The journey to Las Vegas

las-vegas-welcomeLAS VEGAS — Typically, I keep this blog focused on the hockey. But I just feel like I need to share some funny anecdotes from my drive to Manchester, N.H., and then my flight to Las Vegas today. I’ll try to give you some non-hockey tidbits over the next couple of days, assuming I stay upright enough.

•First, let’s start with Manchester Airport, where there was a guy who couldn’t decided if he wanted a mohawk or a mullet, so he went with both. This guy was obviously auditioning to be Manchester’s prototypical male. If I had more guts, I would have a photo for you.

•For those of you who have flown Southwest, you know the good news is it’s a direct flight to Vegas. The bad  news is the scramble for seats as you board the plane according to a letter and number on your boarding pass. There are no assigned seats. It felt like I was battling in the corner and Milan Lucic decided to introduce me to the glass. But I still got a window.

•The guy next to me was a positive at first because by him sitting in the middle seat to my right, he saved me from sitting next to the Nell Carter size-alike that was two people behind him. However, middle-seat guy was of average body build and still couldn’t keep his elbows on his side of the armrest. Then he boarded with nothing but a bag with an apple and an orange. He brought nothing to read or listen to and then spent the first two hours of the 5 1/2-hour flight staring straight ahead like David Puddy of “Seinfeld” fame. I then saw him amusing himself by reading the Southwest destination map on his cocktail napkin and, of course, reading over my shoulder. (I was reading Lewis Black’s “Me of Little Faith” — a hilarious book.)

•As I waited in line for the last bathroom break of the flight, I decided to take a look around me. In the last row was a woman — in her 50s but dressed for her 20s — and lo and behold, she had pink curlers in her hair. Did she really wake up too late to take them out? Was she Mrs. Roper? Or does she think Amy Winehouse is some sort of fashion idol? Anyway, I just wanted to ask her if she was going to the beauty parlor straight from the runway or maybe she actually forgot they were in there.

•I don’t know what was most disturbing thing about the cab ride from the airport to The Palms hotel and casino. Was it the billboard with a half-naked Bette Midler, the one with Carrot Top or the one for the drag-queen magician?

I’ll let you ponder that while I retire to my room. In 90 minutes I have to be suited up (like my TV idol Barney Stinson) for the media availability with tomorrow night’s presenters. There should be one or two Bruins-related folks around, so I’ll try to blog right after the reception and before I begin my debauchery. I might even Twitter if I can do it with a drink in my hand.

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