Today’s blog post is brought to you by Stuart R. West, author and owner of several pairs of pants. At least, that’s what we’re led to believe. Take it away, Stuart.
Well, author David Fraser threw down a geographical challenge and, like a fool, I accepted. Really dumb after the last “interview” Dave composed with me. I should’ve known better. But I don’t.
Dave lives in New York, which in itself gives him a sense of entitlement worthy of teenagers. And I’m like, “why?” All I really know about New York is what Frank Sinatra tells me and that ain’t much. “It’s the city that never sleeps.” Really? Why would anyone want to live in a city full of insomniacs? Scary.
Anyway, in honor of David Fraser and Heather Fraser Brainerd’s new release, Act of Abduction (the third entry in their marvelously entertaining Jose Picada mystery series), Dave decided to investigate Kansas. I tossed on my journalistic cap and dug into the important things about New York to return the favor. What I found out may shock you…
- Okay…New York boasts sixteen (identified) serial killers. Kansas was host to a mere six. New York is approximately 469 square miles large while Kansas is 82,282 square miles. You do the math. That’s one serial killer per every 29 square miles. Must be something in the water. I guess since no one sleeps in New York, something has to occupy your time. (Which reminds me, check out my new book, The Secret Society of Like-Minded Individuals, for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about serial killers. Go get it. Do it: The Secret Society of Like-Minded Individuals. It’s practically a text-book. But fun.).
- First, our cyber-tour takes us to Amsterdam, New York, where you can enjoy the lovely Professional Wrestlers Hall of Fame (personally, I think “Hall of Shame” might be more appropriate, but hey, I’m from Kansas, what do I know?). Here you’ll get to enjoy a tasteful display of famous midget wrestlers, women wrestlers, and then, midget women wrestlers. Look carefully and you’ll spot Andre the Giant’s jock-strap. Fun for the whole family!
- Next stop brings us to Oneida, New York, home of the World’s Smallest Church. This “outhouse” is in the middle of a pond on an “island.” There’s only room for three people inside. Standing room only. A preacher, a sinner, a soloist? Look out if you gotta’ genuflect.
- Let’s mosey on over to Cooperstown, New York, and take a gander at the Cardiff Giant. What is a “Cardiff Giant” you ask? It’s a ten-foot long statue of a giant that an atheist carved in 1869 to dupe religious people into believing it’s a “giant in the earth” as mentioned in the book of Genesis. Guess what? Sharp-minded entrepreneurs are STILL using it to dupe the rubes.
- Over in Binghampton, New York, step right up to see Blossom, the Black Angus Bull. Blossom is a large fiberglass statue of a bull, painted with flowers, a true acid flashback sure to give children nightmares. What’s it mean? Dunno.
- Don’t forget to check out the Brain Museum in Buffalo, New York, which boasts the “biggest display of brains you’ll ever see.” That is, if you WANT to see brains. Unless you’re a zombie, I imagine it’s a pass. There’re all sorts of brains on display, pickled, sliced and displayed with loving care. You can’t miss it. It’s right next to the Gallstone Museum.
- Moving on to Flanders, you gotta’ see the Big Duck. You can’t miss it. How could you? It’s a 20 foot long, 30 foot tall building in the shape of a duck. Step inside the duck to buy all sorts of duck souvenirs (“Duck taffy?”). The real kicker is the duck’s eyes glow red at night, a sure sign you’re at the gates of Hell.
- LeRoy, New York, is home to one of the best (worst?) NY attractions, the Jell-O Museum. Here you’ll learn about everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Jell-O. Five minutes in, you’re done! (Psst, ask to see the special “Blob” room when you’re there. Just do it. Wacky antics are sure to ensue). Sadly, the Bill Cosby exhibit has all of his images cut out and replaced by photos of Justin Bieber.
- A moment of solemnity is appropriate when you visit Wantagh, New York, where the grave of Checkers, Nixon’s dog, is located. On Checker’s tombstone, it says, “I am not a crook’s dog.” Toss a biscuit on the grave, shed a tear, get back on the bus.
There you have it, folks. Our cyber-tour of New York has ended. I suppose “Ol’ Blue-Eyes” had it right after all, “It’s up to you, New York, New York.” (And I STILL don’t know what that means).
Oh, and one final thing that New York has wrought? Dave Fraser and Heather Brainerd, writing siblings extraordinaire.
Thank you, Stuart, for your touching words about New York. If you enjoyed this post and want to learn more about Stuart R. West, Kansan Literary Ambassador to the World, click here. There, you can find our return salute to the great state of Kansas.
Are you a Stuart West reader? Then you should check out his latest novel The Secret Society of Like-Minded Individuals. It’s his best one yet. Not a Stuart West fan? Check it out anyway. You will be.