I love Las Vegas. It’s like a theme park for adults. For me, the shows are the draw, as I’m the unluckiest human on the planet when it comes to gaming. Please, I can put forty dollars worth of nickels in a machine and somehow ending up owing the casino money. As soon as I get up and move to a new machine, another player five minutes later will occupy the same seat and with one pull hit the jackpot of the day. I’m just not lucky that way. I do however, enjoy the four star restaurants and the seemingly endless buffets available along the strip. It’s a great place to be for a foodie.
In my late twenties, I visited Vegas with a man I was dating. Back then, people dressed for an evening show. Nowadays, a beer tee-shirt and flip flops is more the attire of choice. At any rate, I got dressed in a basic black dress and heels and we made a reservation to see a hypnotist with an ongoing and very well received show. Now, for me, I was a sort of non-believer, not fully convinced that people could actually be coerced in a hypnotized state to engage in uncharacteristic behavior. Nonetheless, it sounded like fun, so we added our names to the reservation list for a Friday night show.
I specifically requested that we sit back from the stage. For whatever reason, if there is someone in the audience at shows of this type that is going to be selected to make a total idiot out of themselves, the performer will always zone in on my Canadian face. While at Sea World I was hauled up to put on a grass skirt and participate in a hula contest (I lost to an eighty year old woman), I’ve been called up on stage for a most unfortunate 15 minutes of fame at a Chip ‘n Dale performance, been nearly drowned while feeding a killer whale at Marineland, and generally asked to check my dignity at the door at nearly every show I’ve had the pleasure of attending. At a performance of Cirque de Soleis, I asked to be seated by an exit door because surely I would have a harlequin painted clown sitting on my lap before the night was over. As it turned out my other half got the attention that night having a bizarrely made up maid follow him around simultaneously dusting and shining his bald pallet. Worked for me.
On the evening we went to see the hypnotist, respecting my wishes, we were seated about four rows back from the stage at a table with eight others, none of which we knew. The menu offerings were typical Vegas show fare, chicken, roast beef with gravy and mashed potatoes, and unidentified fish. The usual two drink minimum showed up two at a time guaranteeing that even if you didn’t like the show, you wouldn’t remember much about it.
Dinner, surprisingly, was quite good, and we found ourselves actively conversing with our new-found friends at the table. Lights went down just as dessert was being circulated by the waiters, and other than a quiet hum of conversation, all eyes turned toward the stage. The hypnotist came on to a round of applause, and then it was “let the show begin”. First, she explained that nobody even under a hypnotic suggestion, would do anything against their will. Okay. Although still not fully convinced these people weren’t just acting, I found the show very entertaining and watched as people were invited on stage to perform various outrageous stunts after being put under. Most fun.
They were searching the audience for a final group for the finale. I tried to look small , because if anyone was going to be chosen for this, it surely was me. The spotlight moved around the room and with a nearly full complement of guinea pigs on stage, I relaxed and leaned back in my seat. Behind me I felt a tap on my shoulder. Aaaah. I would have run, but with 300 pairs of eyes on me, where was I to go? Okay, sign me up, put a sign on me, make me write bad checks, and not wanting to be considered a bad sport, I stood up and approached the stage. Why not, considering my life up until this point, how bad could this be?
There were ten or so of us seated on the stage. After being instructed to close our eyes and relax, in no time we came back to reality to clapping and a feeling of well-being, Everyone in the room except us was aware that we had been given a post hypnotic suggestion which was to be triggered by a single word from the hypnotist. It seemed that when she said the word “reaction”, like performing seals we would turn to the person to our right and behave as though we were madly in love with them. I returned to my seat as did the others. My date was seated to my left and on my right was a very attractive man next to him his very pregnant wife. As the show was coming to a conclusion the hypnotist interjected “reaction” into her conversation. The other people who had shared the stage all began to behave oddly. Being absolutely unaware of why I was compelled to do this, I got up and sat on the man’s lap next to me and proceeded to plant a kiss on him that would have made Madonna blush, or so I’ve been told. The audience went crazy, as did my date who was now tugging at my arm and trying to remove my firmly planted lips from those of the unsuspecting recipient of my affection. The hypnotist clapped her hands and I found myself half straddling a flustered man I barely knew, or at least not as well until five minutes prior to the word “reaction”. Now, my date was a little flustered, but this poor man’s wife looked like she was ready to deliver. You just don’t mess with a woman in her third trimester unless you have police protection. As gracefully as one could in this sort of situation, I dismounted and apologized. After the show I had to stand by my newly embraced belief that hypnosis was, in fact, a true science, lest I be accused of lusting in my heart.
Egg Salad Cucumber Pitas
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup stone-ground mustard
1 Tbsp. sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup English cucumber, sliced thin
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
1/4 cup sour cream
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. dill
4 pita pockets, cut in half
Mix together mustard, eggs, sour cream, and salt and pepper. Refrigerate to let flavors blend.
Mix together 1/2 cup sour cream and, lemon juice and dill.
Spread the dressing mixture on the inside of each pocket half as desired. Fill each pocket with egg mixture and top with cucumber slices, red onion, and alfalfa sprouts.