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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Church Signs

Nowadays almost every church has one:  a sign with removable letters.  This serves as either a way to notify the congregation of events, or to put up witty and/or inspirational messages.   Some churches use this as place to vent pure insanity.

Now, before I go any further, I wanted to say that the some of the nicest people I know are Christian.  It is a religion of peace and love, and I am not here to trash it.  There are plenty of church signs with wise and compelling phrases, but that's not why we are here.  I wanted to show off some of the strange and zany Church Signs I have found over the years.


This one has always confounded me.  I may be missing the point, but I fear that this sign is equating finding Jesus with some sort of break from reality.


This has got to be one of my all time favorites.  The imagery this conjures is stunning.


Well, that's just silly........I guess a play on words is a good way to help people remember your message....


Like this church...........actually, I think that might  be a Dairy Queen.


Now this one is crazy.  I guess that this is here to appeal to those who want their religion "extreme".


This one tallies sinners like McDonald's tallies customers.....


Okay, this is the same as the last church, but this sign is the gift that keeps on giving.


Okay, things just got out of line.....This is incredibly offensive and incendiary.  I guess I forgot to mention that this Church once made national headlines for threatening to burn bibles on Halloween.


Okay, one more from Amazing Grace Baptist Church.   Here they are engaging in the stupidest religious debate known to man:  The Merry Christmas Vs. Happy Holidays debate.   First of all, what is wrong with saying "Happy Holidays"?  Not everyone celebrates Christmas.   Second, even if you are sticking with Christianity "Happy Holidays" can still refer two Christmas AND New Years.   Actually, its all so dumb that I can't believe I'm wasting time talking about it.


Now, I will try not to go off on to much of a rant about this one, but it seems that blatant hostility towards poor people really really goes against just about everything Jesus said.  To me, this is a case of religion and politics getting overly entwined. 


 Speaking of politics, this sign appears earlier this year when North Carolina voted to outlaw gay marriage.


 Okay, am I immature if this makes me giggle?


We will end this with this disturbing image.  I'll let everyone decide for themselves how messed up this.


The Carpetbagger

Please feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com
And don't forget to check out my Flickr Photostream


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bear Wrestling

For those of you who read The Carpetbagger with any regularity, you know that two of my favorite things to talk about are bears and wrestling.  So this time we are going to combine the two like peanut butter and chocolate and talk about Bear Wrestling.


Now, there are two primary animals that human being wrestle: Alligators and Bears.   Alligators Wrestling, while very dangerous, is an art form.  Alligators are apex predators that rely on surprise attacks in the wild.   However, any human being who knows what he is doing can beat an alligator in a wrestling match by using appropriate leverage and exploiting an Alligator's weaknesses. 


The Bear wrestler does not have such advantages.  A bear has no weaknesses.


Bear wrestling is a somewhat lost art.  In the past, at fairs and tourist traps like Cherokee, NC, the audience would be invited to try their luck at wrestling a bear.  There would usually be some ridiculous monetary prize for beating the Bear.  They could afford to do this, because no mortal man can beat a bear.  Bears are simply to strong and have the natural instinct to smash you to the ground.

Let's have a look!


Of course professional wrestlers did not want to be left out, so quite a few showed questionable judgment in wrestling bears.






Bear wrestling was still open to the public a few years back.  Caesar was a Black Bear whose trainer would award $1000 dollars to anyone who could beat him.



Well, that is until Caesar killed his trainer, firmly putting an end to bear wrestling in America.

Now, if you want to wrestle a bear, you will have to make the trip to Russia.




The Carpetbagger

Please feel free to e-mail me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com
and check out my Flickr Photostream


Monday, August 26, 2013

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg: Miniature Golf Capital of the World

A few days back I talked about my favorite twin cities Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN.  They simply define the word "Tourist Trap".  Like any good tourist town, one of the primary activities to indulge in is Miniature Golf.  The two cities have about every kind of Miniature Golf course imaginable.  Let's take a look at the Mini-Golf madness.


Bunny Golf



Sadly, Bunny Golf no longer exists, the giant rabbit head above is all that remains.  However, the concept of Bunny Golf is so completely insane I has to be mentioned.  Bunny Golf's course was covered in live rabbits, which served as living breathing obstacles.  I don't think its two hard to believe why Bunny Golf no longer exists.  There are ethical and safety issues that boggle the mind.  Nothing ruins a vacation like a little kid seeing a bunny take a golf ball between the eyes.


Adventure Golf


One of the simple joys of driving down highway 441 through Pigeon Forge is the giant Fiberglass statues that fill its many miniature golf courses.  Adventure Golf has some of the best, check out this crazy giant octopus.


Or this shark......


or this dinosaur.....


Fantasy Golf



 Rounding out the fiberglass based golf experience is "Fantasy Golf", easily recognizable for the insanely enormous sea monster wrapped around the entrance.


There are some other great figures as well....


Ripley's Old McDonald Golf



This slick mini-golf course in newer then the previous ones mentioned and his owned by the Ripley's mega-corporation that dominates Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg's tourist scene.  A lot of the holes have neat effects when hit obstacles or get the ball in a hole.  Highlights are this cool flying pig mobile.



And this creepy sheep..........


Hillbilly Golf



Heading over to Gatlinburg we find one of the most unique golf courses in the area.  The course itself if actually perched on the side of a mountain and you have to ride a tram built into the mountain to access it.  Hillbilly golf utilizes the sort of Hillbilly stereotypes that make Gatlinburg famous.  Such as moonshine stills and outhouses built right into the course.




Black Light Golf



As Gatlinburg lacks the open space that Pigeon Forge does, most of its miniature golf courses are indoors.  These claustrophobic glowing dungeons add a whole new element to mini-golf.


 Treasure Quest Mini-Golf



This is another indoor golf course in Gatlinburg, and its quite impressive.  The golf course is covered in fake plastic trees and incorporates a mashed up Egyptian/Jungle/Pirate theme.  My favorite part is the dusty old mannequins that are packed in.






The pirate wenchs look like your drunk aunt.....



As far as cheesy amusement, this has to be one of the more fun courses


Blacklight Circus Golf



This has to be my favorite course in the twin cities.  From the creepy singing animatronics on the outside to the glowing monstrosities on the inside, this is pure touristy fun.



The anamitrons out front usually ramble through an indecipherable routine.  Sometimes the owners have a little fun and pump pop songs that the figures lip sync.   Imagine this guy singing "Fergilicious"

 
Usually, whatever is on the outside of a tourist trap is way more entertaining then what is inside.  This is not so with Circus golf.  The inside features some of the creepiest figures I have ever seen, all glowing in eerie claustrophobic black light.




Also, keep in mind that that some of these figures are animatronic and move around in the dark.




And there is this nice little nightmare in a box, that will keep you from sleeping for months......


I realize I just did a whole post on miniature golf without ever talking about the actual game play.  I guess we don't exactly visit these courses for the love of the game.  To me, its all about creepy black light clowns and fiberglass sea monsters.......

Sleep tight!

The Carpetbagger

Please feel free to e-mail me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com
and check out my Flickr Photostream