26 February 2011 by Chris Marais

The Thing About Big Things

You’re driving along minding your own business when suddenly a 16,5 metre pineapple flashes by.

You keep driving, listening to the radio, thinking your thoughts until suddenly your foot hits the brakes and you pull over, breathing heavily.

Was that a bird? Was that a plane? No, dammit, it was a pineapple.

That’s the thing with big things. Those big things that little towns all over the world - but especially the USA and Australia - stick up on the side of the highway. Why do they do it? To get you to stop, breathe heavily, turn around and visit them, that’s why.

When you’re on a road trip, many of us tend to mark off stages of our journey by the Big Things we’re going to visit. Seen The Prawn? Tick. Seen The Merino? Tick. Seen The Mosquito? Tick again.

And once you’ve seen the Big Thing, it’s a bit like having feasted on junk food. Sugar levels are satisfied, but not the hunger. There’s a faint aftertaste of ‘why did we come here?’. But you soon forget the offending feeling, because look, hey, we’re on our way to see The Thermometer!

Just visit the States. Or, if your international travel plans have already been made for somewhere else, just Google Big Things and you’ll see. They have giant chairs, giant axes, giant teapots and giant Paul Bunyans. It’s a supersized highway out there.

But that’s nothing. Go to Oz. They have giant avocados, giant trout, giant shoes, spanners, stubbies and pelicans, to name a few giants.

Here in South Africa we have the Giant Pineapple in Bathurst, Eastern Cape. It’s at least half a metre taller than the one in Australia. And beautiful to boot. And surrounded by thousands of smaller - but much juicier - little pineapples. And a village that’s value for money…

Category: Culture & History

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