Before anyone else asks, no, I did not engage in a game of naked billiards with Prince Harry on my recent trip to Vegas. Nor did I see Celine Dion (as if), Cirque du Soliel (eh) or gamble my life savings away (I already did that on a failed business venture, thank you).
I did, however, do one really tacky, touristy thing of which I'm so deeply ashamed, that I've decided to share it with you in the hope that the truth may set me free.
That's the entrance to CSI: The Experience, in the bowels of the MGM Grand hotel.
(You can see why this weighs so heavily on my conscience, can't you.)
It's not that I'm a huge CSI fan, per se. I don't even watch much TV, but when I do, if I'm flicking through the channels and I come across a CSI (doesn't matter which one; Miami, Vegas and Wherever are all the same to me) I stop. And watch. Like a bug drawn to its well-lit doom, I'm spellbound by the blue glow of those CSI labs and the ever-present flashlight in the red-headed chick's hand.
So when I found out that Vegas' long-running and extremely popular Star Trek exhibit had closed and been replaced by CSI: The Experience, I brushed aside my bitter disappointment and headed off to experience, er, CSI.
As you may have guessed, the object of CSI: The Experience is to put participants through the paces of a real forensic investigation, challenging our observational skills and deductive reasoning to solve a mocked-up crime. Starting with an elaborately staged crime-scene and led through a series of labs, we were instructed to gather evidence and submit it for scientific scrutiny, through which a list of suspects would be whittled down to a single guilty culprit.
Sounds pretty cool, right?
As neat as it was to examine trace elements, blood pathology and toxicology reports, the whole potentially brain-teasing process had been disappointingly dumbed down so as not to intimidate the common class of Las Vegas tourist, who I'm guessing has the average IQ of a squid.
Case in point: The people who were 'investigating' the same crime-scene as me (mercifully, we were free to do this separately) seemed to be a family of over-fed and under-achieving Nebraskans (or some other such state where the correlation between inbreeding and Romney-support is patently obvious). While I whizzed through the labs and worked out whodunit in less time than it took to buy my entrance ticket, I observed my cohorts struggling with the touch-screen interfaces used to view evidence, and I saw lips moving - s l o w l y - as multisyllabic information was being read. When I got stuck behind a couple who must have been left-over from a previous group and were still agonising over one of the interactive displays, I could have killed.
Which would have been a real CSI experience.
Style File Followers Take Note:
1. Dontcha just love the way they named it CSI: The Experience, with the built-in dramatic pause?
2. I might be ashamed of my CSI weakness but I remain a proud Trekkie. Engage!
3. My apologies if I've offended anyone by implying that inbreeding takes place in Nebraska or other states. It's not your fault your parents were cousins.
4. Oh - and those would be the same states that would refuse an abortion in cases of incest. Gotcha.
5. My apologies if I've offended any squid.
6. And another case in point: Look at what happens when you stop inbreeding. Harry turned out pretty hot.