Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Yes, there is a Holy Grail regarding American Weirdos. Yes, I have it. Yes, I'll share.

We could spend today talking about the news. We could spend it dissecting the anti-Semitic tirade of Mel Gibson, pondering the pseudo-stepping-aside of Fidel Castro, or reveling in two and a half decades of MTV. But the newspaper's doing that for you and, hell, I can summarize each of those stories up in fourteen words or less. Respectively: Lunatic Jew-Hater Goes Apescat; Confirms Suspicions He's a Lunatic Jew-Hater. Fidel Takes Leisurely Break; is Unkillable. Thanks for That Dire Straights Video and Road Rules; It's Time to Go Away.

Take that Walter Cronkite.

With an entire news day loquaciously bitch-slapped, we move along to things which are less important but more personal and, quite frankly, way more enjoyable. We speak of freaks and weirdos. Specifically, the freaks and weirdos scattered throughout the country and chronicled in a travel book I received yesterday* called "Eccentric America." For example, the aforementioned Corn Palace is in there, along with various lunatics, odd architectural hot spots (the Salton Sea, for example---which I'm seeing a movie about tomorrow night, and about which Hot Snakes have a really good song), museums of uselessness, festivals of the bizarre, many World's Largest Insert Stupid Item Here, and, really, all manner of preposterous shit. Sadly, "The Thing" is no where to be found, which means either a) it's truly a total waste of time or b) the writer of this travelogue didn't quite have three quarters when she made it there. Odds are, we're looking at a). But we're going. Mark my words.

I tried making a poster for the tour last night, but, upon reaching the scanning phase, it became increasingly obvious that my scanner is in its death throes, so, after exhausting my technical expertise (read: unplugging it, re-plugging it), I perused the book. It's fairly long and I've made only marked headway, but highlights include:

a) Dr. Evermor's Forevertron in Wisconsin. Basically a giant sculpture which the guy who built it swears will one day shoot him into outerspace. Or maybe it constantly shoots him into outerspace. The book's a little unclear here. All I know is: Giant Scrap metal Deathray. Score two points for "Dr." Evermor.

b) Weird Abandoned Biosphere Thingy in Arizona. We've got a four hour drive between Tucson and Phoenix and this puppy is on the way. Apparently, this was a God's honest attempt at a real Biosphere project, but the oxygen ran out or Pauly Shore came and now, it's abandoned. I may never leave.

c) Carhenge! in Nebraska. It's stonehenge, made out of cars. Yep. That's it.

d) The World's Largest Bureau in North Carolina. Where the incredibly stupid and the incredibly awesome collide.

You know, I really can't do this book justice. All's I know is: I will be campaigning for copious detours. And what better excuse is there when you cruise in late to a soundcheck?

"I'm sorry, but we got stuck in the Bread and Puppet Theatre's production of Pericles. Do you guys do DI or mike on the bass amp?"

*thanks Rebecca!


Dahlgren's Daddy said...

The whole North Carolina and the world's largest bureau...

North Carolina, a state that I happen to like, is the center of fine furniture making in the United States. Only the best, true craftsman.

This is not where IKEA makes veneer-covered pressboard put it together yourself bureaus (though I know of at least one Birdmonster that has a kick-ass version of the aforementioned), but where fine furniture is hand crafted.

So it will probably be a very well made world's largest bureau.

birdmonster said...

There are tons of furniture related oddities in North Carolina, Dahlgren's Daddy. Like Thomasville's Big Chair (use your imagination) and Furniture Land South.

So, what are we to believe? Perhaps North Carolinians are just weird. Or perhaps, and I hope this is the case, North Carolinians used to be 45 foot tall weirdos. Fingers crossed for the latter there.

Gasoline Hobo said...

i am flummoxed by the socks hanging out of one of the drawers. i mean, if you're going to build the world's largest dresser, wouldn't you want it to be neat? also, are those the world's largest socks?

please report back.

birdmonster said...

Because I like research, I searched high & low for world's largest sock. Or socks. And, on a website called www.sock-dreams.com , I found a fitting non-answer. Apparently, the woman there wondered if she could break the record for longest socks and received the following reply from Guinness:

"Dear Ms Natosi
Thank you for sending us the details of your recent record proposal for 'longest socks'. I am afraid to say that we are unable to accept this as a Guinness World Record. We receive over 65,000 enquiries a year from which a small proportion are approved by our experienced researchers to establish new categories. These are not 'made up' to suit an individual proposal, but rather 'evolve' as a result of international competition in a field, which naturally accommodates superlatives of the sort that we are interested in. We think you will appreciate that we are bound to favor those that reflect the greatest interest. I appreciate that this may be disappointing to you, but I hope that this does not deter you from trying again. We are always keen to hear from people who wish to set a Guinness World Record. If you should need any advice regarding breaking an existing record or setting a new Guinness World Record please contact us again through our website or directly quoting the above membership number. Once again thank you for contacting Guinness World Records. We wish you every success with any future record-breaking endeavors. Please do not reply to this email, as this inbox is not monitored. If you have any queries regarding your claim, please contact us through our website, www.guinnessworldrecords.com, quoting the above membership id.
Yours sincerely,
Leanne Ooi
Records Research Services"

We are, sadly, in limbo. But at least it's a confirmed limbo.