Run For The Border

By Michael J. Legeros

For the first leg of our Valentine's Day road trip-- to Charleston,
a dandy dinner destination even in late-winter-- we watched... road
signs.  Specifically, those ubiquitous, cartoon-drawn, Senor Pedro-
bearing billboards for South of the Border AKA *The* Tackiest Tour-
ist Attraction in the Carolinas.  (Located a foot or two inside of
S.C., the Mexican stereotype-themed money pit includes a hotel, a
couple "casinos," several places to eat, shop, and play games, num-
erous large plaster animals, and one multi-story, neon-lit, giant-
sombrero/observation tower that overlooks scenic... Interstate 95.)
Pedro Watch '99 commenced a-commencin' at the I-40/I-95 junction,
when we spotted our first ("It Happens").  And we recorded dozens
more, while skirting Dunn and 'Nam and some place called Clinton.
(Do you suppose they sell cigars there?)

Twice we exited, first at mile marker 49 for the requisite Cracker
Barrel stop.  (The lines were too long, but we bought souvenirs!)
Lunch was down the road in Lumberton (N.C.) at Fuller's Old-Fash-
ioned Barbeque.  (By the time we left, well-fed and our clothes
reeking of lard, the line for their most-excellent $8.50 buffet
stretched well into the parking lot!)  And even as we admired ads
for other "destinations"-- such as a 24-hour topless cafe outside
Fayetteville-- none were as gleefully garish as those for the Bor-
der.  And so, amid ads for their Sombrero Restaurant (since 1950),
Pedro's diner, the Africa Shop (new), the leather shop, $29.95 sin-
gles, 24-hour security, beach stuff, kids stuff, fireworks, sharks,
and private carports, here's the best of what we spotted.  Your
mileage may vary...

  o Fort Pedro

  o Road Scholar

  o Senor Excitement

  o No Monkey Bizness

  o Shop Till You Flop

  o Sometheeng Deeferent

  o Everything Old is New Again

  o The Best Kept Secret on I-95

  o Everybody Needs a Little Stuff

  o Keep America Green (Bring Money)

  o A Little Razzle - A Lot of Dazzle

  o Keeping Yelling Kids!  They'll Stop

  o Too Tired to Tango?  (Rest weeth Pedro)

  o You'll Be Tickled Pink [w/picture of flamingo]

  o Pedro's Weather Report:  Chili Today, Hot Tamale

  o Smash Hit [w/life-size automobile attached to billboard]

  o Too Moch Tequila [w/rest of billboard written upside down]

  o Your Sheep Are All Counted at... [w/moving mechanical sheep]

  o You Never Sausage a Place - You're Always a Wiener at Pedro's
    [w/giant meat product]

...and, of course

  o Backup Amigo, You Missed It!

Copyright 1999 by Michael J. Legeros


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