I enjoy Halloween -- from a distance. Every year I think of the perfect costume idea sometime in November or December, and never think to write it down for future reference. Come the 31st of the following October, I'll be in plain clothes, with the porch lights on and the bowl of candy ready.
Last summer I said that Las Vegas was lacking in gay culture. I stand by that opinion, but a quick review of the local weeklies leads me to believe that the straight people here might also stage a pretty good Halloween. So I've prepared a list of five notable events this holiday weekend, in increasing order of scariness.
First, some honorable mentions:
Vegoose Music Festival (Sam Boyd Stadium grounds): Las Vegas tries to go Coachella, but the lineup isn't all that scary. Well, maybe the way Dave Matthews jiggles his legs simultaneously as he jams on stage is kind of creepy. (Unfortunately, the really icky concert date is a week later, when the John Corbett Band comes to town.)
Masque Halloween Costume Ball (Club Rio, the Rio): might have made the list if the scheduled guest DJ, Boy George, hadn't recently run afoul of the law and cancelled.
Trauma Halloween Party (Vivid the Club, Venetian): the ad features a busty nurse on all fours and offers free admission for hospital-themed costumes. Different, but not scary.
Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball (Las Vegas Sports Center): So naughty that it's been moved off the Strip in its 10th year. But the scariest thing about it is the ticket price: $82.
Scary-Okee (Tequila Joe's, Imperial Palace): It's not about spooky people from Tulsa. Many people will sing along with "Monster Mash" or "Ghostbusters," but the winner will have to try something really frightening, like "La La" by Ashlee Simpson.
Monster Mayhem (Orleans Arena, the Orleans): This haunted house extravaganza looks legitimately scary and nearly made the list. But given the choices below, it had to be left off.
And now, the fiendish five:
5. Exclusive Pre-Release Book Signing (The Lounge, the Palms): It's bone-chilling, but only because the book is entitled I Should Be Dead by Now, and the author is Dennis Rodman.
4. 21st Annual Houdini Seance (Carluccio's Tivoli Gardens): A local magician tries to contact the late spirit of Harry Houdini at 1:26pm Monday, the exact moment the famed illusionist died. Apparently it didn't work the past 20 times. But if that isn't disturbing enough, the Liberace Museum is next door.
3. Body English Halloween Bash (Hard Rock): mostly scary for women. Jenny McCarthy and Jenna Jameson host, which means lots of really horny guys with unreasonable expectations.
2. An Evening with Bill Clinton (Nevada Development Authority meeting, Bellagio):
"You want me to be your keynote speaker? I've got a pretty packed schedule, so I don't think I..."
"Did we mention it was in Las Vegas during Halloween weekend?"
"Hold on... hey, it looks like I have some available time after all."
"Good. We'll make the arrangements."
"Say, uh, while I'm there, any chance I can get some VIP tickets to that Body English Halloween Bash?"
1. Sexiest and Scariest Costume Contest (Pure nightclub in Caesars Palace): Okay, it sounds like the offering of every other nightclub, so what makes this event so flesh-crawling? Four words: "hosted by Wilmer Valderrama." I get hives just thinking about it.