February 20th, 2009

on a steel horse I ride


As I have mentioned, I work right next to the Alamo, and as such I am constantly informed that San Antonio is the #1 tourist destination in Texas. I do not doubt that this is true; I simply wonder why it is true, since there are exactly three things to do here:

1. See the Alamo. (This takes five minutes.)
2. Eat lunch next to a fake river.
3. Drive to Austin.

Anyway, here are different types of tourists you will encounter in and around the Alamo:

- Gawking church group sponsor who believes that 250 miles is not too far to drive if there’s a chance to eat at someplace exotic like Sbarro

- Wealthy Mexican real estate mogul who drove all the way from the D.F. in a SmartCar to gloat over the ass-kicking Santa Ana gave the Americans

- Woman with multiple loaves of bread stuffed under the skin of her upper arms who simply cannot fathom the complexity of the ideolocator map at the shopping mall

- Doughy middle-aged white guy in khaki shorts who keeps stealing inappropriate glances at his teenage daughter, who is wearing a heather gray sweatshirt with the name of a retail store written across the front

- Ancient couple piloting a recreational vehicle the size of an airplane hangar who have a checklist of places they intend to visit, stay at for five minutes, and then leave

- Japanese family attempting to create video document of every single piece of information that crosses their eyes, and who are super-enthusiastic about the Alamo even though they clearly have no idea what it is

- Homeless dude who is taking a nap on a windowsill at the Menger Hotel, arising briefly to ask visiting tourists for five dollars so he can buy a lunch of Dippin’ Dots and Powerade out of a vending machine

- Surly kid from rural Wisconsin, wearing really baggy black cargo pants and a Between The Buried And Me t-shirt, whose dad obviously dragged him down here to go to the World’s Biggest Model Train Show

- Incredibly old black lady who is in town with her Baptist choir, and takes her job of protecting her 15-year-old great-great-granddaughter from the Satanic temptations of River Center Mall very seriously

- Rich businessman wearing blue-and-white-striped Oxford shirt who has just paid $175 for a cowboy hat made out of straw so he can show everyone back home what a “real Texan” is like