It was a stroke before midnight on Sunday and four young women dressed to the nines – make that the elevens, because their short dresses certainly were up to Spinal Tap standards – came teetering out of the LAX nightclub at Luxor on maximum high heels.
They wobbled right past the velvet ropes behind which sat O.J. Simpson’s white Ford Bronco, which actually was his pal Al Cowlings’ white Ford Bronco – or, if you believe O.J., a courtesy car provided to him by the Hertz people back in the day when he made TV commercials running through airports.
But like Eddie from “Barbershop,” I do not believe O.J., because back in the day it seemed he often changed his story.
Anyway, these young women with the pogo sticks on the bottom of their shoes walked right past the most infamous Ford Bronco to come off the assembly line – at least according to the placard in the rear window – in total oblivion, as if somebody overshot the valet line and just left it there.
This was so unlike June 17, 1994.
Had people – like the cops and the curious on those overpasses – ignored the white Bronco on that day, O.J. might very well be sitting on the beach in Puerto Vallarta with a margarita in his hand, trying to sell football memorabilia to Pepe the cabana boy. Because that’s where The Juice apparently was headed after being accused of murdering his wife and a male acquaintance when those cops on the 405 freeway intervened 18 years ago.
They found a fake goatee and mustache in the white Bronco, as O.J. apparently believed this is all he would need to fool the Mexican authorities.
Anyway, O.J. beat the murder rap, though he’s now playing poker for Camels up in Lovelock after taking memorabilia from Palace Station that he said belonged to him. But he took this stuff at a gunpoint, which is frowned upon in most states. So perhaps he would have been better off had he just done as Pete Rose and overcharged for his autograph at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.
But it’s old news, I suppose, because why else would those young women with legs longer than the Idaho panhandle walk right past the white Bronco as if it were the “Ghostbusters” ambulance or Herbie the Love Bug?
Finally, a swarthy, suspicious-looking guy strolled by the white Bronco and did a double take.
My first thought: Maybe this was the real killer.
So I kept my eye on him. Then, after he read the placard about the low-speed chase on the 405 freeway that relegated the Knicks-Rockets playoff game to a little box in the corner of the TV screen, I gave him the Barnaby Jones once-over.
When he began to speak with a foreign accent, suspicions were further aroused. Alas, it was only Luigi from Florence, Italy. I had mistaken abject sorrow for nervous behavior, because hours earlier he had watched Spain beat the Italian national soccer team by a score of like 31-0 in the final of the European Championship.
He was crestfallen, but apparently in no danger of falling on a plastic sword from the Excalibur arcade.
“I not recognize,” Luigi from Florence said. “Then I read (the placard in the back window). Now I understand this.”
If that’s the case, I said he should call Marcia Clark. But Luigi just looked at me blankly, in the manner the Italian back line had looked at Spain’s attacking forwards and midfielders hours earlier.
A wholesome looking couple from Wisconsin – is there any other kind of couple from Wisconsin? – stopped to click a photo of the white Bronco. Eric Schreiner told his wife, Lindsey, that his grandfather back in Marshfield owned a white Bronco that looked a lot like the one in front of Luxor. Then he joked that maybe this was O.J.’s white Bronco.
When he found out it was O.J.’s Bronco, or at least Al Cowlings’ Bronco, the one he sold to a collector for $75,000, more than twice what he paid for it, Eric Schreiner nearly lost his bratwurst.
Then he said he and his wife were sort of bummed because Carrot Top was on vacation and would not be appearing at the Atrium Showroom during their visit.
So after I was done asking questions it was his turn.
“Do you know what casino the Bonnie and Clyde death car is at?”
Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ron Kantowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0352. Follow him on Twitter: @ronkantowski.