Part of the Vegas experience is being constantly accosted by people trying to sell you something. Sometimes it’s a scruffy looking man in jeans and a T-shirt trying to sell you line passes to a club or half price tickets to tonight’s shows. Other times it’s a man dressed primly in a suit and tie, behind a desk at the hotel, inviting you to come over and see his specials in the most foreign of accents.
Sarah and I soon realised that neither Mr. Jeans nor Mr. Suit were really offering us anything we wanted. One afternoon, as we walked into the Venetian (on our way to see two of my favourite shows: Phantom and Blue man Group) we were confronted by a tall man in a suit with a distinctly Scandinavian accent.
“Come with me and I’ll get you free tickets to tonight’s shows” he offered.
“Oh, no thanks, we already have tickets to shows for tonight” I replied
“How long are you folks going to be in Vegas?” he countered without missing a beat
“Uh…” I conferred with Sarah who remembers such things better than I can “a week?”
“Well, then a show for some other time” we shrugged and followed him. No harm in seeing what he had to offer.
“So, you’re married, right?”
“No” we replied hastily in union “not married”
“But you’re co-habiting, right, living together?”
“No” came the unanimous, emphatic reply.
“Oh, sorry, this is for couples only” and with that he dismissed us, visibly dejected.
“Well, now we know how to get rid of them” Sarah concluded
We were approached by other people on the same vein about twice after that. These encounters always annoyed/scared Sarah but they didn’t bother me. The way I see it: the longer I keep them talking to me, the less chance they have to sell to other people, so it’s really them who should be annoyed at me for wasting their time.
The last time this happened, I promised myself I would immediately respond: “we’re not a couple, I am gay”. Sure enough, we came across a very excitable young gentleman in a suit who wanted to talk to us. Before he could say anything I asked him for directions, they are always useful for that. He gave the directions and immediately asked: “are you here together?”
“No” I responded, “I am gay.”
“Oh!” he exclaimed “Me too!”
“We are family!” he exclaimed we grinned at each other a moment and he shook my hand, a gesture which quickly dissolved into a Gay Hugâ„¢. Sarah was giggling about that encounter all day.