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Despite this we stay- Mar. 19, 2009

No Bells and Whistles

by Carol Dunn

HUERFANO- After being sent to Las Vegas recently on business, it occurred to me that Huerfano County is nothing like Vegas.  I know, you thought of that a long time ago.  But, hey, this is the first time I’ve actually stayed there longer than being stuck in a traffic jam.  

    They have a lot of water in Vegas.  They fill swimming pools with it, shoot it out of enormous fountains, and flush about 17 billion toilets with it.  It just magically appears from a slot machine called Lake Mead, which bookmakers are laying odds will go dry in about 13 years.  They also have a lot of electricity in Vegas.  Evidently, the people who work there were never told by their dads seven hundred times a day to turn off the lights.  There are so many bells and whistles and whooping and whirring machines in the casinos that you have to go outside to hear your tinnitus ringing.  

    If you crave the night life, if you like to boogie, Huerfano County may not be the ultimate destination for you.  Around here, they roll up the sidewalks after nine.  Instead of the Blue Man Group, we have the Bluejean Group, also known as the County Commissioners, and you don’t have to pay $69 to see them.  Phantom of the Opera around here is replaced by Phantom of the Water System, at least in La Veta.  If you’ve never seen Cirque du Soleil, that’s probably just as well.  One of their shows is called “The Beatles,” and I’m pretty sure none of the Fab-4 ever touched the back of his head with his foot, at least not intentionally.  Anyway, I think it should be illegal to imitate the Beatles, and besides, the CdS girls are unnatural.  Their thighs don’t even slap together when they walk.  And speaking of unnatural, Cher sports a blonde look for part of her show, which makes her look similar to Dolly Parton after being rescued from a medieval stretching machine.  There are a lot of stars who drop by Vegas to get their picture taken, and then act like they don’t want to get their picture taken, while looking glamorous and acting happy.  I’m sure their agents would be horrified to learn that I didn’t recognize most of their pictures or names; however, I thought I did recognize a photo of the Fonz, until I read the caption and learned it was Alice Cooper without his black eye paint.  

I think stars come through Huerfano County too, but it’s the ones who don’t wear five pounds of that cakey makeup to cover their wrinkles when they get interviewed on the Today Show.  So we don’t recognize them, and to punish us they don’t come back. 

    In Vegas, there are a lot of teeny weeny glittery dresses that cost about $500 per square inch – some of them designed to cover about five square inches of body parts.  The prices of the diamond necklaces read more like a Wall Street executive’s salary.  On the Strip, you can buy anything from fake tattoos to fancy cars, but frankly, most Huerfano County women I know would rather have a pickup truck with heated seats than a Lamborghini.  

    I’m not sure why the chefs in Vegas are world famous.  They can’t put together a decent-sized meal.  There’s a little round piece of something pale with a sprig of parsley on it.  There are two spinach leaves, referred to as a “salad of spring greens.”  And the main course is usually a fish that hasn’t even had the head cut off.  For dessert? One nano-ounce of some exotic flavor of ice cream, like seaweed-papaya.  For this world-class meal you will be charged $36, and you leave hungry.  Please, give me a big juicy burger at Sammy’s with a piece of chocolate pie.

    Recession or not, we’re much better off living in Huerfano County than Vegas.  We have a train that comes through each night.  That’s all the bells and whistles we need.