We got on our way and made decent time on the way to Tampa, up until around the Lakeland area, when heavy rain slowed the traffic a bit. As we continued southwest on Interstate 4, we passed through the rain which seemed to be moving in the opposite direction and were greeted with slightly overcast skies. Our destination was near the airport, so we took Interstate 4 to the end, hopped on Interstate 275 and then exited onto North Dale Mabry Highway, a significant six-lane thoroughfare in the Tampa Bay area. As we drove down Dale Mabry, I happened to glance to the left where I saw this:
Now you are probably thinking to yourself, "what the hell?" My excited pointing and exclamation upon seeing this sign was as much to a mystery to Chris then as it is to you now. "What? What?!" he kept asking. But similar to most of my little outbursts that seem to have no relevancy, there is a valid and logical explanation for my reaction.
For many, many years, I have been a fan of the sorabji.com Payphone Project, a user-input directory and photolog of public pay telephones from around the world. You can search the database to locate pay telephones indexed in your area or from one of 22 other countries. The database contains approximately 500,000 telephones and I have enjoyed ringing a few of them on occasion to try to see what random person I might chat with from the other side of the country or world.
After we fully drove past the Mons Venus adult establishment, I got to telling Chris about the Payphone Project and how sometime around 1998 or 1999 I remember seeing a photograph of their sign and the two pay telephones situated at the entrance of the building. Silly, no? On the way back from the pick-up, we started to approach Mons Venus again, this time on the same side of the street. A few blocks away and on his own accord, Chris changes into the far right lane to aide in my viewing of the famous telephone booths. And there they were, in all their glorious splendour.
The ride back to Orlando was wet, traffic-laden and hazardous but it was a fun (and for Chris, profitable) little road trip overall. Be sure to check out the three photographs and the rest of the Payphone Project website.
[ A closer view of the telephones ]
[ The Mons Venus sign ]
It is bad enough I have so much search engine traffic from the simple mentioning of the "Playboy™ Lingerie Calendar," now I am sure people looking for this strip club will be showing-up too. The irony makes me smile.