The Suitcase Lady


July 24, 2007, 11:26 pm

Maybe it’s because we are a frontier people, or maybe it’s our flagrant love affair with cars. At any rate, it seems that a great number of Americans want to be anywhere they are not.

I first discovered this strange phenomenon many years ago via motel room art.

Walking into a New England motel room, I was greeted with pictures of lacy New Orleans scenes. Similarly, southern motel room walls were adorned with desert sunset art. California inns sported pictures of Paris. It’s a delightful relief to find a room where the art on the walls actually matches the scenery outside the door.

The other night I ran into another hilarious variant of this mindset. My husband wanted to stop off at a Sheboygan nursery to pick up some day lilies. I had never been to this nursery before and was speechless when we pulled into the parking lot. I was staring at a life-size saguaro cactus.

Since real saguaros only grow in the Sonoran desert, this Sheboygan saguaro needs some explanation. It was a topiary saguaro. An unlucky evergreen had been wired, clipped, bent and tortured into a replica of the world’s largest cactus. Wouldn’t a topiary bratwurst be more appropriate for Sheboygan? Click here to see this botanical wonder!

Of course, the ultimate “I’m here but I want to be there place” is Las Vegas. Why else would Americans pay big bucks to fly to Vegas so they can visit Paris, Venice or New York, New York?

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