Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Those Crazy Tourists

Chuck Connors

Up in Minnesota where the ‘skeeter is the state bird folks got a powerful interest
in airport restrooms. No, not them ‘happy’ guys ya’ll might be thinkin’ about; but people
on vacation out to see really weird stuff. Yeah. Folks want to see the stall where that
U.S. Senator from Idaho got arrested. “It’s become a tourist attraction.” “People are
taking pictures,” said Karen Evans, an information specialist at the Minneapolis-St. Paul
International Airport. Get outta here!

Americans will travel thousands of miles to gawk at, take pictures of and
generally go nuts over just about anything new, different or strange. Mark Twain
loved to play the tourist traveling the world. Teddy Roosevelt, one of our greatest
presidents, was awful fond of traveling and seeing strange critters too. Shoot, my
Uncle LeeRoy always said “them tourists come up hare ta tha mountains ta see thangs
so let’s show ‘em some ‘Kodiak’ moments."

He practiced that sayin’ for a lot of years too.

First, he had him a pettin’ zoo. Don’t ‘cha know kids just love them pettin’
zoos? Then he had ‘em a reptile farm an’ bear menagerie filled up with snakes an’ bears
an’ such. It even had a six foot ‘gator Uncle LeeRoy won in a poker game down in
Georgia and smuggled ‘cross the border. If that wasn’t enough, Uncle LeeRoy was
always takin’ them Floridians on tours to see strange sights like Judaculla rock over on
Caney Fork or goin’ on huntin’ expeditions up in the Plott Balsams for the Beejum;
Western North Carolina’s answer to Bigfoot. The tourists loved them squiggly marks but
they never found the Beejum.

Every one of them tourists got their money’s worth seeing something a little
different and educational and all too. Every year there’d be whole droves of ‘em just
a beatin’ down Uncle LeeRoy’s doors just to see the new and different stuff right here in
these famed Smoky Mountains of ours!

Ladies and gentlemen, is there anything educational or worth taking a picture
about of a stall in a men’s room in an airport? If there is I just ain’t figured it out yet!
But then I never was one to hum a tune and tap my toes anyways.

Later ya’ll.

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