Friday, Jan. 27, 2006 | 7:56 a.m.
Tom Gorman's column runs Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (702) 259-2310.
I need some help, some input.
A buddy of mine may move to Las Vegas, and he's flying in on Saturday to check the place out. He's buying me lunch so I can tell him what's best about Las Vegas, and what's worst. He wants to know what he might be getting himself into.
I have some thoughts, but I probably haven't been in town long enough to have encountered all of Las Vegas' good, bad and ugly.
What kinds of things does a guy in his 50s, with no children at home, need to know? I certainly don't want to steer him wrong.
He might have to travel a lot, so on the practical side I'm going to suggest he look for a home in the south end of town so he can get to the airport in 10 or 15 minutes.
I'm going to boast about our mostly great weather, our sunsets, our proximity to the mountains, Red Rock, the lake and the river. I'll brag about the golf courses (because I don't think they're all being converted into housing tracts).
I'll let him know that he doesn't have to fight the Strip unless he has a specific reason to be down there -- in which case there are back ways into most of the parking garages. I'll advise him to steer clear of buffets because he'll eat too much and feel miserable.
He should be warned that Smith's and other food stores are so greedy, they'll tease him with slot machines, which he can hardly avoid if he needs groceries. Shame on them.
I'll let him know there's a slew of places he can go to at 3 in the morning for really good food, such as Black Mountain Grill or the Roadrunner on Eastern Avenue, if he's tired of eggs over my hammy at Denny's.
On the downside, I'll warn him about the wind and dust, and that not only is there worsening traffic congestion but that a disproportionately high number of motorists are mean-spirited and dangerous, and need to be culled from the gene pool.
He probably should know that there aren't enough doctors in town, and that there are some automotive tuneup shops to avoid at all cost.
I'll warn him about Oscar.
He should be warned, too, that his neighbors aren't likely to invite him over for a beer. At least that's been my experience: People tend to keep to themselves, and I'm not sure why.
What else does my buddy need to know? I'm hoping you'll call me or drop me an e-mail before the day's out.
Soliciting reader feedback can backfire, of course. Some of you are thoughtful, even when you disagree with me. Others among you are wiseacres (with whom I enjoy the banter), misguided or just ignorant.
After my Wednesday piece about the traffic death of a young girl who wasn't wearing her seat belt, a reader boasted -- boasted! -- to me that he never wears his seat belt. I assume he was brain-damaged in a car accident when he didn't wear his seat belt.
And after my Thursday column chiding school superintendent candidate Eric Nadelstern for bailing on us at the 11th hour, callers said I needed to apologize to the New York educator.
They said Nadelstern soured on Las Vegas because New Yorkers don't suffer fools and Las Vegas is full of 'em.The callers identified themselves as New York transplants. (Among our best friends are New York transplants and they suffer us just fine.)
I especially enjoyed readers' reactions after I said I had no use for lutefisk, a slimy Norwegian cod delicacy prepared with lye. Just on that fact alone -- and without having tasted lutefisk -- my position is wholly defensible.
A former Minnesotan called me "a very ignorant, small person," and likened me to a necessary but not very endearing orifice. He sent me a follow-up letter in which he apologized for the remark. "My wife told me not to say that," he e-mailed, "but I do what I want. Sorry."
Oh, and I'll tell my buddy on Saturday that Las Vegas has a vibrant Norwegian community.