Or so, in a gift to national writers like me, somebody at Las Vegas City Hall believed when he/she injected into a new proposed ordinance that seeks to also segregate unauthorized vendors and entertainers at the Fremont Street Experience the following provision to ban...
* The launching or throwing of projectiles or other objects through the air except in connection with special events and mall entertainment conducted or authorized by the Fremont Street Experience Limited Liability Company;
* The twirling of hoops (such as hula hoops) around the human body or portions thereof, the use of such hoops for recreation or entertainment, except in conncetion with special events and mall entertainment conducted or authorized by the Fremont Street Experience Limited Liability Company;
My AOL News piece went up earlier today and has already been linked to hundreds of times on blogs, Tweets and such.
Lost in the shuffle -- although I spend plenty of time on it in my piece -- is that they also want to shunt lots of other activity into one of two 1,200-square-foot free expression zones. That would mean this guy...
...and these folks...
...would be put in a corner with, presumably, an impersonator of Baby from Dirty Dancing, should there ever be a market for one. The guy on the left, by the by, is an out-of-work security guard most recently of Mermaids, the casino on Fremont that has a lady dripping white goo from her mouth in the video billboard to promote their deep-fried Twinkees. He says he makes $40-$100 a night in tips meandering on the mall taking photos with people and, he admits, "I don't even look like" Elvis.
I did get an interesting email already on this piece from someone named Amy:
Now, I do love my elders and I'm very protective of them. Everybody who reads my LVW columns knows that. And a Hula Hoop Park does sound enticing.
But any Mrs. Magoo so fragile that being knocked down by a plastic hoop could lead to crippling injury might want to steer clear of the Fremont Street Experience or any other public place where thousands of unpredictable, mostly drunk people gather. There are lots of other people doing lots of things there that could be similarly dangerous. Like, say, some babe from the Jersey Shore flailing her arms about as she talks, maybe.
While I've not witnessed these Hula Hooping hooligans myself, I'm finding it hard to imagine that you're just standing around minding your own bees wax, perhaps wholesomely watching the Mermaids video chick drooling Twinkee filling, when all of a sudden somebody spontaneously smacks you down with a hoop. Most Hula Hoopers try hard to avoid having the hoop hit anybody or thing because the point of the activity is to get the hoop to continually circle you for as long as possible, not to rob the aged of their mobility. You won't be a very good Hula Hooper if your radius is populated by hip-replacement candidates, right?
Anyhow, this should be a fun one. The ACLU says all these provisions are unconstitutional and would challenge them if the City Council passes in next week, and the ACLU is batting a 1.000 on combatting the many, many efforts the city has tried to restrict activity at FSE over the past 15 years. So odds are pretty high this attempt is mainly good for giggles and won't ever actually be implemented.