Livewire - November 16, 2011

Have your say

By former Blackpool stage designer Andy Walmsley

I recently got into one of those bar chats with a virtual stranger where I ended up getting very philosophical, psychoanalyzing my life, resulting in the need for more alcohol to convince myself I’m not crazy.

The gist of the conversation was this tourist could only handle Las Vegas in small doses as “I’d go crazy if I lived in this town” and needed to return to Chicago for the normality that a city like that, or indeed anywhere in the States, other than Las Vegas, has to offer.

I launched into an energised counter argument the reason I love Las Vegas is because the real world often is a depressing reality that I care not to be a part of.

After all, there’s a reason I work in the fake world of showbusiness and I didn’t happen to move to Vegas by accident.

I’d rather spend a weekend at Disney World than Detroit.

I went on to explain to my one man audience that, if I happen to have a bit of a rubbish day, I’m lucky enough to live such a short stroll from the Vegas strip I can soon be in a casino surrounded by people who are having one of the best weekends of their year.

I went on to point to various people surrounding us and suggested the guy sat in the corner may have just lost his job, or the woman laughing with her friends could have just been diagnosed with cancer, and the guy who just flirted with the barmaid may have just lost his house to a nasty divorce but, for that sublime weekend that they decided to escape to Vegas with friends, they could forget their woes and be deliriously happy.

Alcohol is consumed in Vegas in amounts the average sane person wouldn’t dare drink back home but that “when in Vegas” attitude brings out a wild side.

A moderate drinker like me can still benefit from the sheer intoxicating atmosphere here with laughter ringing out, harmless flirting everywhere you look, music, and indulgence in abundance.

Simply put, people are in a fake escapism world when in Vegas and, until they arrive home, they are going to be happy if it kills them.

For me living in that environment, I am rarely around depressed or unhappy people and, at the risk of sounding a bit new age, that positivity really does rub off.

I chose Vegas for this very reason and Blackpool is very similar.

I defy anyone not to walk through the Pleasure Beach or have a pint at the Tower Lounge and not crack a smile.

Let the rest of the world live in a harsh reality. Those of us who live in Blackpool or Vegas are privileged...