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This is Rob Long with Martini Shot on KCRW.

I wrote a piece for the Los Angeles Times a year or so ago, about my experiences with the mini-bar at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas.

It's a pretty clever mini-bar -- well, any machine that manages to charge you six dollars for a Diet Coke is clever -- but this one has a twist. It charges you when you remove the item, automatically. No more disruptive knocks on the door from some grim hotel operative with a clipboard and the ability to look into your soul and see that you ate the Jumbo Fun Sized Snickers (for eight dollars) in ninety-three seconds, or ate the entire festively decorated glass jar of cashews (eleven dollars) while scrolling through the adult movie offerings without ever pressing "order" or that there's only one glass next to the empty bottle of Trefethen Cabernet (thirty-six dollars) and your eyes seem a little red and glazy. And it's ten thirty in the morning.

Anyway. So I wrote this piece, which was a complimentary article -- look, I like the Wynn hotel a lot; it's fun and spacious and has a great pool area -- with one pool that allows what they call with restrained and mysterious suggestion, "European style bathing," and the whole place has a wonderful glamour to it; and I like the owner, Steve Wynn a lot, too, although I've never met him. But I've better than met him: I've seen him on Charlie Rose, where he was engaging and funny and spoke movingly and without a shred of pompous nonsense about his eye-popping art collection.

So, stage set: I write a piece about Steve Wynn, it appears in the morning paper, I'm out of the house early that day, I'm meeting someone for coffee and then I have to go to the doctor to get some shots for a trip I'm taking and my phone rings and it's my agent telling me that Steve Wynn has been trying to get ahold of me.

Really? I say, suddenly rereading my article in my mind, sifting through it for possible remarks that taken out of context might possibly lead to some possible misunderstanding, and suddenly I'm in one of those early Woody Allen movies in my mind, "No, you see, it wasn't, that was not my meaning, it was the newspaper that, with my, total admiration, sir, fellas, what's with the bats? I would never say such a, with the European style bathing, hey! That hurt! Fellas, that's my pinkie..."

Know what I mean? Nonetheless, I play it cool. And while getting stuck with yellow fever shots and loading up with cipro, I start thinking it's, maybe, you know, the opposite. Maybe he's my new best friend. Maybe he wants to call me to say, great article. Please, come here to the Wynn and live here as my guest for as long as you shall desire.

So I call him back.

I get his guy. I play it cool. "Just, you know, giving Mr. Wynn a shout back, catch you later, bro." And I leave him my cell number.

And wait for his call.

Which doesn't come.

So The next day, all cool again, I call the number again and pretend like, you know, I'm so crazy busy that I can't remember who owes who a call, is it me? Is it Mr. Wynn? What, you know, no big deal, whatever whatever.

He'll call you, is the reply.

Okay then.

That was sometime in 2006.

And then, telling this story recently to a friend of mine who travels in high circles, he told me what probably happened.

"He didn't want to talk to you," my friend said. "Why would anyone want to talk to you? He just wanted to know where you were, and how quickly he could get a hold of you, if he needed to. Guys like him are smart and prepared businessmen. They don't think about the next move, they think about the moves after the next moves. Unlike you. Who is probably only thinking about the pool."

"Hmmmm?" I said, lost in thought.

Because in Hollywood, when someone calls you, it's almost always good news. If it was bad news, they just wouldn't call you. In Hollywood, bad news is lazy. It just waits for you to figure it out by yourself. You sit by the door with your hair done and in a poufy prom dress, and it's only later, at 10 o'clock, that you realize that no date is coming to take you, your show is cancelled, your pitch is passed on, your script is dead, your movie is not going to get made, your parking pass is revoked, and your picture is not running in the trades. And if you want European style bathing, you have to drag yourself to Europe.

That's it for this week. Next week, we'll check into the Hilton. For KCRW, this is Rob Long with Martini Shot.



Rob Long