I’m delving deep into the archives for this one. I wrote this several years ago when driving to South Carolina with a car load of kids, who asked about these particular billboards we kept seeing…
Summertime means road-tripping. Whether to the beach or to visit family and friends, we often find ourselves traversing major automotive arteries on a more regular basis during the summer. Maybe I get really bored on these long drives, but my curiosity has been piqued by a strange presence along the highways and byways of America. Peppering these less-than-scenic roads are enormous lurid billboards showcasing voluptuous vixens, touting the glories of Tommy’s Tittie Palace, The Topless Treasure Chest, and other charming go-to destinations such as the Triple X Porn Center. Why do the proprietors of these establishments feel compelled to blanket major highways with jumbo “Girls! Girls! Girls!” signs promoting a smattering of sex shops of one form or another? Is there something about car trips that makes men excessively horny? Why are they so hot-to-trot on highway 40? Whose idea was it to launch screaming signage tempting the nations’ highwaymen to divert from their tiresome treks to enjoy the pleasures of Bambi, Penelope or Ginger?
I wonder about the genesis of these types of shops along major highways. Did the owners see a need, anticipate a need, or create a need for highway horndogs. Are their customers just tooling along the interstate, when the lightbulb goes on in their heads and they think, “Hmmm, it sure would be nice if there was someplace right off the road here to find me a lap dance, or cop me a feel.” Or “I’ve been meaning to replenish my supply of triple X movies, thank goodness this shop is on my way to Florida.” Which came first, the chicken or the egg (or should I say “the rooster or the sperm?”)?
Is it the vibrations of the van stirring up their libidos? Is it the bump, bump, bump of the potholes that make them want to hump, hump, hump at the first available rest site? It kind of bums me out having to explain to my impressionable children why there are so many billboards featuring unnaturally buxom blondes leering seductively down from their bird’s eye view atop the tree line along I-95.
I’m a little concerned about these roadsters whose sex drives are on overdrive. Isn’t this just as bad as drunk driving? Is a man in a heightened state of lust fully in control of his driving skills? I can see it now, the flashing red lights, the blaring sirens, as the state trooper pulls the guy over, “I’m sorry sir, but I’m going to have to charge you with driving under the influence of testosterone. You’ll have to come with me.” Let’s hope for the sake of the cop that this command isn’t taken too literally.
This may seem counterintuitive, but perhaps we need to install more of these testosterone depots along roadways. Supposing there is an excess of horny guys behind the wheel: maybe these little stopping points could help mitigate the ongoing problem of road rage. Perhaps if these pent-up drivers lighten their loads, so to speak, the roads will be a much more pleasant place to spend your afternoon.
Nevertheless, I’m still trying to erase from my mind this image of the average patron of one of these highway happy palaces. No doubt he’s a grizzled, creepy-looking gray-toothed guy, beer gut straining for release from his sweat-stained undershirt, pack of Camels rolled up his sleeve, tongue lolling lecherously, desperate to stop at Booty Land to break up the monotony of his long drive. Man, when I get bored on a road trip, I pull out a book tape to keep me entertained.
I’ve recently discovered that satellite radio is great for entertainment during road trips. In fact, they even offer up Playboy Radio, for a slight extra fee, to keep you from falling asleep at the wheel. Which gets me thinking, will this option eventually preclude the need for even stopping along the way, or can this business be conducted in the privacy of your very own vehicle, going 70 MPH? Does get you to wonder if someone is actually coming or going, doesn’t it?
It’s kind of funny that there’s a concerted effort now to get people to stop using cell phones while driving. Apparently road safety experts fear that phone usage while driving is distracting. Honey, that’s nothing compared to what the Playboy Channel is gonna make some folks do. All I know is this: the next time I see a bumper sticker proclaiming “If this van’s a-rockin’, don’t come a-knockin’”, I plan to take that warning at face value. I’ll be sure to steer real clear of that guy.