Things that occurred in Vegas around the time we were there:

A suitcase containing a human arm was found.

I learned (though I don't know when this actually occurred) that while recently interrogating a man suspected of cheating in a casino, officers of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department sodomized the suspect with a toilet plunger.

Stage magician The Amazing Jonathan accidentally fired a real staple gun into the eye of his onstage assistant instead of the fake prop staple gun. She ran off the stage screaming, yet somehow - impossibly to my mind - is all right, and actually returned to finish the night's show.

While at a coffeehouse with my high school pal Gregory we ran into another local author and high school pal, Dayvid Figler, who as we talked used the recent issue of the Las Vegas Weekly to point out that all the nightclub ads in Vegas now lead the reader to believe they are actually brothels. In one example, a lingerie-clad woman lay on a bed with her legs spread, crotch aimed at the camera. Another featured a nude woman crawling on the floor and indicated they had "private rooms" available for use, while a third mentioned that school was out for the summer, and beckoned us to "come play with hot schoolgirls". Uh. Yeah. A "schoolgirl" was pictured in the ad, a model in her mid-twenties dressed in a plaid miniskirt and a belly shirt, looking...well, like a hooker dressed as a schoolgirl.

Bear in mind that these clubs are not in fact brothels, so this could be considered slightly deceptive. Also bear in mind that actual legal brothels are not allowed to advertise themselves in a similar manner in the state of Nevada. In other words, you can advertise sex at your establishment only if no sex will actually take place.

Then on the way out of town, we saw a billboard where the ColdStone Creamery, in any other town a relentlessly wholesome family destination, was using sex to sell ICE CREAM. "The taste of passion," it read next to a young model holding an ice cream cone, her lust-filled gaze directed at us.

Look. I can deal with having to see a half-dozen strippers' bare asses every time I'm behind a taxicab in Vegas, thanks to the Crazy Girls ad they all carry now. But apparently in Vegas they now feel that in order to get you into an ice cream parlor it's necessary to convince you that you will encounter hot teen sluts hungry for your cock there. Something is seriously wack with my hometown.

They also wouldn't return my suitcase with the severed arm in it. Bastards.