Big, massive props to DragonScribe, who gave me a crash course in Japanese artifacts and history. Everything correct in the recap is due to her; all errors were introduced by me.
We open with a shot of the south end of the Strip --
Me: Hey, look! It's our view from the suite we stayed in this weekend.
Mr. Sobell: No, it's not. Because there's the Trop.
Me: It's our view except for the Trop.
Mr. Sobell: Except we were in the Trop and --
Mr. Sobell: That's not our view --
Me: You're ruining my story.
Mr. Sobell: I'll shut up now.
Me: Too late. The moment's over.
And I would have regaled you with a story about how we decided to go to Vegas last weekend on a whim, and that whim landed us in a massive traffic jam outside Barstow for almost two hours thanks to a four-truck pileup, and by the time we finally dragged ourselves into the Tropicana's lobby at 2:30 AM Saturday, seven and a half hours after leaving from L.A. after work on Friday, we had lost our room, but then the manager gave us a complimentary upgrade to a suite, where we had a fabulous view and an in-room Jacuzzi, and I had the opportunity to sit in the Jacuzzi with a drink in hand and ponder if I was wrong to make fun of the Montecito for comping everyone. (My well-considered, if slightly tipsy answer: No. No, I was not.)
But the moment's passed. So no story for you! Direct your complaints to Mr. Sobell. He's used to dealing with mine.
But you're not here to get travel updates from me. You'd rather read about how the camera swoops around to the Bellagio and someone with an indeterminable accent declares, "People say that Lass Vegass hasnoculture. No hisstory. That we ahmulate, not create. They forget [beat] that this was once a dessssert [beat] from which thisss city [beat] wasscreated. Millionss come every week [beat] and sharetheirmoney with uss --" If, by "share," you mean "lose." "Well, tonight, we give back [beat] an exhibition of rare and valuable Japanese antiquities [beat] shown in the U.S. for the firsst time. The sseventeenth century is owned by one of the Mediterranean's most special guessts. Mr. Yuri Yamamoto. Who ssahdly cahn't be weeth us here tonahght. To hiss impeccable taste. On buhhahlf of mah hotel and the city of Lass Vegass, Ithankhim." Y'all, I only transcribe this stuff phonetically; I don't tell the actor to speak like this. The well-dressed crowd makes a polite, murmuring toast. Everyone drinks the bubbly, and then there's a big dramatic scream.