May 2, 2010

Concrete Constructions ©

I can't help but give a shudder when I hear that someone wants to erect an oversized object in their town to draw in the tourists. 

When I was growing up, the 'Big Pineapple' and the 'Big Banana' were major tourist attractions in Australia. At the age of 13 our family visited both sites and I can recall my complete lack of appreciation for them.

"OK," I thought, "It's a big, fake concrete piece of fruit – so what?!"

My mum thought they were a fabulous idea. I think she was hoping they'd set up something similar in our home-town. Her wish has since come true - there are now concrete bulls at every main entrance road into the city. 

The Guinness Book of Records has lists of giant versions of real food that people have created. Usually these are a one-off creations, oftentimes with whole communities or workplaces involved in the project. I applaud communities that enjoy making the world's largest haggis, as long as they don't feel the need to make it out of concrete and place it out the front of their town and expect visitors to appreciate its beauty.

My personal belief is that giant, oversized objects should only ever be seen in B-grade horror movies. Enormous tomatoes chasing people down the street, mammoth crocodiles and anacondas with the occasional atomic giant ant are all fine, but a monumental prawn held aloft as a tourist attraction is just plain tragic.

Instead, why don't people set about breeding genuine giant prawns? It would certainly draw in the tourist crowds, and you could feed the entire community if you throw one on a barbecue. Mmm, but then you'd have to create the world's largest barbecue to cook it on which takes us straight back into tacky tourism attraction territory, doesn't it?

And please, if you've been considering placing a giant cement cockroach as an attraction in your town – don't, or I will be forced to come over there with a colossal can of insect spray or an enormous fly-swat. ©


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