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April 03, 2009


(from my blog at whatgives.gainesville.com)

We all know that tourism could use a good jolt, but this is taking matters a bit too far.

When Nebraska's Supreme Court ruled use of the electric chair unconstitutional, folks in a small town saw an opportunity.

Some residents of McCook, Neb., want to get their hands on "Old Sparky" to use as a tourist attraction, The Associated Press reported recently.

Can you imagine the tourist slogans?

The whimsical approach:

"For an electrifying experience, come to McCook."

"McCook: Sizzling."

"Nostalic for a time when we didn't just fry eggs? Visit McCook."

"Flip the switch on a good time in McCook."

The aggressive pitch:

"Why go see the World's Biggest Ball of Yarn when you can come check out Old Sparky? Did the ball ever kill anyone? No, I don't think so. The yarn is for wusses. Are you a wuss? Come to McCook."

The menacing method:

"Don't overlook McCook or Old Sparky will hunt you down."

The direct approach:

"Come see our electric chair in McCook. What the heck else are you going to do in Nebraska?"

I don't know if McCook, population not quite 8,000, will land the chair or not. But I'd like to go on record as saying I don't think it's the best idea.

An electric chair plus boredom and too much to drink one night equals ZAAAAAPPP.

I can just picture a guy egging his buddy on now.

"I hooked it up to my car battery so it's only going to give you a small jolt. The security guards will be around in 10 minutes. Come on. You heard the ad. We didn't go see the yarn! Don't wuss out on me now. Take it like a man."

That would indeed be a shocking turn of events.