Interstate 40 and State Highway 287 converge on the eastern side of Amarillo. I-40 runs nearly due east to Oklahoma City whereas Highway 287 angles southeasterly and is the major thoroughfare shuttling travelers from Amarillo and the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex.
These two roadways form a triangle as they head into town and sitting smack dab in the middle of that triangle is a large multistory grain elevator. At least it was built and formerly uses as a grain elevator. These days the structure serves as a sex shop/peepshow. Actually I think the adjacent building is the sex shop but sitting atop the tall grain elevators is three large and bright red X's.
I'm not sure what it says about our fair city that one of the first and most distinct sights a traveler coming in from either of those busy roads are those three gigantic x's.
Like most things you have seen over and over again the XXX sign is not something I even notice anymore. A guy I work with lives near the place and has in the past bragged about how many tokens he finds by riding his bike over to the joint. The tokens are used to play movies all in the privacy of your own little booth. My coworker claims men frequent the place and then fearful of their wives/girlfriends discovering their unspent tokens toss them out the window on the road leading away. Ever resourceful this coworker rides along picking up these tokens enabling him to have his "fun" on some other schmuck's dime. Yeah, I do work with some strange people, but back to the story at ... err ... hand.
However the other night, my family and I were returning home after out quick 1000 mile round trip jaunt to fetch my oldest son from camp down near Tyler, TX. The oldest was out peacefully dozing away but my seven year old was still going strong. Thus the following conversation.
"Dad, what is that baseball place over there with all the lights."
I looked to see where he was pointing. The sex shop was lit up like the Vegas strip what with the glowing red x's and the plethora of halogen lights illuminating the parking lot.
"That's not a baseball place," I said.
"Then how come they have those x's for strikeouts?"
I couldn't help but laugh as I said, "Well it is a place where men go who strikeout, but that doesn't mean they're playing with baseballs." I resisted the urge to add, However they might be getting their bat polished.
Kind of gives new meaning to the words swing batter swing. Don't you think?