08-28-2011, 09:53 PM
On his way back up to his suite, Criss decided to head for the lounge for that much longed-for Martini, his mother's orders notwithstanding. Maybe later he'd play one of his electronic arcade games in his suite, or go for a swim in the pool. He realized he hadn't gone swimming in a long time, at least not for pleasure; the few times he had been under water was during his escapes. Yeah, he thought, maybe he would hit the pool later. Wouldn't hurt.
He went into the lounge and ordered a Martini. Fran, the bartender, a woman almost as old as his own mother, mixed a Martini that James Bond himself would be proud of: easy on the vermouth, shaken, not stirred. Criss took the glass, paid Fran, and settled back to watch the local news on the large-screen television mounted on the far wall of the lounge:
Good morning. Our top story: seven cattle escaped a delivery trailer this morning after the truck driver who was shipping the animals stopped at a local diner. Police investigation revealed that a six-hundred pound Black Angus bull kicked out the doors of the trailer and escaped toward the metropolitan area along with six Jerssey milking cows.
(cut to shot of demolished trailer)
Pete Granholm, truck driver: "I just stopped for a quick bite to eat when they got out. I made damn sure that trailer was bolted shut tighter'n a drum! But that bull kicked down those doors, and they all got out."
Clark County Animal Control is on the alert to round up the cattle and send them to the DairyMaid company in Brightonville, Utah. The Black Angus is reported to be extremely dangerous. Citzens are advised not to disturb the animals in any way, and to report any sighting of them to the local authorities.
Criss almost dropped his Martini glass in shock. So it is true! he said to himself. I really did see a cow in the desert! I'm not going crazy!
He bolted out of the lounge and headed back up to his mother's suite. Wait'll I tell Mom about this! Now she'll know I wasn't having heat stroke!
Up the elevator, down the quiet hallway and to the door of his mother's hotel room. "Mom!" he shouted, pounding on the door. "Open up! It's me!"
The door swung open, revealing a surprised and irritated Dimitra. "What?" she demanded. "What's wrong?"
"Quick!" Criss cried excitedly. "Turn on the TV! Try to get the news!"
Dimitra turned on the telvision set. "What is it?" she wanted to know. "Another terrorist attack?"
"Remember when I told you I saw a cow in the desert?" Criss said.
"Well, it's true! I really did see a cow in the desert. I saw it just now on the news."
Mother and son faced the television set tuned to the local news. "See?" Criss exclaimed, pointing to the screen, "Right there!"
The anchorwoman behind the desk read from the teleprompter the story of the seven escaped cattle, a small insert of a cow's head to her left on the screen. "...animals were reported heading for the metropolitan area. Citizens are advised not to disturb the animals and to report any sighting of them to local authorities." "I told you I wasn't having a heat stroke," Criss said.
Dimitra could not help but laugh. "Cows in Las Vegas," she said, shaking her head in disbelief. "Oh, my."
Criss' cell phone went off. He pulled it out of its holster and answered it. "Hello?" he said.
There was a brief pause. "Oh, okay," he said drily. "Thanks."
The cell phone went back into its holster. "Who was that?" Dimitra asked.
"Oh, that was the animal hospital," Criss replied. "Hammie's ear infection cleared up and he's good to go. I gotta go pick him up." He gave her a peck on the cheek. "Later."
He turned to leave. "Don't forget we have dinner tonight," his mother reminded him as he walked out of the suite.
"And watch out for those cows out there."
Criss' knees buckled under him as he laughed. "Like I need reminding," he said.