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Oy Vegas

July 23, 2012 - Harry Eagar
Even if you've never been to Las Vegas, you probably know about the fountains at the Bellagio, which are as much a symbol of the city as the Gateway Arch is of St. Louis or the statue of Kamehameha I is of Honolulu.

What you don't get from the pictures, though, is that the leaping jets of water are choreographed to music blasted out over the lake. These comes in sets of 3 (every 30 minutes during the day, every 15 minutes during the evening, when the sidewalk around the lake is crowded and various street hucksters set up).

I had never expected Vegas to be ironical, still less self-deprecatory, but I was wrong.

The first song in the set I watched was "Hey Big Spender," catchy, brassy and apparently written for the occasion ("Hey, big spender, spend a little time with me"). The next was equally appropriate, "Viva Las Vegas."

The third tune was unexpected: "Simple Gifts."

This one, however, was instruments only, no vocal. Still, I know the words, and "It's a gift to be simple" was decidedly odd coming under the sponsorship of the Bellagio.

Tricia said, "They don't know the words," meaning the sidewalk strollers, not the Bellagio management. She must have been right. I was the only one laughing.


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