Written By: Lesley Millar of Scotland
It all started with a bee sting...
I arrived @ The LVBP carrying my traveling bag on
one shoulder, while the other arm having swollen twice its size in a bizarre reaction to a
bee sting in Los Angeles, two days prior. Ashleigh, my traveling chum, had become more and
more concerned at the appearance of my arm, which was now bright red in comparison to my
pale Scottish skin.
The plan was simple. Find our dorm, drop off our bags & find the nearest drugstore as
quickly as possible. No sooner had we found our dorm when a very quirky, lively chap
appeared at the door, waving the flyer for the hostel that Ashleigh had picked up in LA.
"Where'd you guys get this?" He cried, already displaying that very
typical American habit of dropping any word not directly involved in the meaning of a
Geo, as he introduced himself, was ecstatic to tell us that he'd
designed the latest flyer for the hostel, which apparently made Ashleigh's flyer some sort
of antique. Within minutes, he had us up in his office to show us the
new hostel flyer and some sort of photography project that he was doing with the
hostel itself. It turns out, Geo builds photo galleries for
youth hostels, in addition to running a web site based upon his photographs. All of which
was genuinely impressive. We listened politely as he explained the whole concept of
PHOTOhype in great detail and with great enthusiasm. Eventually, he stopped
to breath and I managed to show him my arm and asked if he knew where we could find a
You dont need a drugstore,
you need a hospital! I got a dying girl here! He cried.
He offered to drive us to the hospital, as it was right next to the mall where he was
going to the camera shop. Of course, we gratefully accepted, even though the emergency
room seemed a bit extreme for a bee sting.
And so, started our big adventure...
Ashleigh, a guy called Jeff and I all piled into Geos car and set off to what I
thought was going to be a 10 minute ride to the hospital. We made an odd mix in the car.
Ashleigh and I, two Scottish girls, alternated between British politeness of amusement at
the situation and pure excitement of simply being in trashy, glam, fabulous Las Vegas,
Nevada. Jeff, an American, was a quiet, stereotypical
arty slacker type, who didn't seem particularly impressed at being stuck in a car with a
couple of tourists. And Geo, an Alaskan, talked and talked and talked and seemed to be
having the time of his life.
Much to my disappointment, Geo pulled up at the mall and not the hospital. I guess, he
missed the hospital exit and calculated that going to the mall, first, seemed easier and
less time consuming than turning around.
"What ever..." I thought.
When we got out of the car, Geo grabbed me from behind and decided to carry me, seeing
that I was dying and all. Inside, I thought we would go straight to the camera shop, but,
we didn't. It turned out that this mall had FREE Internet access. We stopped at a
terminal, so that Geo could give Ashleigh and I a 15 minute demonstration of
Jeff disappeared several times & was immediately christened "The
Straggler". Geo, remained on the Internet, while Ashleigh went off to buy a
drink. I, with my swollen arm, waited for everyone, wondering if we'd ever get treatment
for my arm and get back to the hostel in time for tea (dinner).
When they all came back, I thought that we were off to the hospital, but Jeff needed to go
to another shop, which stood adjacent to the mall. Geo, calculating the time, again, said
we could go to the drugstore after we'd been to Best Buy and a bookstore called Barnes
& Noble. I thought he was maybe just joking about the bookstore. Ashleigh and I didn't
have any choice but to follow. I was still in a lot of discomfort, however, it was fun and
did feel like an adventure of some kind.
Geo carried me into Best Buy on his back. Immediately, we lost Jeff. Somehow Jeff had the
habit of disappearing whenever Geo decided it was time to move on. We tried to argue with
Geo, but somehow we always ended up doing what he thought we should enjoy doing. I wasn't
quite sure on what to make of him, although I found his confidence refreshing and his over
We spent the next 20 minutes looking for Jeff, then losing him again. However, Geo kept us
entertained. He wanted us to dance to the music coming out of the display stereos in the
theatre TV section. We didn't, but we laughed a lot and joined in the banter and he danced
on his own anyway.
Somehow, we managed to corner Jeff and moved on towards Barnes & Noble
arm was becoming more swollen all the time. Ashleigh and I began to start wishing we'd
just walked to a drugstore in the first place, not really realizing that you can't walk
anywhere in Vegas with the heat. Meanwhile, Geo finally began to appreciate
the surreality of the situation with my arm. He passed the time by joking about what
a great sequence to a movie this would make. He even said that he'd title it: Day One.
I don't know if he orchestrated the whole
thing, making life mimic the art that was still in his head, or if the plain absurdity of
the situation just appealed to him. In any case, it turned out that no-one wanted anything
from the bookstore. We found "The Straggler" in Starbucks with a coffee & book in hand.
Finally, we went to Walgreens. Two & a half hours had passed since the time Geo
said that he'd drop us off at the hospital, which was only a short 10 minute drive from
the hostel. I practically ran to the pharmacy counter. The pharmacist looked very
alarmed when I showed her my arm. She suggested I use some maximum strength cream
and within minutes, my arm started to feel better.
We all got back into the car and drove back to the hostel. My arm fixed and Jeff's camera
stuff bought. I didn't die, I didn't have to go to the emergency room, and we even made it
back to the hostel in time for tea (dinner).
A couple of hours later, a group of comedians visited the hostel to try out some new
material on an international crowd. My arm was visibly smaller by then and I laughed a
bit, but not nearly as much as I had done in the afternoon when we were at the mall.
Ashleigh and I were both getting tired. We were keen to get to bed, being of a tourist
mentality and wanting to get up early the next morning to 'do' Vegas.
Just as the
last comedian was winding down, our new best friend, Geo, appeared at the back, wanting us
to go swimming or at least sit in The Jacuzzi.
Ashleigh declined and went to bed. I was hesitant at first, but ended up in The Jacuzzi
anyway. It was a little past midnight when I realized that soaking in a heated pool at a
hostel in Fabulous Las Vegas was pretty cool after all. Needless to say, Day One had
a happy ending.
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Lesley Millar · Team
Scotland · PHOTOhype.com | E-mail: LesleyMillar@hotmail.com
PHOTOGRAPHY aka PHOTOhype.com (1997-2002). All images, letters &
stories are copyrighted 2 GEOhype PHOTOGRAPHY & Geo Communications Design
(1991-2002). Nothing on this site is 2 be reproduced without
written permission from Geo D. Oliver.
PHOTOhype.com is a very large & hyper-linked site. If you dig deep
enough, you find the coolest stories, photographs & out-takes from my life
with The Hype!