Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The National Pastime

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.

XXX

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?

28 comments:

gae polisner said...

lol. classic. great fodder for a story... :D

Being Beth said...

That's hilarious. Wish I could be a fly on the wall the day your son remembers that conversation and realizes what you were really telling him. LOL!

Deborah Elliott-Upton said...

Unfortunately, we know the people who previously owned the grain elevators (when it was used for that) and they are horrified.

Bubblewench said...

Holy funny! You're kids don't even know how funny they are... Nice..

Janna Qualman said...

Well played, Dad. You handled it great!

jerseygirl89 said...

That is completely awesome. And the grain elevator/sex shop is something that I'm going to have to see someday.

Sarah Hina said...

Loved this, Travis. Thanks for the laugh.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Gives a whole new meaning to "root, root, root" for the home team!

Old Kitty said...

Awww the innocence of kids!:-)

What an amazing sight though - I have this image of flat stretches of highway and these three XXX in red. How surreal!

Take care
x

Annette said...

Oh my ... that's hilarious. And one day your son will "get it".

Rick said...

Finally, a place even classier than Detroit!

Charles Gramlich said...

I was just talking to some writers last night about the big business of porn.

Dawn Anon said...

oh my! i think the neighbors might have heard me laugh!!!

too funny!

Rocketstar said...

Very nice. It's sad men can't be honest with their wives or girlfreinds.

AvDeeBee said...

We have a lot of them in town, but our signs are yellow. No grain silos, either. Just regular, fringe-of-the-historic-district brownstones and shopfronts with big yellow signs plastered all over the windows. Ours like to enumerate the different items one can purchase inside.

It's cute your son thought it was about baseball. Glad he never tried to sneak over there to check it out!

Nan said...

Hi Travis,
Thanks for the visit and comment over on Retired in Alaska. I loved your comments here on the XXX shop and your son. About the shop I say, this too shall pass places like that seem to do themselves in after a time.

~Nan~

David Cranmer said...

Ha. Good post, Travis.

jadedj said...

Good save! I'm not sure I would not have been square with my child, wuss that I can be with them. Probably would have said it was a new Mexican Beer advertisement...Tres Equis.

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

oh...that's so funny....
and thanks for stopping by and saying howdy..

Colleen said...

hahaha

good one

Eric said...

LOL, that is awesome, Travis. Don't our kids say the darn'dest things? And of course they notice all the things we'd rather not have to explain. You recovered really well though. Good job!

Lyn said...

Amarillo has changed so much since I first started driving through there. A lot of Metroplexans go to Red River to get away from the heat for a few days. An overnight stay in Amarillo was something to look forward to. That was 30 years ago. I've wondered, now don't take offense, Travis, I've wondered in the past 10 years or so if Amarillo even has a zoning commission. Sigh. That stretch of 40 coming from New Mexico is just plain ugly. As someone else has said, "This too shall pass." In the meantime, I hope the city council is grabbing tax dollars with both hands.

Lyn said...

Amarillo has changed so much since I first started driving through there. A lot of Metroplexans go to Red River to get away from the heat for a few days. An overnight stay in Amarillo was something to look forward to. That was 30 years ago. I've wondered, now don't take offense, Travis, I've wondered in the past 10 years or so if Amarillo even has a zoning commission. Sigh. That stretch of 40 coming from New Mexico is just plain ugly. As someone else has said, "This too shall pass." In the meantime, I hope the city council is grabbing tax dollars with both hands.

DrillerAA09 said...

No runs, no hits, no errors.

DrillerAA09 said...

You could always suggest that it's the worlds first vertical bowling alley and someone just rolled three strikes. Just a thought.

Clare2e said...

I agree with DRILLER- TURKEY time!

Funny story! Wait'll he finds out that strikes are K's and Walks are BB's. If that doesn't stymie his clear, young logic, the eventual truth about the silo won't either!

Word Verification- glaxables. That silo sure hosts some nice sets of glaxables?

Posey said...

"Well it is a place where men go who strikeout, but that doesn't mean they're playing with baseballs."

LOL Great!

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