Sunday, January 29, 2012

New on the Las Vegas Strip

I encountered a strange new phenomenon on my last visit to Las Vegas (in November). Truly, Vegas is home to many strange phenomena, but by my tenth visit I was accustomed to most. 

I found them amusingly charming when we first happened upon these Hello Kitty characters as we started our tour of The Strip. My daughter happens to love HK, so Tanya and I posed for this photo op outside Caesar's Palace.  I had mistakenly assumed these two mascots were somehow connected to the hotel as part of a promotion or something. 

I quickly realized my error when the knock-off costumed characters grew ubiquitous along the sidewalk. A few were mildly interesting, such as the man on stilts disguised as part of a tree playfully startling passersby. And at least Bumblebee's costume is impressive and fairly relevant. 

Others were hideous and/or inappropriate, such as Garfield the loveable cat passed out to the tune of one too many (and sadly he wasn't the only character posed precisely the same way)...

...or this woefully homemade Spongebob costume.

This infestation brought me to realize that The Strip has been noticeably devoid of street performers in years past. I suppose the schmucks in horrible costumes plus a number of truly awful musicians are slightly less irritating than the "slap slap" of calling cards up and down the sidewalk. I'm just curious how they started and multiplied.  And also, who throws money into the bucket of a person sleeping on the sidewalk with a bunch of empty beer bottles, just because he/she wriggled into a dirty costume? It must be fairly lucrative or there wouldn't be so many...right? 

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