My Favorite World #20

 

When I was a wee sprite of 5, my parents took me to the 1964 World’s Fair. I honestly do not remember much of that day, but a couple of episodes stand out.

Leastly…

We rode the train from my grandparents’ house in Hartford into the city, with many transfers and such. 1In retrospect, I imagine this must have been a stressful day for my Southern born and bred parentals, having to negotiate for the first time the wilds of New York City and its bizarre underground choo-choo trains, with an easily distracted little boy in tow. On the train back from the big day in the Big City, I needed a bathroom so I was delivered to the on-train loo. When I flushed, the toilet opened and delivered my production directly onto the tracks. I was mesmerized, and flushed that damn toilet about twenty times to confirm my discovery. Satisfied, I emerged, and yelled the length of the traincar to my parents:

You can see the tracks!!!!!

They cringed, everyone else laughed, and I was confused by it all.

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For good damned reason.

Luckily, we were travelling at full clip, allowing my effluvia to distribute across a greater distance. An early, formative event in My Favorite (albeit somewhat nasty) World.

But more epically…

Aside from the giant globe that still stands in Queens (see it up top), the only thing that remains in memory is the Sinclair Dinoland.

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What miracles await?

Way before you young whippersnappers had your hippity hoppity Jurassic Park rigmarole, we had life size dinosaur exhibits of our own. Sure, they didn’t move much, and they didn’t really make any sound. But we liked it that way!

The big feature of the exhibition was Sinclair’s mascot dinosaur, the brontosaurus. Oh, it was big, but it was gentle 2Eating only plants, not humans or Baby Jesuses or some such., a friendly beast. Best of all, from a corporate imagistic / synergistic 3Anachronistic in this context, yes, but still reflective of intent. angle, the brontosaurus reminded us every step of the way of the benevolent goodness of our corporate betters who paid good money to advance science with no concern for their own advantage save to keep their corporate logo in our sights for an entire afternoon.

Why, I even went home with a plastic model of Bronto, molded in a machine before my very eyes!4The irony of creating, and then owning, a replica of a dinosaur made out of actual dinosaur stuff went unremarked at the time.

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My petro-based dinosaur friend.

It was warm to the touch for a long time after I received it, and I think I probably undermined its scientific accuracy a bit with my active little hands. My bronto pal always had a slightly crooked neck. Alas.

Oh, and how they loved them their brontosaurus. From the narration at the exhibit:

Sinclair uses the brontosaurus as a symbol to dramatize the age and quality of the crude oils from which Sinclair petroleum products were made, crudes which were mellowing in the earth millions of years ago when brontosaurus and other dinosaurs lived.

They make it sound like a fine whiskey.

Coincidentally, my maternal grandfather spent long years as a field agent (salesman) for Sinclair, driving the backroads of the South endlessly to spread the good word about Sinclair’s mellow crude. The Sinclair sign was a beacon for us, a family connection even when we were far from home.

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A friendly beast who did not eat children.

We would get angry at the parents if they stopped at other stations, especially those animalistic demons from Esso.

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A child-eating demon.

We were less opposed to Texaco for some odd reason.

Uncle Milty.

Cross-dressing petrochemical shill.

Alas, the brontosaurus was eventually decreed not a real dinosaur by actual scientists who get to decide these things. 5Just like those wankers who cut Pluto out of the planet club. And an entire generation of people like me were left bereft and crestfallen, our trust crushed and our dreams but a mere wisp.

“And so,” say the two or three readers6I’m an optimist. who hung around this far to find out how in Hade’s Handbag this could exemplify My Favorite World, “how in Hade’s Handbag &c.?”

Well here’s how.

Science, and the stuck up sticky beaks who get to decide what we all are supposed to know, has changed its mind. At long last, the brontosaurus resumes its rightful place in the hall of reptilian behemoths! Excelsior!

And so today, the Unisphere is all that’s left of the World’s Fair, and Shea Stadium (you can see it in the background up top there) is gone.

But the brontosaurus is back, bitches. You can’t keep a good beast down.

My Favorite World.7Not to mention, it should give Pluto hope for redemption.

References   [ + ]

3 responses

  1. My profound comment is that Sinclair was also my favorite gas station as a child. (OMG, what a ridiculous statement.) I was thrilled when we were gifted with a promotional blow-up green Dino one day when my dad filled up the tank. I don’t think it lasted long.

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