Funsters ISO kitsch: a trip to the grooviest motel in Wisconsin.
It was a quest. It was a mission.
It was the gobbler.
Half-way between Milwaukee and Madison, perched on the edge of the I-94, the Gobbler Motel and Supper Club is the holy grail of roadside attractions. Conceived as a tribute to the turkey, America's bird, the building itself was designed to honour the feisty fowl's physiognomy. Seen from the sky, one cannot but remark upon the resemblance. Not only that, the decor consisted largely of lava rock, jewel-toned shag rug, and eyeball-motif wrought iron.
Anyway, with nothing better to do on the holiday long weekend, I summoned my trusty navigator Daniel, and off we went. We didn't know if it was still standing. No one seemed to know. But we were determined to find out.
Our journey began obscenely early on Saturday morning (around eight-thirty), with large take-out coffees and a sticky danish. We came prepared: I had prepped by painting my finger and toenails bubblegum pink, in honour of our destination, and Daniel supplied maps and skin care products. In three short hours, we found ourselves in Windsor at the duty-free, trying to decide what to buy and smuggle. I was disappointed to see that scotch cost almost as much there as it does at the lickbo. Que sera, I suppose. Daniel found the cheapest and weirdest cigarettes available, called "Seneca," and featuring (bonus!) the old, mellow health warnings. Off we headed to the Ambassador Bridge, tall and optimistic against the sky.
American customs officers are nasty. they scowl as soon as they lay eyes on you, and it's all downhill from there. Apparently planning to visit both Wisconsin and Ohio was just too much for them to bear. no one, they seemed to think, could possibly be as wholesome and innocent as we appeared. They wanted to search the car. Angst tearing holes in our wee caffeine-filled stomachs, we complied.
The customs officer was giggling when he returned from our car. I guess he wasn't expecting hello-kitty pyjamas and jars of marshmallow fluff.
Finally, we were on the open road in America, zooming along just like in all of those movies. Concrete stretched as far as the eye could see, peppered with a truly amazing number of blown-out tires and rusted mufflers. Vroom! That freedom feeling coursed through our veins for a good fifteen minutes before traffic drew to an abrupt standstill.
And stayed that way for an hour.
In vain, we searched for an off-ramp, an exit, escape. Nothing. Finally all traffic was funnelled off on an exit to Ann Arbor. We'd been parked for an hour. time to take a break and have a proper brekkie! Ahead on this new road was an exit that promised food. We swung into the lane and came to a stop again.
Soon we came to an exit for the interstate we had intended to be on, the one that was a parking lot.
It did not have a big revolving Big Boy on top. The restaurant next door, however, had an interesting pagoda-crossed-with-the-Seattle-Space-Needle kind of look to it, so we decided to take a picture.
That's when I realised that the car was still running, in spite of the fact that neither of us was inside, and the doors were locked.
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