Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Of Blimps & Wienermobiles

Indianapolis may not be the cultural mecca of western civilization, but we have our share of big time events that draw prestigious advertisers to the roads and skies of our fair cities. Specifically, I'm speaking of the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 races which usually draw the presence of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and the Goodyear Blimp.

I've had the privilege of seeing both of these machines up close and in person. I was reminded of that yesterday when I read a front-page news item from the Indianapolis Star about the Wienermobile coming to town (maybe it was a slow news day). I recall seeing it at a local grocery store a few years ago with the kids. You haven't lived until you've seen a giant hot dog on wheels up close. Seriously, when you're not expecting to see a gasoline powered frankfurter, it's a little surprising and exciting all at the same time.

Which reminds me of a close encounter I had with the Goodyear Blimp. Indianapolis is circled by an Interstate highway called I-465. It literally goes around the entire outer edge of the city and connects to many other highways and interstates. I'm sure your local large metropolitan area has a similar thoroughfare. One late afternoon I was returning home from the office on 465 while working my way through some peculiar patches of fog--something we don't see too often in the later part of the day. It was thick enough in one area that I slowed down to 30-35 miles an hour just to make sure I could react if anything were to happen in front of me. Suddenly, the fog cleared out just enough for me to see an enormous spacecraft hovering above me. There was no doubt in my mind that it was going to abduct me in order to perform bizarre experiments on my body and/or corpse. Of course, this was the initial thought that ran through my head as the Goodyear Blimp emerged from the low-hanging clouds. To this day I'm thankful that neither my bladder nor bowels were full and that I managed to keep the car on the road.

It just goes to show you that never expect to see the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile or the Goodyear Blimp...and no one expects the Spanish Inquisition.


jedijson said...

Oh, the euphamisms you could use concerning the weinermobile. It is actually a pretty cool... ummm... automobile? We've seen it several times on the highways around here, but have never gotten to see it up close and personal.

Unlike the Hershey's Kisses mobile. But that's another story altogether.

I'd like to think of something witty to say about your Close Encounter, but I'm still laughing about it. I'll just finish the comment and fly away now.

Dorci said...

That comment about the Spanish Inquisition came at me out of left field about like I imagine your Goodyear blimp did. Only it was my brain that was still foggy.

Hunnybee said...

I grew up in Northern Indiana not too far from Notre Dame. I used to get all excited as a kid when the blimp would fly around on game days. I remember thinking that the whole thing was full of people and being very confused how *that* worked. Someone kindly explained to me the mechanics of blimps.
Also, I have to disagree with you on one point. I'm pretty sure that Indiana *is* the cutural mecca of Western Civilization. I mean didn't we invent corn and David Letterman? I'll just let that evidence speak for itself.