What happens in Vegas...

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz


It is official and I have the T-shirt to prove it.

The verdict – I’m not normal.

This story gets started a couple of weeks ago when my daughter, Katie, and I went to Las Vegas with some friends.

I had been once before, but she had never been and she was excited to have the whole Vegas experience.

I’m not a gambler, so that doesn’t mean much to me whether I’m in Las Vegas or Lawrenceburg, Ind. I work too hard to earn my money and I just have trouble throwing it down on a card game or stuffing it into a slot machine.

What I like about Las Vegas is the sights, sounds and non-stop action. It’s like no place I’ve ever seen and it almost overwhelms me.

For this trip, we stayed at the Circus, Circus. Once we arrived on Thursday, we settled in and decided to hit the strip to see the sights.

It didn’t take long to find our first sights as they were in the hotel casino.

That’s right. There was a bearded lady, an 8-foot man, a man pierced from head to toe and everywhere in between, as well as a whole cast of characters from the AMC Channel’s Freak Show.

The show’s cast was staying at the Circus, Circus to film an episode, which will probably air in May.

Producers for the show asked if we’d like to be in a crowd scene. Well, since I’m always up for adventure, I quickly agreed, as did the rest of our group.

At first, we were simply standing around watching what the cast was doing, which happened to be playing craps. I’m not even going to pretend to act like I know how that works. Let’s just say I managed to look like I was remotely interested since I might be on TV.

We must have played our part well because the producers then told us to go up and talk to the show’s stars.

“Ask them questions if you want,” they told me.

Really, a reporter getting to ask questions. What could be better?

So I obliged by making small talk with the bearded lady and pierced man. We talked about the taping of the show and how they got in the business and if they were having a good time in Vegas. 

The pair were quite nice and after speaking to them for a couple of minutes, you forgot that she had more facial hair than a lot of grown men I know and he was pierced all over, including places I didn’t ask about or want to know about.

With our 15 seconds of fame seemingly over, we moved on to the strip. The 35 to 40 mile per hour wind gusts did not deter us from tromping up and down looking at the sights.

Katie got to go up in the Eiffel Tower replica at the Paris Hotel, as well as to ride a gondola at the Venetian, watch the dancing waters at the Bellagio, as well as see the Year of the Horse flower display in the hotel’s conservatory. We also went up to the top of the Stratosphere at night to see the entire dessert lit up, as well as walked seven blocks to see the pawn shop of Pawn Stars fame. She was a little disappointed because it’s quite small and not near as glamorous as on TV.

We also ventured to Freemont Street or old Vegas for the light show and one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever eaten at the Heart Attack Grill.

We thought our TV debut was over, but on our last day in Vegas as we were exiting the lobby, the producers found us again and asked if we’d like to be part of the “Freak Show Parade.”

I’m not sure if there’s a hidden message here or not, but I’m pondering the fact that those producers seemed to seek us out to be part of the Freak Show. I’ll give this more thought.

I’m always ready for a new adventure and I could honestly say that I’d never been part of a Freak Parade, so I agreed. To fit the part, they gave us T-shirts that proclaim “not normal” to which we proudly put them on and paraded along with the rest of the cast of characters.

On a happy note, I won $20 on the 1-cent slot machine because when you’re in Vegas, you just have to try it, but as for the rest of the story what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

(Jamie Baker-Nantz is editor of the Grant County News. She can be reached at jbakernantz@grantky.com or by phone at 859-824-3343.)