Jeff Vorva's Im-PRESS-ions: Geez, I even make Penn look skinny

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

Jeffs Col Impressions

LAS VEGAS -- Yeah, I know.
What goes on in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas.
And I am not sure if people really care what I did on my trip out of town, but when I see in the archives people such as
former publisher Charles Richards writing miles of copy on his fishing trips in the past, I know I am in great company, and I am keeping the Regional Publishing tradition alive.
So bear with me as I delve into tales of goofiness from a city that never sleeps written by a guy who always has Jeff-lag and always wants to sleep.

Pencil-thin Penn
For years, I have joked to people that if they want to look skinnier, just take a photo with me. My height and weight make people look petite. I feel that providesPAGE-3-2-col-with-JVCOL2It’s magic! Look at the pounds disappear! Penn of Penn & Teller (right) is the latest person to look slim when standing next to Reporter editor Jeff Vorva. Photo by T.J. Vorva. a good service – doing God’s work if you will – in making people feel batter so give me that last slice of pizza, please.

Well, I was in Vegas with my son, T.J., for his basketball tournament and the first night we were able to catch irreverent magicians Penn & Teller at the Rio. They are usually more funny than amazing but on this night they were more amazing than funny, but it was still a great show.
Penn Jillette is this big boisterous 6-foot-7 dude who wears glasses and wears his long hair in a ponytail. And, like me, he has the frame of a guy who wants that last slice of pizza. Teller is an older, smaller guy who rarely talks on stage.
Penn looked the same on stage on this night.
After the show, the two hung out in the lobby and posed for pictures.
Being the old and jaded writer that I am, I have met a lot of celebrities in my time and posing for a picture with them is not high on my fun list. Besides, there were thousands of people gathered around in the lobby so I wasn’t figuring on any photo ops with the fellas, anyway.
But for some reason, there was this whole group of people standing to Penn’s left and no one to his right. I went toward his right to gawk because he let his hair down. Literally. His hair was out of the ponytail.
One of the security guys motioned me to come take a photo. Penn said “Come on, boss.’’ The last celebrity to call me “boss’’ was Todd Hundley when he was with the Cubs and we know that didn’t turn out so hot for him.
So my son snapped the photo and I thanked Penn and Penn said “Thanks boss” to me and we went on our way.

Then I saw the photo.
“Boss” was big. Penn looked skinny.
Maybe Penn lost weight. Maybe during the show, all of the props and stuff he needed under his jacket made him bigger than he really is.
Or maybe through the magic of the great Vorva-dini, I can make pounds disappear just by posing with me.
If that’s the case, it was the best trick of the night.

Speaking of larger than life…
I saw a young girl barf on the side of the MGM Grand hotel and then walk away like it was no big deal.
That was the second grossest thing I had seen during the trip.
The first was in a swimming pool.
Three plus-, plus-, plus-sized women got on the shoulders of three other big gals. One sang loudly “Giddyup horsey,” which nearly made me barf in the pool. So these six bigs had a race.

There is no truth to the rumor that first prize for the winning jockey and horsey was to get their picture taken with me.

Feeling hot, hot, hot
The temperature, according to my rent-a-car thermometer, was up to 118 degrees on the day that you folks enjoyed a 70-degree day.
And no, it wasn’t a dry heat. There were traces of humidity enough to keep us sweating for most of the trip.

And anyone who says there is not much difference once the temperature reaches 100, I can assure you that you can feel a difference between 118 and 100.
And a bigger difference once you get home and it is 70.

Sign of the (ouch) times
There were plenty of bums and panhandlers with signs begging for money. But on the Strip, my son found a guy with a sign that said “For $20, you can kick me in the [privates].’’
He must have once been a newspaper editor.