Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dreamland, Part I

Ah, what a weekend. The wife and I just got back from a richly deserved vacation. We went to Area 51 (aka Groom Lake, aka Dreamland, aka...well, nevermind, it's a long list) in southern Nevada. Of course, as you know, Area 51 is strictly forbidden, with security personnel under orders to use lethal force on trespassers. Boy, did we find that out the hard way!—our Grand Cherokee has the bullet holes to prove it! Yeah, that was a close call, but we managed to evade capture, or worse, and now we've got a great story to tell the grandkids! And even though we were disappointed that we wouldn't be allowed inside Area 51, we did manage to get a room at the Best Western just across the street in Area 52. It's really amazing how much development has sprung up in Areas 52 through 55, due, I guess, to Area 51 tourism. (Even though you can't go in, you can see quite a bit if you bring along a high-powered telescope or binoculars and stand just outside the Area 51 border.) Yessiree, progress is on the march in the Nevada desert. The region might soon lose its "middle-of-nowhere" status. Our hotel, for example, was flanked by a Burger King, TGIFriday's, Gap, Starbucks (three of them), and a brand new edition of the famous Moonlite Bunny Ranch, the only chain of legal brothels in the U.S.! Area 52 also boasts an elegant golf course and country club—"The Desert Rose," it's called—though we didn't have a chance to check it out. Maybe next time! No, Mitzi and I actually were very determined to see what we came there to see, namely, dead aliens. Perhaps, we thought, we would be lucky enough to witness an alien autopsy in progress! The only question was, how to get inside the facility? We were sitting at the hotel bar stewing over this question, languidly stirring the umbrellas in our drinks, when from out of the shadows crept a mysterious stranger in khaki shorts and a wide-brimmed straw hat (such as bushmen wear in the Australian outback, I've heard). "Say, friend," he whispered to me in a gravelly western drawl as he sidled up to the bar and leaned in confidingly, "Did I overhear you say you's wantin' to see some them dead aliens?"


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