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.