Millions of years of Nevada history rendered as a series of improbable conversations
Ancient seas cover Nevada
Cambrian Era: Hey, let’s fill this joint with water! Invite some Paleozoic invertebrates and party like it’s 543 million years B.C.! *Puts “Surfin’ USA” on turntable*
Devonian Era: Pool party! I’ll bring the plankton. Oh, damn — who invited the freshwater mollusks?
Carboniferous Era: Do I always have to be the sensible one? Let’s start draining this mess before it gets out of hand.
Mesozoic Era: Don’t pull the plug yet — I brought ichthyosaurs!
Cenozoic Era: Time’s up, suckas! I’m dropping some basin-and-range geology on ya! And mammals, too. Pool time’s over!
Mormon settlement of Las Vegas
William Bringhurst: Water … trader route … this looks like a godly spot. Let’s build a 150-square-foot adobe fort here!
His 29 followers: That’s five square feet apiece! Yay!
Random settler: The elders sure seem to squabble a lot. Bet you $5 this settlement don’t last two years.
Bringhurst: Maybe, but 160 years from now our fort will get great Yelp reviews!
His 29 followers: Yay!
Oct. 31, 1864
Abe Lincoln: Oh, ninnyfiddles! I’m up against two other candidates for president and the election’s just around the corner! I need to pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery and rebuild the South!
Nevada: Grant us statehood! We’ll give you three congressmen to support your cause!
Abe: Verily, it is done! *Waves magic statehood wand*
City-founding land auction
May 15, 1905
Montana Sen. William Clark: *pauses swimming in jacuzzi filled with gold* I’m rich! I run banks, own mines, newspapers and railroads! But know what I want? AN ENTIRE CITY! I know! I’ll auction off the land where my railroad stops in Las Vegas and see if those suckers are dumb enough to buy parcels! Clark County ... I like the sound of that! *resumes swimming in gold-filled jacuzzi*
Hoover Dam approved, gambling legalized, divorce laws loosened
Nevada: This Great Depression sucks.
U.S. government: We’ll throw in a $49 million dam. That should help.
Shecky Green, dialing in from the future: And that was when $49 million was a lot of money! *rim shot*
Nevada: Great! Now, what if we legalize stuff other places outlaw? Moneymakers like easy divorce and gambling!
Gov. Fred Balzer (grabbing law-signing pen): Let’s do this!
Some guys just in from Chicago: Well, well, what do we have here …
The mob era
Mobster: Guys, guys! Check out this genius new method of funding ourselves! We take the house winnings into this special back room before we put it in the ledger and steal a chunk of it from ourselves for ourselves, sort of! *Catches on for, like, 20 years*
October 27, 1993
Dunes: Hey! Why are so many people crowded around? And TV cameras! Wait — a party?! For me?! Aww, you guys, you shouldn’t have, this feels so wonder—
The Foreclosure Crisis
The economy: Unhh, I shouldn’t have eaten those collateralized debt obligations …
Wall Street: Heh-heh …
Beleaguered homeowners: So, about my mortgage —
Banks: Get out.
Beleaguered homeowners: But where will we —
Banks: Don’t let the screen door hit ya where Wall Street just split ya!
Justice Department: We’re going to issue some stern rhetoric …
Wall Street: We’re so very sorry!
Justice Department: … and assess serious fines …
Wall Street: *Tinkle of pocket change*
Justice Department: … but not put anyone in jail.
Wall Street: Heh-heh *Sound of huge bonuses slipping into wallets*
The economy: Hey, they’re too big to fail. (Shrugs) What’re you gonna do?
Beleaguered homeowners: Maybe we can get a room at Budget Suites.