Sometimes I trick myself into thinking that I will like something primarily because so many others do; I forget that I’m an odd duck.  However, even though I know that I would dislike staying in Las Vegas (aside from seeing Cirque du Soleil) as much as I would hate roasting on Panama City Beach during spring break or dragging myself to a druggie-hippie, music festival – I feel compelled to play the slot machines because my grandpa won $600 in the airport restroom.  Perhaps luck runs in the family.  Or in any case, I figured I may as well play to get the life experience because I highly doubt I will ever hit ‘The Strip’.

I was disappointed that all of the machines were digital because pulling a crank and watching the images snap into place is much more romantic than pressing a plastic button and staring at a screen.  My biggest thrill of “Wheel of Fortune” was wondering if an airport employee would need to confirm that I am indeed old enough to play; I kept my ID on hand just in case.  Alas, my time seated in front of the brightly lit beep-emitting machine was too short with my frugal $2 limit, spent quickly and uneventfully in two turns.  Excitement over, I head to my gate.

Soon after I am seated at gate C5, two college-aged kids sit across the aisle.  The guy closest to me is Asian, and my first half-formed thought is that I will be seeing lots of Asian people soon in Los Angeles and eventually Taipei.  (Back story: I grew up in Wisconsin.)  On second glance I notice that the “Asian guy” is pretty attractive… And kind of looks like Ryan Higa, whose Youtube Channel [Nigahiga] can always make me giggle with its zany sense of humor.  I begin to suspect Ryan Higa’s identity even more as I reorganize my carry-ons and notice that his voice is similar to sometimes chill and sometimes enthusiastically chirpy voice projected from my laptop speakers.  (He plays a multitude of characters in his skits.)

Must. Confirm. If. This. Person. Is. Ryan. Higa.

I try not to be obvious as my eyes rove over his luggage tag.  Aaaargh, why do I never wear my contacts?  But after many other unsuccessful attempts to confirm or deny his identity, I decide I may as well just ask.  If I am mistaken, hopefully he will know who Ryan Higa is and be flattered that he’s a good-looking look-a-like.  Okay, just do it.

“Excuse me, are you Ryan Higa?”

He just does that guy head nod thing, emphasis on the up and says, “What’s up?”

Ummm… I hadn’t really planned on being asked a question in return.  I had only planned out my responses to “Yes” or “No.”  At least now I know I am not suited to be an emergency first responder since my thinking ability was numbed from the simplest question from one of the funniest and most-adored Youtube stars.

There is nothing to record from the brief conversation since I had zero charming or witty things to say.  (Why, oh why, did my “brand ambassador” charisma fail me!?)  But I got to meet and take a photo with Ryan ‘Nigahiga’ Higa.  He was very gracious to me and to everyone else that asked later to take a photo with him.

So, I didn’t board the plane with any extra cash, but I met a celebrity.  Las Vegas Lady Luck, thanks for treating my family and me so well.