16 Comments

  1. Or it’s playing with the meaning of las vegas in spanish (fertile plains, I think).
    I agree about the political slant of the driver’s comment: putting ‘mainstream’ and ‘negative’ in the same sentence is enough.

  2. No matter which exit they take, the position of the city is still the same. I think the purpose of the “real Vegas” sign is to encourage more tourists to take slower, longer roads, in order to generate more business for local merchants.
    P.S. According to the Wikipedia article, one reason that the Donner party was purposely encouraged to take a longer, slower route was to send them past a certain trading post.

  3. And ‘mainstream signage’ seems negative because 200miles is a very long distance (are we there yet?).

  4. Oh, it’s political. The driver doesn’t like the fake mileage displayed by the mainstream sign, so he pulls down his hat (could be any colour) against the setting sun and takes the route that claims it will get him the result he wants with less cost and effort.

  5. I’m a bit mystified.

    I can see cc’s explanation. Here it’s ironic, because artificial glitz is explicitly the appeal of Las Vegas. A “real” Vegas without all that might be more genuine, but hardly an attraction. And 43 miles off the main road may be nothing more than a literal, direct-to-video-type tourist trap.

    Maybe there’s significance in “Real Vegas” as opposed to “Real Las Vegas”. If there were a second panel, it might show a huge dirt lot full of old Chevrolet Vegas. But there’s not.

    The caption/dialogue is the puzzler. Is the bigger highway sign, presumably “mainstream”, unduly negative because it states a longer distance? Is there some pun on “Las” we’re missing? If you take the other sign to be “mainstream” because it’s presumably advertising, it still doesn’t make sense — there’s no explicit slur on Las Vegas.

    Easy to imagine negative traffic signs: “Fat Lazy Pedestrian Crossing” … “Bad Food Overpriced Gas Next Exit” … ” … “You are entering Las Vegas. Tough.” Negative advertising billboards have been around for years.

    Possibility: This is a commentary on a very specific thing in Las Vegas.

  6. Pretty much all the stuff that we think of as “Las Vegas” isn’t in Las Vegas. But it’s not 155 miles away.

  7. This conversation about those signs reminds me of the sign to Digitopolis in The Phantom Tollbooth. It lists the same distance in various units, but “Just because you have a choice, it doesn’t mean that any of them *has* to be right.”

  8. I think Singapore Bill has it.

    The mainstream signage telling you Las Vegas is 200 miles away is too negative. So the driver’s going to follow the alternative sign that tells him Las Vegas is only 43 miles down a dirt road. That the sign is wrong and will lead the driver no-where is irrelevant. All that matters is the driver’s not a sheep following mainstream signage.

    He sure showed us.

  9. Visited Las Vegas twenty years or so ago when inlaws were living there. Hated the glitz parts, but found a perfectly good thrift shop or two off in the “bad” parts of town (I forget it that was the north or the eastern edge).

    I’d been there only once before, on a Greyhound bus on my way to California. It made a stop at a Las Vegas casino and I was so repulsed that, even though I’d just been trapped on a Greyhound for hours, I went and sat outside at the curb until the bus was ready to reboard and leave.

    Hell on earth.

    The joke in the cartoon? No idea.

  10. Never been to Las Vegas – too long a car ride from NY.

    Have been to Atlantic City, NJ since a year or two after first casino opened – stopped there on our way home from our honeymoon (Washington DC + Lancaster PA as we used to every summer before and after honeymoon). We used to drive there for something to do 2-4 times a year. More recently since the casinos long ago stopped giving reimbursement towards tolls paid on the drive – at the same tolls were raised, we started going to the Indian casinos in Connecticut – we go to one or the other – not both – each trip (and stop at Cabelas in Hartford on our way there). In all of the 40 years we have been going to these casinos I have never put so much as a penny in a slot machine or played any game. I believe in leaving even – less the price of dinner – with how I came there. Okay, I did win free tickets to a show once – but did not have to make any bet to do so. Robert used to play the quarter slot machines for $10 maximum for awhile, then he switched to the nickel machines for $2 worth,then he stopped doing that also – once he won $250 in one of the NJ casinos when they redid the place on a free game. We go, we walk around,have dinner, walk around some more, and drive home.

    My thought though is the sign is sending one to the small casinos that are as they used to be before it before everything in LV got BIG. Maybe even the sort of place where Randy Quaid takes Chevy Chase for dinner in “Las Vegas Vacation”.

  11. I think SBill has it also. My daughter used to live there, and the drive from the Bay Area is long and boring, especially the last part. My daughter and her husband never gambled.
    It would be like responding to “are we there yet?” with yes, we can stop and go to someplace not nearly as good as our real destination, but we’ll be there.
    @Shrug, there are good thrift shops even in the good parts of town – one specializing in kids stuff.

  12. I don’t think this is specifically political — but it deals with our penchant to ignore news we don’t like.

    Politically, we kind of have to do this when we encounter negative political ads — or else we wouldn’t be able to vote for anyone. (I’m tempted to say that only politicians with spotless records are safe, but even they’re not safe from political spin.)

    So apply this news-we-don’t-like phenomenon to driving across the country. Someone has foreseen that there will be drivers who don’t want to go the full 200 miles to Las Vegas, and are willing to take a questionable detour.

    No everyone will fall for it, but there will always be those looking to avoid negative news.

  13. Interesting tidbit for anyone who hasn’t been to Las Vegas. As mentioned, almost all the glitzy hotel/casino complexes you have heard of are in Paradise, not the City of Las Vegas. However, there are a good number of casinos (often with hotels) that are located in Las Vegas or off the beaten path in Paradise. They’re “local” casinos. They cater more to the local gamblers (really, who moves to LV except gamblers?) and tend to be less glitzy and have better odds. Mrs. SingaporeBill stayed in one when she went to LV way back before we were married. More affordable hotel and they even had blackjack lessons, explained when to hit and when to stand and gave you a small pocket card that tells you what you should do with certain card combinations AND they let you keep the card on the table when you played. They also explained that they use fewer decks in the shoe and use more of the shoe before getting a new one*. These places will certainly welcome tourists but they’re more focused on folks from LV and Nevada.

    *For the non-gamblers, when they deal blackjack they don’t use one deck. They shuffle multiple decks together and place them in a dispensing box called “the shoe”. They pull cards from the shoe when dealing. Mixing many decks makes it harder for people to count cards. They also don’t use up the entire shoe until it is empty (that would make it much easier for card counters when it got near empty). Instead, they insert a marker in the cards and when they get to that marker, they discard the shoe and the remaining cards in and and start a new one. Having lots of decks in the shoe and discarding it earlier makes it harder to count cards.

    This is where Mrs. SingaporeBill stayed but it was more than 20 years ago. They’ve jazzed it up. https://www.palacestation.com/

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