Monday, August 26, 2013

Signs of the Times: Arby's

Several years ago I went with some friends into a local vintage store, hoping that browsing would not turn to buying; I need not have worried.  As I perused the display case that held scads of vintage eyeglass frames, the proprietress walked over and said, "Oh, I don't think I'll have anything in there big enough for you."  It seems my shopping shame knows no bounds.  Even when it comes to glasses, I will forever be relegated to the "Husky" department.  Well, big & tall eyewear, here I come!

The same sort of "size-ism" applies to hat shopping too; I once had to have an XXL hat professionally stretched to fit my giant skull.  Because my cranium is so disproportionately-large compared to those of the general population, I have been forced to get especially creative in finding retail outlets for my apparel/accessory options.  Thank goodness for Arby's; if it wasn't for them I would never have been able to buy a 10-gallon hat off the rack, er, post!

Finally, a hat that fits!
Arby's enormous hat sign was designed by the Peskin Sign, Co. of Youngstown, Ohio (Source).

It isn't that the sign at my local Arby's is unique among the nationwide chain, it's that, among the square, molded, lightbox signs of the the fast food world, the Arby's sign (continuing the tradition of awesome, oversized, novelty neon) creates a unique and distinctive silhouette in skylines throughout the nation.

Oh, the glory of the buzzing neon and chasing, twinkle-light border of that enormous 10,000-gallon hat!

This is in no way intended to be an endorsement of the "deliciousness" of Arby's.
I can count on two fingers the number of times I have eaten at Arby's in my entire life...

video
The Arby's sign in action!

Because the last time I ate at Arby's was at least twenty years ago, I simply cannot vouch for it.
In fact, every time I see an Arby's, I am reminded of The Simpsons episode where a
character, crazed with starvation, is heard to utter, "I'm so hungry, I could eat at Arby's."

But there was a limousine in the parking lot, so you know it's fancy!

Instead of wallowing in the kind of self pity induced by an abnormally-huge noggin (seriously, we used to have "Big Head" contests at work and I would always "win"???), I choose to count my blessings, not the least of which is a big, sturdy body that prevents me from looking like a life-size bobble head.  Also among my many blessings is the surprising amount of 10-gallon-hat-themed videos that are fitting to share with you.  Enjoy!!!

"Ten Gallon Stetson" - Bill Haley & The Saddlemen

"My Stetson Hat" - Ethel Shutta & Company from Whoopee!

 
"Ten Gallon Hat" - Smiley Burnette


Cheers!

Mr. Tiny

16 comments:

  1. I'm wondering who was in that limo?!? Arby's is never a planned meal (contrary to the commercial...people aren't thinking Arby's constantly) but when you're on the road or in some small town, it's Arby's or subway... And subway doesn't have incredibly greasy spicy curly fries. Arby's wins

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    1. Well, it was far too early for Prom season, so I'm guessing that it was a huge Hollywood celebrity. They still travel around in chauffeur-driven limos, right? I've gotten a sufficient enough amount of Arby's backlash to maybe give it a try...at least the fries!!!

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  2. I was a big fan of Arby's as a little kid-- my grandparents would take me there and we would eat inside the restaurant (which seems counterinuitive to the whole "drive-thru" aspect of the chain which makes it so popular, but there we were!), eating curly fries and a Jr. Arbys, drinking RC cola products (no Pepsi OR COKE...it was like eating on Mars!). Ours never had this sign but one in Knoxville when I was in school there did, and what a whale of a sign it was! I haven't eaten there since college (and now being vegetarian, I might never again!), but I can sharply remember the first time I heard that Simpsons line and I was like...WHAT DO YOU MEAN? DOES EVERYONE SERIOUSLY HATE ARBY'S? It was so confusing to me!

    PS: Huge head solidarity, man...you should see me trying to try on those dressy little cloches and other fitted-to-the-head 50's and 60's hats...it's like that "fat guy in a little coat" sketch, but with a girl and a hat... :(

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    1. Isn't it funny how some foods that we think are delicious as children aren't quite as delicious as we remember? I think you went veggie at the right time!! I am not one for remembering lines from TV shows, but I will never forget, "I'm so hungry, I could eat at Arby's." I think I died laughing and had to be revived!

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  3. I am a giant 24" noggin person. Hat shopping is painful, and all of those ladies who can wear lovely little vintage hats make me want to scratch their eyes out in jealousy. So I feel your pain, brother!

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    1. I am so honored to be among such esteemed, huge-headed company!!!!

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  4. That looks like the Arby's I grew up eating at. Is this near one of the happiest places on Earth? ;)

    Oh, nostalgia.

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    1. This night pictures were taken at the one in Huntington Beach (not too far). The daytime photo was taken a while ago but I think you're right, it might have been in Anaheim!

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  5. So Arby's is to you, like Bahooka (tiki restaurant in Rosemead, CA) was to me. Yes, WAS... I never gave any consideration to going inside, but it was supposed to stay there looking cool by the side of the road. But it closed, WAHHH!!!
    I'd estimate about half the Arby's in soCal have closed in the past three years (some old, some modernized, some recently built.)

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    1. You weren't missing anything at Bahooka in terms of the food - TERRIBLE!!!! But the service was good and the ambience was GREAT! I have to force myself into some of these landmarks because I never know when they will be gone!

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  6. We have an Arby's just like that in old down town Wichita Falls! You can see the hat from the highway, the store itself is so old it doesn't even have a drive through. When you go inside its like stepping back into the 60's there is a long horn and cattle brand mosaic on the floor. The domed ceiling is flanked by walls of natural rock, and the red and yellow Formica booths are shiny as the day they were installed. Sadly a lot if the neon is missing from the sign, and I think because of location the downtown Arby's Is in danger of closing :/ but we love occasionally stopping in for a bite!

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    1. Wow, you might have to take some photos of that longhorn mosaic!!! I would love to see that!

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    2. I think the one in Huntington Beach, east of Burlington Coat Factory, SHOULD have the mosaic. No good excuse for NOT having it anyway...

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  7. Oh boy! I just ate Arby's yesterday. It's actually one of my favorite fast food restaurants (not that I eat fast food that often). But when I'm out thrift store shopping and working up an appetite, if I see the Arby's sign, I can't help myself from ordering up two jr. roast beef sandwiches, which I then eat while driving. For shame! Friends definitely make fun of me for this indulgence.

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    1. Oh man! I totally LOVE eating in the car. There's something just so relaxing about it! Can I have potato cakes please?

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    2. How wonderfully unexpected; I never would have pegged you for an Arby's fan!!! I think that is what makes you cool - you like what you like, no apologies! I refuse to eat in the car; I get so self-conscious thinking that people are watching me (like most people would feel if they got caught picking their noses). One thing I am never embarrassed about in the car is singing and dancing along to the music. I can get pretty wild!

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