Saturday, August 20, 2011

Overheard in the Office:

Me: "...and when I was little, we'd go downtown and ride the monorail on the roof of the big Rich's department store! It'd go right along the edge of the roof, six stories up, and it was shaped like a pink pig, and you rode inside the pig..."

RX: "No, Tam, I'm afraid those were the drugs they gave you."

Me: "No, really!"

EDITED TO ADD: Apparently, back in the '50s, before liability lawyers were invented and it was discovered that fun was actually hazardous to children, there was a fad for these miniature monorails in the toy departments of big city department stores. (Although it took an especially inspired madness to make it look like a pig and put it on the roof...) Sadly, it looks like none are actually operating anymore.

Wouldn't it have been have been fun to be a salesman for the Louden Machinery Company, traveling from city to city, going into department store boardrooms and singing...

Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
Bona fide,
Electrified,
Six-car
Monorail!
What'd I say?

MONORAIL!

.

28 comments:

Crotalus (Don't Tread on Me) said...

Damn! That looks like something out of a Stephen King novel!

CAR said...

So Roger Waters is not really the creative genius that everyone thinks he is?

Roberta X said...

I recall her opening comment to have been, "...when I was little, we'd go downtown and ride the pink pig monorail on the roof of the big Rich's department store!" This sounded even more surreal.

og said...

So, Tam didn't do the drugs, Rich did.

Todd said...

Must have been a shared trip, because I was there too!

Bubblehead Les. said...

They had Department Stores Downtown? Wow!

Ehhh, what's a Downtown? Is that near the Mall or something?

; )

Robert Langham said...

If Obama made his High Speed Rail look like the Pink Pig.....he'd serve longer than FDR.

Anonymous said...

lol! no drugs involved - It was Riches in Atlanta! It was used to keep the kids busy as your parents did the Christmas shopping. It has recently been set up @ Lenox Mall in Atlanta (not on the roof though!)

Guffaw in AZ said...

'You got trouble my friend, right there in Broad Ripple! With a capital T and that rhymes with T and that stands for Tam (stands for Tam!)'

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

What about us brain-dead slobs?

Stingray said...

"But won't this thing be awfully loud?"
"It rides as softly as a cloud!"
"Is there a chance the track could bend?"
"Not on your life, my Hindu friend!"

Wayne said...

Crazy is as crazy does.
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20483493_3,00.html

Go nuts, Indiana.

The Jack said...

"Were you sent here by the devil?"
"No my good sir, I'm on the level."


Now the all important question: I can't tell from the vid but did the pig have a tail too?

phlegmfatale said...

That was AMAZINGLY cute! Very sweet, too. The good old days.

Anonymous said...

Wondering if this Pink Pig Monorail flashback is connected somehow to the recent pic at RX's place of you fulfilling an oft-mentiolned desire...

Maybe it ain't Tembo on the Serenghetti with a big ol' Nitro cradled, but riding Pachy with the other kids and wearing a barely-suppressed shit-eatin' grin?

That qualifies for any bucket list, if one feels the need to compartmentalize life as such. Or you can just add it to the memory bank right alongside this death-defying Pig ride. What's next?

AT

(and speaking of drugs, google up "elephant gun" and here's a top result:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-mqhkuOF7s

There is some weird shit in the world, I'm glad to say.)

Matt G said...

"Probably the greatest... Aw, it's not for you. It's more of a Shelbyville idea."

Justthisguy said...

One of the few gripes I have about my Dear Dead Mom is that, though she took me downtown to Rich's many times in '54, I never heard of the Pink Pig until I was a grownup and the thing was already gone. I do remember that Rich's had a hobby shop, though, with actual model airplane and model railroad stuff.

That's right; I'm so old I can remember when department stores sold stuff that XY people would buy. Didya know that Rich's used to have a (small) hardware department?

russell1200 said...

I am an east coast person.

Some of the most squeaky clean looking people who were the most familiar with the use of hallucinogens came from your neck of the woods.

I always assumed it was too much time in the great wide open with nothing to do.

Apparently it was the mono-rail pig.

Oh oh, I am so jealous. I never got a ride on the pig. It ranks up there with never getting to use a trebuchet in a real siege.

Tam said...

All my hardback coffee-table War Machine books and Stewart Cowley sci-fi hardbacks came from the Rich's "hurt books" stacks on the third floor back in the late-'70s/early-'80s...

Nancy R. said...

That is one scary-ass pig. It's enough to give me nightmares.

DirtCrashr said...

In a more innocent time before the hippies and green-freaks and beat-troglodytes ruined the city for regular people, they had a bunch of crazy-ass rides up on the top of Macy's in San Francisco. It was like way up on the 7th floor, overlooking a precipitous drop onto Market Street, with a "wild-mouse" type kiddie roller-coaster and a damn Ferris wheel that scared the bejeezus out of every kid who went up on 'em. The City used to be pretty fun until all the drugs took over and coke-heads ran for mayor and won, and the whole place turned into a Creepy-Carnival of Desperation Politics...

Ed Foster said...

When I was little (they had dinosaurs then) I would go to Steeplechase Park in Coney Island. They had little wooden horses about 5 stories up in the air, and we would ride them across the park with nothing but a little lap belt for a safety. We would ride out about a hundred yards, and if the wind was blowing the whole rail would shake. Some good pictures on Google. I'm sure lawyers get excited just thinking about it.

Charles Pergiel said...

Fairfield Iowa, again.

Ausprepper said...

Mono... D'OH!

Bob said...

So at least one pig HAS flown. I have much to re-examine and reconsider.

Borepatch said...

Monorail monorail monorail

Still, it's probably a better way to waste tax dollars than scientific studies showing that Space Aliens will kill us because we're causing global warming.

Justthisguy said...

No, really, I distinctly remember riding the trolly bus downtown to Rich's with my mom from Decatur, when I was 3 or 4 years old, and I never heard of the pink pig until I was a grownup, and it was already gone.

BTW, I met a younger scion of the Rich family once, when I was at Ga. Tech. Jewish rednecks can be right scary.

Gewehr98 said...

Was it named Blain?

Did it ask you riddles?