Vegas is despicable because it’s a place where ants become grasshoppers. You know the parable: the ant works all summer while the grasshopper screws off. When it’s time for winter, the ant has food and the grasshopper has none. Most of us would like to believe that we are the ants of the parable, not the grasshoppers. We drive used cars, we have a budget, we plan and invest and scrimp and save. Then we accompany a friend to Vegas to celebrate his second marriage and we leave $5,000 poorer. Nobody ever brings anything home from that city. Your bags and your wallet lose weight; the flight home occurs in a sort of subdued greyscale haze.
You may recall the tale of the chap who arrived in Vegas in a $2,000 econobox and departed in a $40,000 bus.
I don’t think of myself as sufficiently abstemious for proper anthood, but I have a great deal of trouble imagining myself as a grasshopper.