Every once in a while, a truly amazing period in human history
occurs, a time that will be remembered as pivotal in the shaping of
the way we live. This past January was one of those times.
In politics, both John Kerry and John Edwards bested the
pundit-anointed front-runner Howard Dean in the Iowa caucus,
turning the caucus into a game of Fantasy Punditry. In science, the
Mars rover beamed photos of a parched landscape, prompting the
age-old question: Is there life in West Texas?
But the event that wowed the most people occurred in the world of
arts and was phrased subtly by the press in the form of another
question: BRITNEY: OUT OF CONTROL?
After considerable thought, which is to say, while standing in
front of the refrigerator with its door open trying to decide what
to snack on, I have come up with what I think you'll agree is the
definitive answer. Maybe.
Let me qualify that. I say maybe, but not because Britney Spears
was married, and immediately divorced, in Las Vegas. That is
something people do all the time. Especially young people.
Especially young people visiting Las Vegas.
How do I know? Because I almost did.
Before telling you what happened, let me just say that I think
there should be a warning label on that time in a person's life.
CAUTION: BEING, OH, 19 TO AROUND 24 IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR SELF-IMAGE
AND LEADS TO REALLY STUPID BEHAVIOR. THE SURGEON GENERAL OF THE
UNITED STATES STRONGLY RECOMMENDS THAT YOU IMMEDIATELY TURN 25.
Everybody does crazy stuff at that age. Everybody I knew, anyway.
In fact, we would not have been out of place under a banner tabloid
headline screaming OUT OF CONTROL?
And that was without even stepping foot in Vegas. People do things
in Las Vegas that they just don't do at home. Or anywhere else, for
that matter. That is part of its allure. I have no idea what the
city's slogan is, but it might as well be, VEGAS - OUT OF CONTROL!
Which, as it happens, might also be the slogan for early