But just like the first OTIS Miscellany, just like the second OTIS Miscellany, and just like the third OTIS Miscellany, here are ten oddities I’ve visited but don’t want to make a big, full-post deal out of. It’s not that they’re not way cool. They are. It’s just that their “way cool” is more obvious. I don’t need 1,000 words and eight images to convince you of the merits of each item in this list. Plus, if the Internet’s taught me anything (questionable), it’s that lists get way more hits than articles. So hit this:
Stained-Glass Crab, Baltimore, MD: Airports are great places to find oddity. They’re high-stress, purgatory-like places, so the least they can do is install something interesting to look at to combat the soul-dullness of security gates and waiting terminals and cattle-car flights. Like this stained-glass crab the size of a large riding lawnmower that has hung out at Baltimore Washington International Airport since 1984, give or take some storage time.
Hassell Massacre Marker, Nashua, NH: This oddity is here solely to illustrate a squishy moral about seeing the world outside our front doors. This plaque on a stone is literally a mile from my house, tucked away on a tiny blank plot of grass between two neighborhoods. Once upon a time, the spot was something more: The homestead of the Hassell family, who were killed and scalped by Native Americans in 1691 during a terrible, terrible time in our history that inspired a lot of sports mascots. The buried remains of the family lie somewhere on the site, and a nearby brook is named after them.
Bicentennial Moon Tree, Indianapolis, Indiana: I had to look at every tree on the grounds of the Indiana Statehouse to find this guy and then make a guess based on the fact that its bark kind of looked like sycamore bark according to the tiny Google image I’d hastily pulled up on my phone in the full glare of noon. Later, indoor leisure Googling proved me right.
Jurassic Subs, Bremen, Georgia: A dinosaur-themed sub shop? Wait. A dinosaur-movie-themed sub shop? Why not? Unless it’s junk food, eating has always been boring to me, so if you can surrounded me with dinosaur murals and name your sandwiches after hard-to-pronounce dinosaur nomenclature, good for you. I’ll admit, it confused my daughter when we ordered a platecarpus and an anchiceratops and were handed long pieces of bread stuffed with sliced animal flesh. “We’re the only one in the world,” the girl who made our sandwiches told us. “That’s because the world sucks,” is how I didn’t but should have responded.
Sorry. That's a terrible way to end this post.