Friday, March 14, 2008

Answer: Iowa is for lovers

It's funny the cool things you can find in America when you're not exactly looking and you stay as far from the Interstate as you can. I was cruising down the main drag of Eldon, Iowa one sunny fall day in 2006 trying to discover the heart of the 29th state when a sign grabbed my attention: "American Gothic House" is all it said... and all it had to say. I turned left as the sign directed and followed a few more just like it until I felt sure it was a ruse to lure unwitting tourists to the furthest backstreets of Eldon, where they are ambushed, skinned and repurposed into lampshades and throw rugs.

And then I saw it. It needed no further identifiers. Here on the side of the road, gleaming white in the midmorning sun, was the heart of Iowa, nay the very heart of America itself: the quaint little farmhouse pictured in the background of Grant Wood's oft-parodied painting "American Gothic." (see previous post)

We have a couple of winners in this non-contest, and they both come by way of the Wigshop. Stan takes the non-prize in the Best Comment-Bullshit category for his vivid description of an evening with his good friend Chester. It may not actually be bullshit, and I can't say for sure that someone named Chester is not the current occupant of this house, but I did enjoy the imagery.

While no one has yet come up with a correct answer, C.K. was frighteningly close, with his comment actually containing the word gothic. I can only imagine his obsession with all things design (or perhaps his love for Robert Smith) allowed him to recognize the style of the house as, in fact, gothic.

Congratulations to both Stan and C.K. for their fantastic efforts, even though, having won nothing, you are not any better than the losers, and don't you forget it.

Aside from the house, here is the only other photo I took at the site:

There wasn't actually any parking there. Here's the benchmark for all parodies of Wood's most famous painting:

Incidentally, here's my favorite Chester to complete this multimedia extravaganza:


em said...

OH MY GOD! You have just proved that you, your lady and me and some of my friends have EVEN MORE in common that i already thought.

I love sifl and ollie with an unreal love, especially chester. perhaps you remember chester saying, "i keep cereal in my pocket." I say that at least once a day. It is my favorite line.

surviving myself said...

this is proof that i know nothing about art. No muppets, muppets are something i know about.

Allie said...

Wow. That's pretty cool. I never would have guessed it was THAT house!

Why are squirrels so funny?

Aaron said...

That would have been my second guess.

Also: Like the Kermit and Piggy one better.

Kiala said...

I love sifl and ollie even more than that smart person above me. WITH LOVE.

I have them all on vhs tapes.

I have no way to watch them.

Mickey said...

em- That show got no respect. Most people I know don't even remember it. Awesome.

survivingmyself- We can all agree on Muppets.

allie- Told you you'd seen it before. But I don't know why there wasn't a squirrel worked into the picture. That would have made it funny.

aaron- Muppets make everything better.

kiala- Watch them sitting down. (It took 5 minutes and that was what I came up with.)

Anonymous said...

That woman in the picture looks like she used to belong to the tribe where all the women use those gold rings to stretch out their neck.


Meaghan said...

Fanfuckintastic! That is really cool! I had no idea that was a real place!

Mickey said...

hightower- Yeah.

meaghan- I didn't either.

nancypearlwannabe said...

Yeah, I'm with Aaron. The Kermit and Piggy one is the best.

Chris said...

Well ain't that something? This could be a very nice weekly feature for your blog, as you claimed to be interested in regular features some time ago.

More importantly. I don't think I had ever seen or heard of sifl and ollie before now. That was actually really funny. I clicked through a couple of them on YouTube and found a great one about exercise (i.e. chasing the ice cream truck).

The Modern Gal said...

Sweet. That gives me a legitimate reason to go to Iowa. I mean, besides the significant other's family, *cough cough*

Mickey said...

npw- I was determined to have Kermit and Piggy represented.

chris- Maybe you're right, a weekly quiz of some type. And I'm glad you explored Sifl and Olly a bit. That kind of bizarre, subtle humor is perfect for you.

modern gal- I found Iowa surprisingly charming for a state I was just driving through. The best way to describe it is probably "pleasant." I hope your S.O.'s family is as well.