(Published in the August 2010 issue)
A couple of Augusts ago, he could have vacationed in Rome, Italy. But today, Super Bowl hero and weapons convict Plaxico Burress is enjoying the ultimate staycation: two years in The Oneida Correctional Facility...in Rome, New York.
The former New York Giants star is midway through his sentence for holstering an unregistered Glock in his waistband and carrying it into a Manhattan nightclub-the gun discharged when Burress fumbled for it as it slipped. He suffered a minor gunshot wound, which may not have been the first discharge he experienced while fumbling for something in his pants, but it was certainly the most painful.
Jail does have its perks-in addition to relaxing in his prison cell, Plaxico can venture out into "The Yard," which Onieda travel brochures describe as "the most well-staffed and breathtaking recreational facility in the entire New York State penal system." It must be true: last year 214 armed guards witnessed 27 stranglings.
But for the rest of us who remain un-jailed, we're not going to Rome, Italy, for another reason: the economy. I mean, who in their right mind would pay to fly 20 hours in coach, only to land in a place where your electronic plug-ins won't fit into the sockets?
Instead, why not just watch travel guru Rick Steves on PBS, guide us through the Pantheon while we lie in bed eating fudge?
Yes cherished reader, I'm saying don't pay, stay. Staycations are waaaaay more awesome than actually going someplace.
Besides, once you've been to Vegas, you've already been to Rome, Paris or New York City, anyway (perfect replicas if you believe those places have dry heat into the 120s).
Still yearning for The Big Apple? Just watch CSI: NY or an old Seinfeld and save yourself the expense and hassle of actual travel. Are you really all that interested in cramming onto a ferry and crawling up Lady Liberty's toga? Trust me, I've been in her, and she's not all that great. (Trivia: The Statue of Liberty inspired the expression, "Like throwing a banana down Broadway," shortly after arriving from France-as if anything other than the Washington Monument could ever really satisfy her.)
Dying to see the City of Love? Instead of booking a flight to Paris, just pick up some French Fries and stop showering for a week. Then, after staring at a Google image of the Mona Lisa for ten minutes, go order a meal from the rudest possible waiter in town. Look at that: the quintessential Parisian experience and I just saved you 10 grand and jet lag.
So, instead of packing up your favorite things in a futile attempt to simulate the comforts of home in a faraway place-all whilst paying out the wazoo for it-just stay put. Obviously, we don't envy Plaxico Burress' staycation, but I'll take self-imposed house arrest over airports and security and weird foreign toilets this summer. It's just so much more pleasant than say, oh, I don't know, off the top of my head: surfing the Gulf of Mexico (although I hear the rates are really, really affordable right now).
Uh-oh. Too soon?
Cookie "Chainsaw" Randolph is now on 100.7 Jack-FM, mornings with the DSC. He's also a twice-a-week columnist at 619sports.net, which recently celebrated its 23rd web hit (counting family).