punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

San Antonio... eighth largest--SHUT UP!

About 9 years ago, I was on my way to a sales meeting at a Dude Ranch in Bandera, Texas. The airport we all met at was the one in San Antonio, which had apparently just been remodeled. Everywhere you looked, there was at least one billboard, aimed at business travelers, to open their business in San Antonio. That's fairly normal for an airport, but here... there was an air of desperateness. The one item they mentioned over and over again was that they were the eighth largest city in the US. In fact, not only was this posted everywhere, all their recordings said it as well. Repeatedly.

Welcome to San Antonio. Please do not leave any bags unattended. San Antonio welcomes business travelers to the eighth largest city in the United States. The white zone is for unloading and loading passengers only. Please do not park in the white zone. San Antonio, the eight largest city in the United States, wishes your trip to be a happy and safe one.

Even the rent-a-car recordings had that.

Thank you for choosing Hertz Rent-a-car of San Antonio for your business needs. Please hold while we get the next available agent. San Antonio, the eight largest city in the United States, caters to the business needs of a modern economy...

It was like that Monty Python "Njorl's Saga" sketch were the North Malden Icelandic Saga Society, the sponsor to the saga, was advertising North Malden constantly and inappropriately:

Erik Njorl, son of Frothgar rode off into the desolate plain [the Viking mount the pony and rides off]. Day and night he rode, looking neither to right nor left. Stopping neither for food nor rest [shots of Erik riding through a bleak landscape]. Twelve days and nights he rode. Through rain and storm. Through wind and snow beyond the enchanted waterfall [Erik rides past a waterfall], through the elfin glades until he reached his goal [shot of a modern road sign: "North Malden. Please drive carefully"]. He had found the rich and pleasant land beyond the mountains [shots of Erik riding gently through a modern suburban shopping street], the land where golden streams sang their way through fresh green meadows. Where there were houses and palaces, an excellent swimming pool and one of the most attractive bonus incentive schemes for industrial development in the city. Only fifteen miles from excellent Thames-side docking facilities and within easy reach of the proposed M25. Here it was that Erik Njorl, son of Frothgar, met the mayor. Mr Arthur Huddinut, a local solicitor.

And it seems desperate to claim, "We're number 8! We're number 8! Yaaaaaaayyy!" I half expected John Cleese to interrupt with:

We apologize to the visitors of San Antonio Airport who may be confused by some of the references to being the eighth largest city in the US. After a frank exchange of views we have agreed to carry on playing the announcements supplied to us by the San Antonio for Business Company on the undertaking that future announcements will adhere more closely to the spirit of a modern Airport.

I bring this up because my friend Tracie is always trying to get me to live in Texas, and when I think if Texas, this stupid recording of San Antonio STILL goes through my head. So I looked it up, and according to the 1990 census, San Antonio was the TENTH largest city in the US at the time, up from 11th in 1980. So not only does this recording play in my head, but it's a LIE!

[dun dun duuuuun]

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000349.html
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