What happens there stays there.
If not, please see your doctor.
We’d just climbed to a 4,592-foot mountain peak above Icebox Canyon, Nevada. What were we going to do next? That was easy - buy a hooker – an expensive one. After all, it had been a tough climb.
I find athletic women to be sexy, which works out, seeing as I’m married to one. More often than not, when the two of us go on vacation, it is not to sit around. We’ve hiked all over the world and once flew out to Las Vegas to stomp around the desert.
I realize, of course, that hiking is not the reason most people travel to Vegas. Most people travel there because Las Vegas is one of the last remaining places on Earth where a vacationer can pay eighty dollars to watch a man walk around on a hotel stage while dressed as Joan Rivers.
I kid you not.
It wasn’t my decision to place America’s den of pleasure, Sin City, U.S.A., smack dab in the middle of some of the greatest natural wonders in the west. It was a smart choice, though. There’s nothing I like better after a day of rock climbing than returning to my hotel room and calling room service. Yes. Could you please send up an Australian rack of lamb and three Polynesian lesbian showgirls who are into leather? Oh. And how about a valet? I need to get some of this trail dust off my hikers before I head down to the craps tables.
The west rim of the Grand Canyon is a short bus tour ride, not far from Vegas. If you rent a car, you can drive out to Hoover Dam. There’s also the Valley of Fire, the state park used many times over the years as a backdrop for Hollywood westerns. Our favorite place to hang out is Red Rocks National Conservation Area, where the mountains explode upward from the desert floor to form some of the best hiking trails in the country.
As you walk through Red Rocks, it’s easy to imagine those first few visionaries, taking the same steps, years ago. As they stared out at nature’s glory, they undoubtedly had the same thought as I. “Look at those rocks! Look at that wildlife! If only we could pay for sex.”
You can, indeed, pay for sex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although the city’s hired publicity and marketing company claims they are moving toward a more “family-oriented” approach to entertainment, there is no disputing the fact that prostitution and gambling are two of the main attractions. You can build all the roller coasters you want, “Disney” it up hard if you wish, but as you’re leaving the shark reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay Beach Resort, there will be a man standing on the sidewalk, ready to hand you and your child a card. On that card will be a photograph of a naked woman. Next to the photograph will be her phone number. It’s toll free. You can call it anytime, and if you’ve got a credit card, she, or someone who looks somewhat like her, will magically appear.
As we sat, panting, at the top of Ice Box Canyon, having spent the majority of the morning losing the trail, realizing we were no longer young, I reached into my pocket. Earlier that day I had been handed a card while leaving the International House of Pancakes in the strip. I whipped it out. I looked longingly at the photo. Nothing tops a stack of blueberry cakes, I thought, quite like the number of a girl named Vanessa who, according to the card, would do “anything” I needed.
This is why they invented cell phones, isn’t it?
“Hello?” I asked the woman who answered. “Yes,” I said, calmly. “My wife and I are in town for a couple of days and one of your associates handed me a card with Vanessa’s photo and number. I was wondering if she was available this afternoon.” How shocked I was to find out that Vanessa was, indeed, available. You would think that with so many cards being handed out, she would have been busy. Life is all about timing. “It’s my understanding that she’ll do anything,” I said to Vanessa’s phone scheduling companion.
“Yes,” said the voice on the other end of the phone. “She is a very accommodating girl.”
“Is she athletic?” I asked.
The voice giggled. “Yes, yes,” she said. “She’s very athletic.”
“Great. I love a girl who’s athletic. Listen,” I said to Vanessa’s manager, “My wife and I are in town for the week, and both of us would like to meet Vanessa. Is that possible?’
“Absolutely,” said the voice. “She loves to meet couples.”
“Great,” I said. “We’re at the top of Ice Box Canyon, out here in Red Rocks? I was wondering if she could come out here, bring us a couple of cold beers and then carry both of us on her back down the mountain to our car. I’m not as young as I once was and, to be honest, I’m tired as hell. How much would that cost?”
As it turns out, Vanessa had her limits.
Don’t you hate false advertising?