Las Vegas Sun

August 29, 2014

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Columnist Tom Gorman: On getting mixed reactions as he hits the streets looking very Elvis-like

Tom Gorman's column runs Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at [email protected] or at (702) 259-2310.

For a few hours last week, I was the King of Porn.

As I walked around the Adult Entertainment Expo, porn industry members took my picture. Starlets posed with me, holding me tightly. Some of them caressed my shoulders and ran their fingers through my hair. Several girls gave me their personal phone numbers (although I think they only gave me their stage names).

I don't think I drew all this attention because I am an aging columnist, and I'm no hunk.

But (hunka hunka) on Thursday I was the King.

I was wearing an Elvis costume. Best $100 I ever spent.

And I know that what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas. But with the kind of attention I got from women with indescribable figures, I'm not keeping this a secret, Baby. I'm telling the world!

Normally I leave my suburban home as a normal Joe, driving to work in his Toyota. But on Thursday I was wearing a white, bejeweled jumpsuit, a big black wig, gold-framed sunglasses and fake bling. I looked good. A passing motorist gave me a thumb's up. I snickered back.

Not everyone, though, reacts to Elvis (whose birthday is today). I shared the Venetian parking structure elevator with five other people, and not one said a word to me. Just dead, uncomfortable silence.

When I walked across the casino floor, on the other hand, craps and blackjack dealers looked up. They were impressed. "Hey Elvis!" "Hey King!"

I started to strut. I nodded at people. I snickered. And I felt my sunglasses slipping down over my regular glasses and I hoped my wig wasn't shifting and betraying my gray temples.

In the big hallway leading to the Sands Convention Center, I suddenly felt alone and stupid. People walking toward the Consumer Electronics Show looked right through me. They ignored me. It was the rare person who would even offer me a smile. One fellow muttered "Thankyouverymuch" but I think he was mocking.

Outside the porn convention doors, a security officer was checking photo IDs. How would she reconcile mine with my Elvis game face? She looked at me, looked at my mug shot, stamped my hand and told me to move on. She was fully unimpressed. I guess she's seen other Elvi.

Inside the convention, with booths all around me staffed by statuesque beauties in bitsy skintight things, I relaxed. These were my people. Fellow performers. I felt the love.

But it was tempered.

"He looks like the later Elvis," I heard someone whisper. Well, so maybe my jumpsuit was a little snug.

A photographer asked to take my picture with one of the ladies. "Where should I put my hand?" I asked. "Wherever you want, Elvis," he said. (That night, I found the photo included in an Internet gallery of beautiful women who were attending the porn convention. My kids will be so proud.)

I loved this assignment. The Consumer Electronics Show boasted more than a million square feet of exhibit space, but the Adult Expo had more than a million square feet of cleavage.

(Jeanne, my sweet wife, I love you and I'll take you out to a nice dinner this week.)

I felt my wig slipping so I walked up to the Tropical Angel booth. "How's my hair?" I asked a girl who had a bushel of blonde hair. "Awesome," she said. I snickered. She laughed. I think other men around me were jealous. I was the King.

All around me, people were taking photos of women posing seductively with their hands on their hips, their shoulders, their chins. They looked over their shoulder, coquettishly. They pouted. They pursed. They smiled. Cameras all around me flashed.

And as I adjusted my cummerbund, I realized several people were taking pictures of me. They seemed embarrassed that I caught them. I fell out of character and smiled, then remembered to snicker instead. Then they smiled and took more photos. They loved the snicker. They took turns posing with me.

So it went. As I strolled around, a woman -- presumably someone famous in her trade -- admonished me to work my hips. I told her I didn't know how to.

Another starlet, in a tight black cocktail dress, called out to me. "I almost wore the same thing today, Elvis," she told me. I flattened my cummerbund, sucked in my waist and snickered.

A lovely woman named Mason Storm jumped off her posing couch and asked if she could be photographed with me. "I've been coming to this show for three years," she said, wrapping her arm around my waist, "and I've never seen an Elvis." I told her I had never seen her before, either.

Later, I strolled again by her booth as she was holding a sultry pose for a photographer. She saw me, broke out of her porn character and started to giggle. The photographer looked annoyed or jealous. I snickered. I was the King.

A woman who works for a breast-enlargement center asked to take my picture. "My boss will love this," said the woman from California. "You've got Vegas written all over you."

Thank you. Thankyouverymuch.

I wondered if I'd be as welcomed at the electronics show next door, so I walked over. A girl by the front door, handing out fliers, almost shrieked. "You made my day," she said. "I've lived in Las Vegas for a year and a half and you're the first fake Elvis I've seen."

It made me wonder if she's seen the real Elvis.

But from there it was all downhill. The folks at CES barely acknowledged my presence. I caught a few women stealing glances toward me. I smiled. They smiled back. They wouldn't have understood the snicker, I don't think.

I walked up to a guy selling waste baskets with lids that automatically open because of some sort of light sensor. For the next 10 minutes he explained to me his automatic waste baskets, automatic soap dispensers, automatic water faucets. Not once did he ask me why I was dressed as Elvis. I guess he thought Elvis needed an automatic waste basket, pure and simple.

I walked in front of a booth staffed by two Japanese men selling batteries. They were taking pictures of one another. I offered to take their picture together. They bowed and smiled. But they didn't ask to take a photo of me.

Other exhibitors looked at me but didn't smile. At CES, I was not the King. I was a schmuck. I thought it best to leave.

Returning through the Venetian, I felt comforted. Dealers looked up. "Hey Elvis!" "Hey King!" I walked out the door and into the parking garage and I announced the obvious to no one in particular: "Elvis has left the building."

A fellow walking alongside me remarked, "Well done." I snickered, and then I smiled.

I shared the elevator with four other people. Total silence.

As I got into my car, someone yelled, "Elvis lives!"

Viva Las Vegas!

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