I used to be a fairly nice guy.

Image: deadspin.com

You know the type. Well-spoken, kind to children and animals, seldom shot anyone. Like that.

But, here’s the deal.

Today is the first full day of my “vacation” in Las Vegas. Leaving step-son, grandson, and attack-cat, Lamont Cranston behind to mind the homestead, I’ve driven the 570 or so miles from homestead to condo, only to find myself on the famous Las Vegas Strip… and in the midst of what feels like millions of people who have lost their compasses.

Perhaps it is because I’ve been here many times in the past. Maybe it has to do with my advancing age and growing lack of tolerance (yeah, yeah, I know)… but I am becoming crowd-shy. No, don’t get me wrong. I’m not afraid of the masses, or embarrassed to be seen by them (although I probably should be). No, it’s just that I find that once you put a gaggle of people together in a place which is already a sensorium overload, that brains, in general, cease to function properly.

Where else will you find a chain of people five or six wide walking slowly down an aisle way designed for four? And this barely touches on the texting drivers, people walking off off sidewalks and into on-coming traffic, aggressive street-hawkers, and time-share shock-troops.

I’ve been waiting for the future all of my life. And, while I’m not seeing any flying cars here, there are plenty of monorails and skyways. And people. Lots and lots of people. Harry Harrison (Make Room! Make Room!) made planetary over-crowding a visceral reality, but I never really thought it consist of fairly well-to-do people who have unplugged their ability to think and move.

And the point of this?

I still love people, just not so many all at once. Observe, I will. Interact, as I must. But really… all at once?

I guess I’m not such a nice guy, after all.