LAS VEGAS – Fans from around the world (Vermont and Washington) descended upon Las Vegas, Nevada Wednesday evening to attend the 21st annual 311 Day Festival, a celebration created by the band themselves and that lasts for more days than just March 11th. Local Las Vegans (citizens, not a way of saying ‘the vegans’ in Spanish) have been have been equal parts surprised by the surge they’ve experienced in the local economy as a direct result of the festival, as they have been horrified by the smell of the concert-goers.
“At first glance, you’d expect the only type of stimulating these folks are doing are to their own brains when they suck up those balloons in the parking lot,” chuckled David Rodriguez, owner of the strip’s only vegan restaurant, ‘Las Vegans.’ “But, they’ve been nothing but cordial to me and they eat just about every meal of the day in my restaurant. I’m running out of reusable bowls!”
“I mean, they don’t gamble much,” commented Anna Margarita, a blackjack dealer at Rio, “but man do they buy a lot of tchotchkes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen stores run out of one-hitters and devil sticks faster in my life.”
As for the attendees of the festival, there may be plenty of crystal, but not all is clear. During the band’s sixth reprise of “Amber,” we had a chance to catch up with Jamie Rogers, a 34 year old diehard 311 fan who dropped out of Florida State halfway through his junior year to follow the band, who only performs a handful of times a year.
“I just don’t get it man, I..I’m completely lost. How is she…what??”
No, Mr. Rogers wasn’t lost in the silky waves of Nick Hexum’s guitar solo, he was stuck for the fifth song in a row trying to figure out how the sign language interpreter could hear the music the band was playing. He mentioned this was his sixth year in a row of attending the show, but hasn’t figured out the answer to this mystery in all his years of attendance.
“This blows my mind every year, man, it just doesn’t add up. I took nonverbal communication my sophomore year as a ‘Nole, so I should be ‘casi fluente,’ in that kinda thing,” he said making air quotes and now speaking Spanish. “How does she hear the song if she’s a signer?”
In an attempt to save the show, and potentially his life, I explained that all sign language interpreters are not deaf because they need to be able to hear the music, and that one does not need to be deaf to be fluent in sign language.
“No, but…but wait, but…woahh…” he whispered to himself, as his pupils dilated. “Heavy…”