Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The House on the Rock

Hi Friendos. It has been a long time. (How are you? Said in my best Tobias F√ľnke.) A lot has happened, but right now I just want to go in to one thing.

This August, one of my favorite people on this planet, Ashley, and I drove across this vast country of ours. We took six days to do it, so that we could see some fun stuff a long the way. During this drive Ashley suggested that I write a blog about what I learned on our car trip. The list seems pretty short, and not worthy of a whole post, but here goes:

1. I don't hate long road trips.
2. I hate motorcyclists.*
3. Mount Rushmore is underwhelming
4. When you say "Mount Rushmore is underwhelming" people look at you as though you are saying the most blasphemous thing ever.  These people have not been to Mount Rushmore.
5. People in Ohio are super nice.
6. Kennywood, sadly enough, is not a Dollywood type place started by Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins or Kenny G.
7. It is best to be prepared when sleeping in a teepee.

Nothing earth shattering. The reason I was thinking about our trip was, I was going through my photos trying to decide what to print out for real life use, and came across all of my photos from The House on the Rock. Officially the craziest place on the planet. (Maybe not officially, but I would nominate it for that designation if there is some sort of committee or vote happening.) The House on the Rock was built by a man who clearly wanted to buck traditions, to be a non-conformist, and who wanted to collect all sorts of things: guns, glassware, dolls, doll furniture and houses, organs, carousels, and pretty much anything old, including 2 Zoltars from Big - which we can all now call bs on because I did not wake up the next day as Tom Hanks.

I need to show you things, to illustrate how crazy this place is. But the lighting is really terrible in there, probably partly because they want you to go see this place for yourself and not on the internet. Also probably to disguise how dusty it is in there.

This isn't weird, it is just cool. An infinity room, that juts out over a ravine and is only slightly terrifying when the wind blows. 

Friends, there are so many animatronic band things there. Some legit play the instruments, this one is just mannequins holding instruments. Cause that's a thing.

Next time I get fitted with an artificial limb, I need to remember to have them put a place for my gun in it. So handy!

And you thought GMOs were bad. May I have some arsenic complexion wafers please. Oh and worm cakes sound like a good idea! To say nothing of the quinine pills. Dr. Rose you old mountebank, you!

Speaking of worms, how about some tape worms? "Friends for a fair form" indeed!

Speaking of animatronics, you put a token into this machine and the guys start moving. At first Ashley and I were unclear on what was happening. When I figured it out, I was scandalized. I'll tell you when you're older.

 One of the many, many carousels. I so wish we could ride on them.

 And here is one with like 800 dolls on it.

This creepy fella tells you how funny you are. He told me I was brain dead and laughed maniacally for like two whole minutes. The hands are painted so realistically with liver spots and veining, it is like some weirdo sits in a glass cube and laughs at and then insults passersby.  

Also, in the bathroom there was a sharps container for used needles. I am used to seeing them in bars and places, and was kind of surprised to see it there, thinking solely of drug use, but then Ashley who is always wise brought up diabetes. Of course. And then the diabetes idea was only reinforced when we stopped at a frozen custard place and saw a defibrillator hanging on the wall.

Overall it was a fascinating few hours. Totally worth the jut off of the interstate. If you are ever in Wisconsin, you need to go. A few of the online reviews say it is a great place for children, I would disagree with that, unless they are big fans of Tim Burton or are little weirdos like Wisconsin's own Lenny & Squiggy. I am still terrified of that clown.

(A jut off the interstate that wasn't super worth it was Wall Drug. If you have ever driven through South Dakota you will have seen hundreds of signs beckoning you to come and enjoy ice water. It was a bit lackluster, but one thing that I enjoyed and then felt supremely guilty for enjoying was this picture, amongst lots of photos of Native American men was this man, "Young-Man-Afriad-of-His-Horses." You be you, guy, you be you!)

*I made the observation around Sturgis, SD and the million bikers who came there this summer, that we saw as many motorcyclist wearing helmets as we did motorcyclists who had any degree of melanin, i.e. single digit number. But seriously, why aren't there helmet laws? We drove through a huge puddle of blood on the freeway after being stopped in serious traffic for 25 minutes. Wear helmets and use common sense, peeps.