September 1, 2004

The Annotated Ball Of Twine In Minnesota

There's a (comedy) song by Weird Al Yankovic called The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota, which recounts a (fictional, I hope) family trip to see the famous, legendary, uh.. well, okay, well-known World's Largest Ball Of Twine Made By One Man. A little research reveals that this astonishing achievement (11 feet high, 40 feet in circumference, and an awful lot of string) can be seen in Darwin, Minnesota - population 276 in 2000. If you want to know where it is it's right here, and if you want to send it a letter then I guess "Twine Ball, Darwin, MN 55324" will get there.

What's also interesting is that a section of the song lists all the other weird and wonderful locations that this please-God-let-them-be-fictional family has visited, so I set myself the task of tying the lyrics to the attractions mentioned and I'm delighted to say they're all true. So here, without further ado, are the relevant lyrics. Annotated. I think I need more sleep if I'm doing things like this.

"There's Elvis-a-rama...
The Elvis-A-Rama Museum in (no surprise) Las Vegas, NV has live shows, exhibits, and, well, more Elvis stuff than I can bring myself to care about.

... the Tupperware Museum...
The Tupperware Museum, aka the Tupperware Awareness Center at Tupperware World HQ in Kissimmee, FL has, it appears, closed down. Shame.

... the Boll Weevil Monument...
Now here's one that is still there. After boll weevils ravaged the local cotton crop in 1915, local farmers had to diversity. The people of Enterprise, AL built a monument to this proud insect in gratitude, a statue of a woman looking surprisingly unrevolted at having to hold a giant bug. I am not making this up, and here's a picture to prove it.

... and Cranberry World...
You can "Imagine life from the point of view of a cranberry!" at Cranberry World Visitors Center in Plymouth, Mass. Sponsored by Ocean Spray, naturally.

... the Shuffleboard Hall Of Fame...
The National (no less) Shuffleboard Hall Of Fame is housed at St Petersburg Shuffleboard Club in St Petersburg, FL. No idea of opening hours, I'm afraid.

... Poodle Dog Rock...
Poodle Rock, also known as Poodle Dog Rock, is in the Valley of Fire State Park, NV. It's a rock that's shaped a bit like a poodle.

... and the Mecca Of Albino Squirrels."
Olney, IL has a lot of albino squirrels and claims this title. There are other pretenders to Olney's throne as the Mecca Of Albino Squirrels, though - both Kenton, TN and Marionville, MO dispute the title while Brevard, NC has white squirrels which are not albino. In Canada, Exeter, Ontario has an annual White Squirrel Festival. Roadside America covers the controversy in detail.

The song continues with some more generic attractions, so I'll be briefer from here.
"We've been to ghost towns, theme parks, wax museums and a place where you can drive through the middle of a tree,

We've seen alligator farms and tarantula ranches (Google came up with nothing useful there), but there's still one thing we got to see."

Right! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get back to planning my visiting-weird-roadside-attractions road trip around the US. Posted by mpk at September 1, 2004 6:01 PM | TrackBack

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