Monday, August 07, 2006

Rednecks & Idiots

No I'm not going to have a go at anyone here in America - the redneck and idiot in question is......ME !!

Redneck ? Well I mean this in it's literal sence as after my walk yesterday without any sun goo, I've now got a red neck. Not burned or anything, just a bit red.

And the idiot bit ? Well that goes back to my rant yesterday about the unchanging red hand on the traffic intersection here. I was back there today on my walk and noticed a button on the pole containing the walk/don't walk signs !! Yes it was as simple as that. As I got there, the lights for the main road were on red so I pressed the button and the white man lit up almost immediately and I walked across the road with confidence and barely a break in my stride.

What a plonker I am ! Ok in my defence, we have such buttons in the UK but they don't need to be pressed as the lights will always change to our version of walk anyway. The theory is that the button speeds up this action but I've always known this is a ruse and the button is wired to nothing - it's a placebo to make the pedestrian think he or she is in control of the lights.

Actually I think it IS wired to something. I'm sure there is a big neon sign up on the wall in some traffic controllers office with the words 'Idiot Button' on it and it lights up every time that button is pressed somewhere in my city. There may even be a counter and the office guys have a bet to see what the total comes to each day.

I could have edited my previous post to remove all references to the 'red hand' and spared this public humiliation, but my laziness is even more advanced than my need to be right ALL the time !!

But speaking of being right, lemme tell a little story here. It was a couple of days ago and my first full evening here and we were watching one of those American Idol type shows - this was called "America's Got Talent" and is a throw back to shows from previous decades which spotlighted the sort of acts we rarely see anymore. In the UK we had them too and many stars were 'discovered' on them and went on to have long and very successful careers in what we would call the light entertainment field.

The sort of acts I mean are magicians, tumblers, ventriloquists, comedians and other speciality performers like.......well contortionists. Talent shows these days only showcase singers and so these 'lesser' acts never make it onto tv. The downside is that we're now so used to sophisticated, polished singers on talent shows that when suddenly presented with two guys throwing flaming batons across the stage at each other, we tend to get up and fix something to eat and wait for the exciting (by contrast) commercials.

My first comment when seeing this show was....hey I know him !!! One of the 3 judges is the Brit, Piers Morgan who was editor of a rag tabloid in the UK before being fired in 2004. So now he's a panalists on this US tv show. A few minutes later we saw an act that won through from last week and I again said.......I know her !!! As she was a young contortionist, my friends were somewhat disbelieving but I was able to offer proof.

Back in 2003, we went to Vegas and stayed at the newly opened Aladdin resort and casino. As with most of the new themed hotels there, The Aladdin had a shopping precinct that ran around the complex and was called Desert Passage. It had various entertainers to keep the shoppers amused and one of them was a young contortionist.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to photograph a pretty young thing, I snapped a couple of pics which showed her flexibility !!

I think my friends were still doubtful - this was before I showed them the photos of course - and I was trying to recall more about her in Vegas to jog their memories. This made quite a change as I'm usually the one with the terrible memory but maybe it was the fact I'd taken these photos that made it so clear in my mind.

I thought about her act in Vegas and said..........on the tv show last week, did she happen to fire a bow and arrow using her toes to pull back the string ? Well that did it ! YES SHE DID !!!!!! they screamed.

This was my cue to power up the laptop and display these 2 photos. I was totally vindicated !

But what a small world it is. I have to say when we left her in the Desert Passage back in 2003 I never expected to see her again - never mind seeing her on a national tv show.

Of course I still needed proof it WAS the same girl so I surfed a bit and found her name is Lilia Stepanova and she's 19.......which means she was only 16 when these pics were taken. She lives in Vegas and was a student there in 2003.

So I guess it IS the same girl and that takes me back to my starting point. I may not be right ALL the time but it's pretty darn close

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