Friday, October 09, 2009

Stay Classy, Las Vegas



Say what you will about Las Vegas (and contrary to popular belief, what you say about Las Vegas will not stay in Las Vegas), but if you’re saying that it is a city void of culture, tradition, and virtue, then my friend, allow me to unveil an ardent and irrefutable defense.



Exhibit A: Culture. Is your hometown the host of the Liberace Museum, the Atomic Testing Museum, or a nude Cirque du Soleil show? Mm-hmm, I thought not. No culture, indeed.

Exhibit B: Tradition. Las Vegas has a long-standing tradition of freeway billboards that push the envelope of good taste and public decency; hearkening back to at least 1998, when I moved here, but possibly going back even earlier! My favorite? The new Stoney’s North Forty nightclub billboard I get to see everyday on my way home from work. It reads “A New Place to Sin in the Northwest.” Which is not only classy, but a much-needed establishment, as I polled my neighbors and discovered that most of them had run out of places to sin.

And finally, Exhibit C: Virtue. …yeah, I got nuthin’.

But because Las Vegas is such a family-centered city, for the kids, I present to you the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum. A place to encourage young minds, develop an early interest in science, broaden their horizons, and open their eyes to a world of wonder.

Or a world of snot, gas, and acid reflux. You know, either way. Whatever.

Our local Children’s Museum was recently featuring Grossology: The Impolite Science of The Human Body. All in the good name of science, of course, the museum took the private, unmentionable taboos of bodily functions, and really brought it down to a level the kids could wrap their minds around. And I think I hear your voices joining mine in a hallelujah chorus as we declare, “It’s about time, Las Vegas! Finally, something to infuse vision and hope into our children! The magic of mucus!”

It’s genius, really. An enlightening indoctrination of the noises and smells of the body that will be sure to take the mystery out of it all; with the result being that the kids will never find jokes about tinkle quite as funny as they once were.

…or will they?



Here are five of my six adorable children, still innocent. Before “culture” gave them the green light to openly maintain casual conversations about boogers and belches.



And may I please introduce you to the game sensation that is sweeping the nation. That's correct - Urine: The Game. Step aside Guitar Hero…there’s a new game in town. And I’m sorry, but if there is a more fascinating/entertaining way to learn about your urethra and where proteins go, then I’d like to see it. I mean, I defy you to find a more enthralling teaching method. Anyone? I didn’t think so.



My heart skipped a beat when I saw my three year old completely captivated as he received a stirring lecture on the finer points of nasal drip from a talking faucet. Bravo, Mr. Faucet. Bra. Vo.

This was almost emotional for me, seeing my little scientist, Connor, gain a firmer understanding of sphincters, and how to make his gas sound hilarious.


video



And this message was informative, but didn’t offer any definitive conclusion. “Most cultures consider tooting to be a private thing.” MOST? Most cultures? Which cultures do not consider this to be a private thing? Because I think my sons want to relocate to this highbrow neighborhood.



All I can say is: thank goodness for this sign. It really helped avoid a major embarrassment, and a major disaster.



I don’t recall what distinctive area of the body this climbing wall was supposed to represent, but I have to believe it was disgusting on some level. Are those polyps? I don’t know.




Finally, a shot of my 8-year old in a bubble, and some museum employee, taking a cue from the Grossology exhibit, and picking her nose right there in my otherwise adorable photo.

Still think Vegas is merely a vat of tastelessness in the desert? We accept your apology; now good day.

I said good day, sir!