Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G
sinetimore

Is This Trip Really Necessary?

Last night, I'm talking with Mornblade about the upcoming Florida excursion, and we discuss the fun of driving somewhere far away.  I told him I need pictures of every Stuckey's he comes across, and if he sees it, The Thing?

"What's The Thing?" he asks.

It's one of the classic tourist traps, like the world's largest ball of twine.  See, I define a tourist trap as something tacky and kitchy that makes no fucking sense whatsoever.  In Atlanta, GA, there's a statue of a giant peach.  This is not a tourist trap.  This is local color and civic pride because peaches are such a big part of Georgia.  But the world's largest ball of twine?  There's no context that can make you say, "Yes, I see why someone was compelled to enshrine this piece of awesomeness."

And so we have The Thing?, spelled with a question mark.  Set your Google Earth for 32 04 50.97N 110 03 01.76W.  Driving, you take I-10 to exit 322.  2631 North Johnson Road, Dragoon, AZ, you will find a knick knack store.  For $1, you get to enter the courtyard and see The Thing?  Supposedly, something similar is near Chatanooga, TN, and Dillon, SC, because there are similar signs advising of The Thing? there.
One of the things people talk about the Internet doing is letting people experience for free what they normally have to pay for.  With this in mind, for those of you who don't want to travel to Arizona and have better things to do with your dollar, here's The Thing?



Now, for my money, if I'm going to see some tacky tourist trap, the winner has to be South Of The Border.  SotB is located just south of the North Carolina border, originally there because it was just outiside a dry county.

What makes SotB so notable is the Twilight Zone atmosphere.  The mascot is Pedro, a Mexican stereotype who also brags about the quality of his fireworks.  Yes, a smiling guy in a pancho and sombrero playing with explosives.  And also originally a porno shop.  The only part of the stereotype they didn't give him was a bag of oranges.  There's a tower shaped like a sombrero, a small amusement park, all kinds of dime store SW kitsch, and more.  There is no way this place would be built this day in age, but it remains there.

Stick with the world's largest ball of twine.  It won't make your brain melt down.
Tags: destroying childhood memories, did not do the research, don't try this at home, haven't we suffered enough, important life lessons, infernal gall, let's talk about sex bay-bee!, nightmare fuel, portents of doom, stupidity, wtf
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