We used to go to Las Vegas once in awhile-more when my in laws had a winter home there. This is my husband's favorite place to visit. Oddly, it's not the gambling he likes best, it's just the desert, overall action and people watching. At least I think that's what he likes. People in this environment are fairly amazing creatures and make for great study material.
We were at the Mirage one night, getting ready to go out for dinner, when a man at the craps table keeled over. I didn't see him collapse but did see EMS doing CPR. The man was purple from the chest up. Suffice it to say, things did not look so good for this guy. The most amazing thing was that the play around him slowed but never really stopped. Fellow players at the craps table looked antsy waiting for play to resume. Tables around this dramatic human spectacle didn't stop their games. People at slot machines kept feeding their one armed bandits looking for an ultimate payoff and occasionally glancing at the drama unfolding on the casino floor. Maybe they were hoping for a different payoff than the craps player got. Pit bosses looked annoyed and not in the least compassionate-as though this event was cutting into profit. They should have considered taking odds on his survival. Craps man's face was still purple when EMS loaded him onto a gurney and whisked him away. Dead. I'll always remember the dead guy at the craps table, more importantly, I'll never forget the human behavior surrounding him.
What triggered this memory is the event that happened at a Wal-Mart store in Long Island Friday. An employee was trampled to death when a crazed crowd broke down the door to get in to begin their holiday shopping spree. What a horrible way for this young man to die. The worst of the story is that after the tragedy, shoppers were angry they had to leave when police closed the store down. After all, hadn't they waited on line for hours for this place to open? This is why I stay home on Black Friday. Bad tempered and ill mannered people are not something I look forward to during the holidays. Were the freebies and discounts worth the life of a 34 year old man? I think not.