“…Wait we drove all the way just for this?”
~Disappointed children everywhere
America likes things big, and while normally that would be our cue to raise our eyebrows and euphemistically write out “laaaadies” we’re being serious. Okay, well we’re not being serious at all, we’re just not making genital jokes. We are, however, talking about America’s wonderful, adorably ridiculous obsession with having the world’s largest ____. It doesn’t really matter what it is, hundreds of small towns, and even some not-so-small ones, like to find something on this planet that doesn’t exist in a comically large form, just so they can make the world’s largest version of that item and stick it prominently in their town for people taking road trip breaks to gawk at.
It’s a delightfully quaint bit of Americana that truly couldn’t occur in a lot of places outside of America—we have so much vast space that it’d just feel a little bit empty if it didn’t have a World’s Largest Paul Bunyan Statue here, or a World’s Largest Ball of Twine there. What other country could be willing and able to welcome that? Europe might appreciate the charm, but they’re far crowded and cramped together. China’s too busy trying to buy all our currency in a desperate but ultimately futile attempt to continue their economic growth indefinitely. That last sentence was way too heady for an article about silly large version of everyday items, so for our third example we will just say that Russians are too cold and drunk to try to top us in the field of making giant yo-yos.
We want to embrace America in all of its quirks, which is why our newest feature on this site will present, for you…
America’s Largest Roadside Attractions in the World
Why would cities and towns put forth effort to create, and subsequently advertise, the largest version of something as stupid as a typewriter eraser? Same reason why the Guinness Book of World Record’s gets bigger and more absurd every year—even if it’s something completely silly, there’s something to be said about being the best in the world at something, even if that something is “being able to make a big ass statue of Pippi Longstocking.” At the end of the day, it can be a source of pride, and that’s nice. If you ask us, small interstate towns making these roadside attractions are one of the things that makes America great. The whole idea of it feels, well, wholesome. Until you think about how many teenagers from that town have had sex on or inside of it, because you know that has happened several times at least. Anyway, here are some of the things that America made that are larger than anyone else in the world has made that thing.
The World’s Largest Paper Cup (Riverside, CA)
When we gaze upon the architectural marvels of the world, we do not think of the creators of these wonders, we only think of their works. So too do we take in the world’s largest paper cup, created by the Sweetheart Cup Company to promote their adjacent factory. That factory stopped making Sweetheart cups in 1997, and Sweetheart as a company does not exist, having been sold multiple times before being absorbed into the Solo Cup Empire in 2004. But still the cup stands, 68.1 feet tall, braving the elements, hopefully with a drain at the bottom or something because we do not want to imagine what decades worth of collected still rain water languishing in a giant cup would smell like.
World’s Largest Kaleidoscope (Mount Tremper, New York)
Okay this one is fucking cool as hell. The Kaatskill Kaleidoscope is 60 feet tall and is housed in a grain silo. It cost $250,000 to build, opening in 1996, and as of 2008 they were just charging $5 a ticket to go inside. Light is projected into a series of mirrors when you walk into it, and you can lay down and stare straight up at the constantly moving light show you get. Obviously, you can’t turn the kaleidoscope around yourself, which is what the mirror and projection is for. They change the show each season, so if you ever find yourself on the way to Woodstock, you should swing by. It even gets pretty good yelp reviews, despite people from Texas deciding that it wasn’t quite worth the trip all the way up there.
World’s Largest Roadrunner (Fort Stockton, Texas)
World’s Largest Knitting Needle. And Crochet Hook. And Golf Tee. And Rocking Chair. (Casey, Illinois)
Damn, y’all, Casey, Illinois has absolutely zero chill. At first, we were like, “Oh, that’s cute, you made a giant crochet hook. Well, we guess it makes sense that you’d have knitting needles to go along with that.” But then we saw you also decided it was important to have the world’s largest golf tee, possibly implying that Casey, Illinois, is world famous for golf and for knitting, which we can assure you it is not. It is a town in east central Illinois with less than 3,000 residents, what do you need with so many world record-sized items? And then, in their ongoing quest to make sure their town is the first invaded when the giant aliens finally come, they just this past August made a 56.5 foot tall rocking chair, making it the biggest rocking chair and chair of any kind in America.
The latter one is actually kind of a dick move, because ever since 2008 a 42 foot rocking chair had that distinction. There are literally thousands of household items you can make comically large, but you assholes felt like we lived in a world that needed a second place finisher in the “largest rocking chair in the world” field? Again, Casey, Illinois…zero chill.
World’s Largest Pitchfork…and Wooden Clogs…and Mailbox…and Wind Chime (Casey, Illinois)
GODDAMN IT CASEY ILLINOIS CHILL THE FUCK OUT!
Okay this article was supposed to be all good-natured and whimsical fun, but Casey got greedy and ruined everything. We’re stopping now. We’ll revive this topic more in the future and let you know more of America’s roadside attractions, assuming Casey doesn’t continue their goddamn rampage to have more world records than people.