Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Trucker Massage and Cheap Disney Tickets

Quick Note Tonight: Becky and I just returned from a long road trip that had us driving South on I-75 through Georgia and into Florida. It's a route I am quite familiar with, but have not traveled in nearly 15 years.
It is quick and mostly trouble-free -- cutting through the heart of my home state ... but something has changed. Don't get me wrong, there are still literally dozens of billboards and signs enticing travelers to pull over for cheap pecans and peaches, and later into the journey, those are replaced by "get cheap Disney Tickets here," and "Florida oranges by the dozen."
There are also hundreds of the old faithful signs advertising the "World Famous Ron Jon Surf Shop."
But something has been added ... something troubling. Dotted about every 10 miles or so are advertisements for "spa massage."
Now, at first mention, the reader may not see this as anything strange, but you'd have to get a since of the entire marketing being employed to get the gist.
First off, the signs are mostly printed with red lettering and yellow background. To me, this has a real "red light district" feel.
Secondly, there is usually a picture of a young oriental girl on the sign. Now maybe I'm stepping out a little far here, but I think this is a draw to truckers, who, are many times Vietnam Vets who indulged in the local prostitutes while deployed "in country."
What's more, the establishments are located in small strip malls right at the exits where really nothing else exists besides, ...well..., truck stops.
Finally, the most damning thing about these signs is the fact that they advertise, "trucker friendly parking areas."
So, you put those 4 together, and draw your own conclusions ... to me it's pretty clear.
And, it's sickening!

If I were a trucker, I'd be offended that the owners of these establishments think they could appeal to me on this level. Are they saying that truckers are just dirty old men looking for a happy ending with a young oriental girl?

And finally, what the hell is Florida law enforcement doing about this? Furthermore, doesn't anyone in Florida find this offensive? Is this the first thing you want tourists seeing as they sing the Mickey Mouse song while crossing the famous Swanee River on their way to Orlando? Talk about "visions of sugar plums!"

Look folks, I'm all for the "It's a Small World" ride and it's message of cross-culture unity, but this is ridiculous!