When we sat down to figure out how to divide up the duties of writing about our road trip from Fort Worth, TX to Cleveland, Sarah and I divided the labor in the most appropriate possible way: she handled the food and drinks, and now I’m handling the stupid shit we did in each city. We are consummate tourists, and if a city offers something tacky, ridiculous or alcohol-soaked to do, we will be there to do it, make no mistake.
As you may have noticed in previous posts, our trip started in Ft. Worth then proceeded to New Orleans, then Memphis and finally back to Sarah’s home in Cleveland. This is what we did:
Fort Worth, Texas (and surrounding areas)
We started in Ft. Worth because I was finishing up a job there (you know, the kind that pays unlike some websites I could mention). You might think there’s not a whole lot to do in Cowtown, and you would mostly be right. But we were undeterred, and still managed to eke out a certain amount of stupid fun. First and foremost on the agenda was the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.
This sounded like our kind of fun, a diversion that could only conceivably be topped by the Reverse Cowgirl Museum which, according to Google, is not a physical edifice so much as a vast collection of movies on websites with names like PornTube and HumpDate.
When you walk up to the museum, you are greeted with amazing things like this:
…and when you walk inside, you’re greeted with a sign forbidding you to take pictures. So that’s all the photographic evidence you get, folks.
The first thing you do when you enter the museum is admire the murals in the rotunda. They are, I shit you not, those holographic-type pictures that change when you look at them from different angles. And they’re all photographs of famous cowgirls and country music songstresses that turn into different cowgirls and country music songstresses when you move around. It’s weird and hilarious and, since the murals are on the wall that surrounds the balcony, result in a lot of giggling and neck strain.
Next, you go and watch a seven-minute movie about cowgirls and the noble spirit they embody. It was oddly moving, actually, and played very well to Sarah’s and my feminist leanings. It was basically an “anything you can do I can do better, and with a baby on my hip” situation, which was pretty sweet.
And then you enter the exhibits and the fun ends. Sure, there are a lot of belt buckles and chaps on display, but the problem is that for something called the National Cowgirl Museum it takes itself deadly seriously. It’s not that I don’t think these women deserve due praise, it’s just that I’m not particularly interested in that praise if it’s not kitschy, and this place is nothing if not not kitschy. On the whole, we rate it a “go for the sake of telling people where you’re going, but don’t expect it to be much fun”.
The next stop was the Ft. Worth Zoo, on the recommendation of a lot of people I worked with. Apparently it’s one of the top 5 zoos in the country. We’ll see about that.
When you first approach the zoo what you notice is a giant, terrifying statue of a lizard with red glowing eyes perched atop the employee entrance. I don’t know why they hate their employees so much, but I actually refused to visit the place until I learned that I would not have to pass under that monstrosity to enter.
Here’s the problem with going to a zoo in Texas in the summer: it’s fucking hot. Like, stupid hot. It was approaching 100 degrees the day we went, and this was early June. You know what zoo animals do when it’s ridiculously hot? Fuck-all, that’s what. I have never seen a more lethargic bunch of beasts in my entire life, and I used to smoke pot. Check the world’s fastest land animal, the cheetah:
…or the frisky and adorable kangaroo:
…even the gibbon, nature’s most consistent and accomplished anticker, is not immune to Texas heat lethargy:
…and let’s not even talk about the hippos. Though I have to give this one props for being on point:
I have at least a dozen pictures of typically entertaining animals just laying around because it was too fucking hot to do anything else. In point of fact, I felt like we were the stupid beasts for actually walking around.
There were a few high points, though. First was a bonobo with a raging erection standing in front of a window waving at a group of little kids. The kids were so entertained by the waving monkey, and the parents either didn’t recognize a bonoboner when they saw it or were experts at concealing their true feelings, because they just kept encouraging their little daughters to wave at the monkey. All the girls were wearing pink and the zookeeper standing by mentioned to them that pink was his favorite color. Sarah leaned over to me and said, under her voice, “Obviously.”
And there was the elephant headbutting a wall:
Bravely pushing on, we encountered a sign that we thought was going to change our lives forever:
Here’s what we expected:
…and here’s what we got:
Blatant, malicious false advertising.
The rest of the zoo trip was largely taken up with finding stupid things for us to take pictures with, to wit:
Then we high-fived a lizard…
…and we were out.
All in all, it’s a pretty decent zoo. If it’s one of the five best in the country then apparently I have exquisite taste in zoos because I’m pretty sure all four of the other ones I’ve been to were at least this good, but who am I to judge? We rated it “probably a lot more fun when it’s not surface-of-the-sun hot out”.
Next we went a little out of our way to Dallas for the sole purpose of visiting one of America’s most hallowed sites: Dealey Plaza. As you may recall from your history class in high school, this is where President Kennedy was assassinated. We figured it would be a classy, somber place for quiet reflection. That illusion was promptly shattered when the first thing we saw was the infamous grassy knoll where conspiracy nuts theorize the real shooter was:
I honestly, sincerely wish this picture was doctored in any way. I assure you friends, it is not.
Possibly the creepiest thing is the two exes in the middle of Elm St. which mark the exact location that JFK was when each of the bullets entered his body. And the creepiest part of that was the families lined up on the sidewalk waiting for the light to turn red so that their children could run out into the middle of the street to pose on them to have their pictures taken. This is real. Observe:
There is also a Sixth Floor Museum, set up in the actual room that Lee Harvey Oswald supposedly shot the president from. We intended to visit it, but it cost like $15 to get in and honestly, we’d had about all the horror we could take at that point. I did manage to snap a photo of the spectacular sign on the door, though:
No firearms in the book depository? Man, that’s a lesson they learned the hard way.
After that, all we wanted was to relax. So we hit up my awesome godmother Shelly and her husband Joe, hung out in their pool and played beer pong. But their version of beer pong is far superior to the hackneyed college frat party version: in this version, you play ping pong on a floating table in a swimming pool. You place your beers on the table, and every time one gets hit with the ball you drink. After about three minutes, everyone aims for the beer. It is the greatest game.
Some of us, being less athletically inclined, chose to just float like a motherfucker.
And this, friends, is what there is to do in Ft. Worth, TX and the surrounding areas. Next up, New Orleans!