Patrol Car 17? There’s a 712 in progress at 3300 Las Vegas Boulevard…


A totally fictitious rookie cop turns to his older, wiser. non-politically-correct, badly-dressed, marriage-falling-apart, nearly-gets-suspended-every-episode-but-was-right-all-along partner.

“A 712? What’s that, Malone?”


The older, wiser and so on partner throws his doughnut – which he can’t spell, being American – out of the car window, engages the sirens, and slams the patrol car into gear, taking off with an impressively illegal burnout to add to the littering offence he’s just committed.


Let’s say an elderly man pulls the dog he’s innocently walking back from the road just in time for Fido to avoid an under-tyre experience, and to top it all off, there’s a huge pile of cardboard boxes that have been stacked alongside the kerb for no apparent reason.

They fly as the patrol car smashes through them, screeching to a halt outside of a tea room just 200 metres from where it was originally parked.


Malone bursts from the car and pops the boot/trunk/bit at the back where you store stuff , pulling a shotgun out and donning a flak jacket.


“Malone?” stammers the rookie.
“Come on, kid, this is the sharp end.” Malone tucks a cigarette behind his ear, cocks the shotgun, and heads for the door.


“Some guy’s just put milk in a Margaret’s Hope First Flush.”

Everything I know about Las Vegas, I know from TV, and by that, I pretty well mean CSI, the original good one, from when it was still both of those.

So I know it’s got a casino or two, it is the world’s greatest example of the difference between having money and having taste, and it’s a place where endless comic heroes get drunk and end up married by, or even to, Elvis.

Incidentally, this phenomenon is not confined to Las Vegas. My two favourite US TV shows are Dexter and Burn Notice, and so I have mixed feelings about Miami – I love the thought of the Art Deco architecture, but there seems to be an awful lot of spies and serial killers there. (I know there is also a CSI:Miami , but not every redhead is worth watching.)

So, I am always staggered by the fact that the World Tea Expo is in Las Vegas.


Can you imagine the briefing at Police HQ?

“OK guys, the tea crowd are in town. So until this is over, no overtime. Johnny, I want you to take that holiday. Pete, you can catch up on some paperwork. Rocky, let the car pool know that it’s time to service all the patrol cars – no, wait-better keep one back in case some old dear can’t hold her Lapsang Souchong. And the rest of you, let’s spend the day at O’malleys. First round’s on me.”

The juxtaposition of tea and vice is, of course, an old phenomena, but tea has cleaned up its act on the last 100 years or so.

So why Las Vegas? It’s hard to imagine keen tea company executives with a scantily clad member of the preferred gender, throwing the papers for a container of Bai Mu Dan on Evens. Or linking arm-in-arm, staggering down the Boulevard after being ejected from the tea rooms for inappropriate behaviour. The entire staff of Mrs Betty Fuller’s Tea Emporium of Truckstop, Oregon weaving their spandex-clad frames through the pokies/slot machine alleyways, then calling for a Nuwara Eliya at the machine because they’re sure it’s about to come up with a big enough jackpot to corner the market in Gyokuru.

I think I’ll just say it again.

Why Las Vegas?

This means that Las Vegas is the second city in my series of US cities I might feel compelled to visit. The added bonus is that if I take @lahikmajoe, I might be able to convince people he’s a younger version of Grisham from CSI and score some free drinks.

 Why Las Vegas?


  1. Whew, at least I’m not the only one who has wondered about this, but you describe your wonderment in a far better way than I ever could.

    Why Las Vegas indeed?

    Why not Portland, the tea capital of America (and it has been for over a decade)? Of course, a fellow I know who used to go to a lot conventions tells me that LV is the place for conventions. It seems that they set the standard there for how conventioneering is done.

    Either way, I do look forward to a little trip to the Expo some day – every trip I’ve taken to Las Vegas in past had plenty to do with vice…

  2. Portland will turn up in the series, rest assured! However, I think other than Queer As Folk, which was set in Portland but filmed in Canada, I’m struggling for a TV show from which to get my inaccurate feeling for the place.

  3. You have summed up my emotions about this. I’ve expressed it many times, apparently to the consternation of Vegas lovers who assure me that it’s a great place to visit. I have not yet gone to WTE specifically because if I’m going to take that kind of trip it would be SO MUCH EASIER if it were a spot I could bring my family. It’s hard for me to justify taking a trip like that and leaving everyone else home.

    Why Las Vegas? The answer I’ve gotten – It’s an easy and inexpensive spot to fly to. You can get cheap convention space and there is plenty of hotel space of all price points. They want it in the western part of the US to make it easier for Asian companies to participate.

    I may have to finally do it this year, but really wish it was pretty much anywhere but Vegas.

  4. One of the advantages of not watching many American shows is that I have nearly no clue what you’re talking about.

    I know of CSI, but have no desire to find out what it’s really like. None.

  5. ha ha @peter – the one trip 15 years ago pulling on the one armed bandit like a maniac doesn’t sound too debauched in my book.
    Anyway, Robert you made me giggle. You must have been a cop in a former life. The sort of instinctive knowledge of how it all works. The tea squad eh? It’s one of those rather dangerous assignments that’s actually never assigned to a rookie. I’m not sure how I know that actually. I think I saw it mentioned on “Cuppa-Cops” once.

  6. I think I live near Truckstop, Oregon.

    And as for Vegas…you don’t want to go to Vegas. It’s like the BAD movies about Vegas. Trust me, I lived in Nevada for four years.

  7. I know I’m biased because I live in Vegas…but we do know our conventions. I would love to have it elsewhere (CA, OR, WA, etc.) just to have an excuse to travel. Teapages, if you do decide to bring the family, shoot me a note and I can give you a list of family friendly stuff to do. Oh…and LVMPD may drop a few cops for the weekend…but we have plenty of dipshits that live here so they are still hopping!

  8. Another of your good posts: “OK guys, the tea crowd are in town. So until this is over, no overtime.”

    @lahikmajoe you still have a long way to go before turning into Grisham.

    And why Las Vegas? Because it is known? Because you have enough room for everyone? Because they know how to deal with conventions?

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