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Vegas is dust. It rises from nothing in the arid desert, and at first you think some travelling circus has got mislaid, in its death throes setting up in the desert. Then the scale hits; those buildings are big, enormous sprawling masses of concrete and cheap paint arrayed into shapes from all though history filtered through the perceptions of Hieronymous Bosch. Yet your first impression isn’t wrong; the place is a theme park, it is designed to entertain and entice adults only. As adolescents this place is taken by the theme park, children have the playground, a baby has its blocks and toys, adults have Vega$, a place gaudy enough to make liberace weep, where binge eating and drinking is cheap and staying up all night acceptable; it is Pinnochio’s dreamland, a hedonist’s heaven, a puritan’s purgatory, and all the expected iniquities are visited on the visitors.

I’m in Vegas, and I’ve been awake for 32 hours. There’s a Jacuzzi next to my double bed. I’ve slept 12 hours in the last four nights/days. My body is covered in these strange blotches, my feet are only held together by Dr Marten’s patent leather, and my mind is wondering how the hell we ended up pissed in a scummy lap-dancing club a few hours back, and whether I got any receipts for my expenses. Celine Dion’s finally shut up downstairs. The 24 hour buffet is still going strong amidst the shopping centre splendour of Caesar’s palace, as are the slot-jockeys, who strike me as in serious chance of popping a vein, and my hands are shaky (and my mind reciting old Woody Allen jokes) as I reach for the Eggs Benedict.

I think… This is just what Vegas should be.

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