Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Underground Tourist

I really like to think that I’m incredibly sophisticated. I read books about Metaphysics, Pragmatism, and the history of apples. I drink organic, fair-trade, and 100% Arabica coffee. I’ve probably watched more documentaries than the Sundance Film Festival. I have enough black shirts, coats, and pants to make Glenn Danzig and Brigitte Bardot jealous. Truth be told, I’m kind of a pain in the ass.

There’s a part of me, though, that can’t get enough of tourist traps. Not only those roadside attractions in realm of “The World’s Largest Thimble,” but also the “Old Tyme Photos,” the air-brushed t-shirts, and the rows upon rows of shot glasses and toothpick holders. I love that although there are TONS of these establishments, each one seems to hold so much unique kookiness.

In January, we took a trip south to visit Mr. Dustin’s daughter in Alabama. The three of us then went to Panama City Beach, Florida for a few days. Florida without the summer, the sun and the tourists is left to the snow bunnies. At the souvenir shop, we were the only customers…besides the pap buying the back-scratcher, and the nana that happened upon the rack of half-naked lady and gentleman postcards and could only muster up an, “oh my,” over and over and over.

On the way back from Florida, we stopped in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee. A proverbial tacky tourist Mecca.


Jesus Saves...Bears?

Totally Twee

My next tattoo?

During our time in Gatlinburg, we shared the streets with thousands of participants in “Resurrection,” a huge Christian Teen convention. Our only refuge from the teenagers was an “Adult” shop on the second floor of an air-brush hut. Sitting there (and if it wasn’t for photos being prohibited, I would’ve had a documentation of this) was a senior citizen, reading a book and eating graham crackers. Her companion, a tiny bird, was sharing the graham crackers with her. She chastised him for making a crumbly mess. We shared conversation with her about hotels, tourists, Resurrection and how there were three birds that inhabited the sex shop, and she’d named them all and could tell them apart.

If it weren’t for situations like these, life would be hardly worth living. Yeah, you’ve got your job in a cubicle and it affords you a house with equity, a car, the fancy-ass grill and television…but when did you ever chat-up a nana with a wild bird in a dildo shop?

That’s what I thought.
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1 comment:

  1. We'll have to do stuff like that more often. I had a lot of fun with you. And all it really cost is the gas money to get there.