Taxicab Blues

There are times when I have to take a taxicab: whenever I’m going to and from McCarran, visiting any local bars I can’t access by foot or bicycle, and whenever I’m picking up my red Lada hatchback from Oleg the mechanic, whose handwritten invoices rival Ulysses in page count and in my difficulty to parse them. So I take cabs, which has been a largely pleasant experience so far; I haven’t had to deal with too many surly drivers, and I’ve yet to be long-hauled.

But sometimes, just every so often, Steve Wynn is there.

Many cabs have a mounted tablet screen that faces the back seat, paid for by Steve Wynn for the purpose of promoting the Wynn and Encore resorts. For the duration of my ride, I have to endure Wynn’s gruff-yet-avuncular voice rattling off the amenities of his hotels. Sometimes he seems to lose his place, only to resume after a third-trimester pregnant pause. An entire civilization can rise and fall in the time it takes him to describe Andrea’s. It’s a perfect example of how slowly one can mumble and still be talking at all.

And the best part? The sound can’t be turned off, only turned down. And over several minutes, the volume steadily increases back to what it was when you started.

It’s Wynn’s right to advertise however he pleases, but he needs to take responsibility for the side effects. To wit: After hearing his spiel, I talk like him for days at a time. In fact, I’m writing this piece in his voice. Truth.