Saturday, December 10, 2005

Boobies









Would you like your Hot Wings with a side of Shame?



I find it facinating when mid-sized American cities attempt to sluff off the post-industrial decay that turned pretty much every U.S. city into a festering open sore during the 1980s and reclaim a position as a home for hip young professionals, not to mention a happenin' stop for monied tourists. Cities like this are faced with at least one significant paradox: how do you build a downtown crawling with the chain retailers and restaurants that Americans find familiar and want to visit without making the place so non-descript that tourists wouldn't bother coming because the place looks just like their crappy hometown?

I visited the tourist moneypot in downtown Baltimore called the Inner Harbor today, and the way Baltimore handled it is with an emphasis on the nautical. They docked a fleet of olde timey looking ships in the harbor, put a slew of chain stores and restaurants in low-slung, glass-fronted buildings along the water, and put some more chain stores in brick, faux-warehouses meant to harken back to the days when the Inner Harbor was stacked high with fish and durable goods and shop-worn hookers. Then, to top it all off, they built a fucking gigantic aquarium to bring in the families and keep everybody thinking OCEAN! Some of the buildings are actual pretty neat, but the glass pavilions next to the water just look like mall-lets (not mallets).

And inside one of those two-story mall-lets is a Hooters. You can see where this is going. Yes, I dined at a Hooters for the first time in my life. And Holy Fucking Criminy! I have been aware of the existence of the Hooters franchise since I was a mere stripling, and have always consider them to be, of course, a monument to idiocy/sexism/more idiocy, but they didn't occupy a lot of my mind-space. I didn't contemplate the essential meaning of Hooters. In a very real way, the Hooter experience was purely abstract in my mind. Having stepped through the very gates of a Hooters, having been greeted by smiling young women wearing hydraulic tit-slings and translucent white tank tops, having tasted of the hot, moist wing meat, I can honestly say that I wasn't ready for the experience. Now that I know that the Hooters restaurants actually take up physical space, are staffed by genuine, flesh-and-blood women, and patroned by men, women and children of all races and creeds, my head is in danger of collapsing. How can such concentrated, crass, moronic, exploitation exist? The existence of this place challenges ones' notion of reality. It's like discovering a retarded unicorncaught in the wheel-well of your car.

3 Comments:

Blogger John M. said...

I'd really like to read this post, but I can't. The picture at the top is too tantalizing, I can't scoll down.

3:26 PM  
Blogger matthew christman said...

That's how they get you! You try to order a six piece wing plate, and you become so transfixed by the pneumatic breast machinery that before you know it, they've ordered for you, and you're eating seven thousand chicken wings.

6:08 PM  
Blogger chuibreg said...

I went to a Hooters once. In high school, on a band trip.

I still feel ashamed.

8:50 PM  

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