, that Jesus kit is kind of out of place.

    Imagine yourself a 14-year old alter boy.

  7. @ Kirk ~ I can imagine it! I've run from the slings and arrows of spoon-fed Catholicism for decades. The shame of stepping out of Naughty Town and running right into the Deluxe Miracle Jesus Action Figure with glow in the dark hands! One would have to offer up Hail Marys for years.

  8. We call then two dollar shops here, the shops that stock the most amazing junk, but yours here would have to be worth more than two dollars.

    Shockingly awful stuff and I agree with you, the juxtaposition of sexual fantasy and religiosity gone berserk in the promises of the saints is extraordinary.

  9. This has been a difficult week, as you know. Along with getting Mom settled into her new home, my sisters swooped into town and want to sell the house immediately and start dividing up her money. I'm aghast and exasperated. They fawn all over her, but behind her back, they act like she's already dead. Sorry to carry on about this - couldn't say it in my blog because they read it. This is just my way of saying, THANK YOU FOR THE COMIC RELIEF! It was much-needed.

  10. @ Elisabeth ~ It's just plain wrong! I need to spend time studying why it so fascinates me. I don't lurk around any other type of objectionable place. And the bacon area pulls me just as strongly as Naughty Town, so it's not JUST prurience. Some aberrant need to go look at some sleaziness? ;~}

  11. @ Kass-erole ~ I'm glad you got a chuckle, Cookie. You know I spend a lot of time going for the belly laugh. Interestingly, I'm working on a post where I've just finished writing about how I have to intersperse the gut-wrenching with the belly-laughing or I'd expire from intense emotions. Pretty much what you're saying here.

    There are visitors in Las Vegas this weekend of the sort that cause emotional roiling in me. I'm host(ess)ing dinner and I've spent some emotional time and energy working up to it. They won't be unpleasant (like your sisters) in any way, but I am still affected by emotion.

    You are welcome to scream or kick the wheels of my bus in frustration at any time, Kass.

  12. Woman, did I need this! My neighbours probably think I just got electrocuted from the shrieks I let out. Thank you - you got the belly laugh!

  13. @ Rachel ~ I am pleased to oblige, my dear. At my little dinner party the other night, we were discussing blogging. I've ALWAYS enjoyed writing. But imagine writing something and someone laughs or is complimentary, or both! This will only encourage me to keep on writing. So glad to see you back in the blogosphere.