During a recent trip to Las Vegas, I determined that it is impossible to feel foolish in Caesar’s Palace.
There are humans that are incapable of shame; there are others that are easily embarrassed, often for no reason other than weak character or timidity. All can feel at home—so to speak—at this infamous establishment, if one is inclined to travel to such a city and stay in such a place. We wanted to see Cher perform, and she was performing there.
Here’s an example of the recently mentioned wisdom of avoiding the second kick of a mule, for no other reason than the lack of new knowledge to be gained. I had stayed at Caesar’s Palace for a business event several years ago. I did not enjoy the hotel experience; the business event was typical: always the same, but never the same. At the request of a friend, I played video poker and gave her the (meager) winnings. But that is not the reason for this post...
While checking in, I spotted a girl in a bikini standing in an adjacent line. I was not taken aback. Americans are known for dressing in a leisure fashion and, after all, I was in Las Vegas. On the way to the room (which was difficult to locate), one must pass through the casino (hotel rooms are a necessary inconvenience). I passed the first of many brides in full regalia that we would spot during our short stay: with or without groom, with or without entourage, sober or drunk. None seemed to be bothered by the fact that they were putting on a spectacle or that their “wedding” was so public. Of course, no one let roaming brides distract them from gambling.
After the long drive from Phoenix, we decided to use the swimming pool. Living in Europe, we are used to wearing a robe over a bathing suit for the walk to the pool. Good hotels provide a route to the pool that avoids the lobby. Not Caesar’s Palace: all roads lead through the casino and shopping arcades. At some point, I realized that I was the only one wearing a robe....but it did not matter. No one noticed. And, I spotted stranger costumes. Of course, there was another wedding party wandering through the shopping arcade. A group of well-lubricated young men wore bathing suits and neckties (yes, no shirt). Girls in bikinis seemed to feel right at home away from the pool. We did not get to the pool—not because of my attire—because it was closed for a private party. The extra income for the hotel was more important than upsetting paying guests.
I came to the conclusion that, as long as one did not attempt to rob the casino, people can do whatever they want. No one paid any attention. Caesar’s Palace, unknowingly, provided a simple cure (okay, only temporary relief) for the self-conscious, the shy, the introverted. (It might not be so good for the show-off, because no one would watch). Even the inhibited can act foolish: enough other people are.
Unlike my first visit to this wonderful establishment, I managed to pass through the casino several times without spending a single dollar on a game of chance. There is a German proverb: Pech im Spiel, Glück in der Liebe (unlucky at cards, lucky at love); it has proven true for me.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.