She: How do we keep ending up in Las Vegas? I like to gamble, but not that much.

Z: We go for the booze, but stay for the hookers.

She: Not so much. I think we couldn’t resist the lure of a free trip on the one weekend where we didn’t have soccer and Koss got invited to go camping.

Z: True, but that’s not very dangerous sounding. Could we at least pretend we’ve got some sort of mob connection?

She: Sure. In 1955.

Z: Fine.

She: Free trips are fun.

Z: I’ll give you that. And, it was my first press junket ever.

She: It was a good one, too. A couple of nights at the Aria, constant free food, and two tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show Viva ELVIS.

Z: I was very impressed by our enormous importance that we should get to go on such a press junket. I was very proud of myself. And then I met the other people who were invited.

She: Meow. I do like it when you’re catty, because then I get to be the nice one.

Z: People think that, but it’s not really true.

She: I have to admit, some of the other journalists did provide a lot of the entertainment.

Z: As much as they annoyed me, they were also one of the best parts of the trip.

She: The one couple who run a small Web site were easily my favorites.

Z: I’m pretty sure they were con artists. I Googled, and I couldn’t even find a Web site that would have made sense from them.

She: They were probably spies, undercover for some big secret operation.

Z: Even if they weren’t total fakes, they seemed to treat travel writing like a giant goodie bag of free stuff. They were even writing about a car for somebody so that they could drive it to Vegas.

She: I can’t believe we didn’t think of that.

Z: I saw them trying to convince a valet that they’d write about him instead of tipping him.

She: Reminds me of an uncle who got his travel agent license just so he could get discounts.

Z: Seems like a lot of work for free stuff.

She: I also liked the woman who was righteously indignant when things got a little screwed up at the front desk.

Z: Apparently, you do not want to annoy travel writers. A tetchy little group.

She: I thought it was fun. I loved Viva ELVIS, and got a great facial at the Aria Spa. Probably my favorite facial ever. Gina, at the Aria. Gina was amazing.

Z: Whoa, so we’re actually going to plug the places where we got free stuff?

She: It was free. I’m predisposed to like it. Besides, I’m just mentioning the things that I’d probably pay for anyhow. Plus Gina — who I’m sure would love to give me another free facial — rocked.

Z: And I thought there were no hookers on the Strip these days.

She: Ouch. Besides, if we say nice things, maybe we’ll get some more free stuff in the future.

Z: The Aria was a lovely hotel. The push-button drapes were very 007.

She: And I loved our $50 gift card for the Town Square Las Vegas mall. It actually kind of made my trip.

Z: Don’t you feel a little dirty now?

She: Free stuff, free stuff, free stuff …

Z: Fine. I also wanted to commend Joe Torres for an excellent job parking our car.

She: Yes, dear.

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