Sunday, April 5, 2009

Attack of the 100-Foot Drag Queen - A FABULOUS Landmark

In 1997, Guy and I set out on a 17-day road trip. Our travels would eventually take us to Washington D.C., New York City, Albany and Pittsburgh. But our first short stop was at South of the Border, appropriately named since it sat just south of the North Carolina border.
It was a blast traveling with Guy, because no matter where we ended up, I always felt safe. When we left his house we agreed on two things: No matter how much I told him I hated him during the trip, I really loved him; and he agreed that he would always love me even when he abandoned me at the closest truck stop.
So our first argument began when I begged to stop at South of the Border. I had been enticed for miles (about 293 of them) and just wanted to get some crap. I had no idea about what the monument held or even why it was there, but all the media hype inspired me.
He fought me good until he saw the giant silver high-heeled shoe. Then all hell broke loose and he acted like he had seen the Promised Land. Many kitsche photo ops and trashy high-priced shops gave us our fill of souvenirs as we devoured this landmark to all things tacky. I just loved it. We only spent an hour, but I got my picture taken on a super long hot dog dog and Guy, of course, in front of the slipper. I don’t know where the photos are, but it was wild.
Nothing else on our trip seemed to compare, though there were several memorable moments, such as watching the 4th of July fireworks on a bridge in downtown Pittsburgh; going to my first Pride parade in NYC and babysitting drunk Julie afterward, when I wasn’t much better off; and Shawn and Laura’s groovy warehouse apartment overlooking the river in Albany. But what could stand up to a giant silver-speckled high-heel drag pump?

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