When I was in Rochester with Courtney and Andrea, we spent a day in Austin. Courtney works a few hours a week at an eye clinic there. It's a little known fact that the Hormel company has it's home in Austin. It's unfortunate for the residents because the whole town smells a little bit like lunch meat. It's in the air. Living with that is made up for, though, in the fact that it is from this humble town that the gift of Spam, in all it's glory, is shared with the world.
Andrea, Spencer, Andrew and I went with Court to Austin with the intention of visiting the museum while he worked (poor sucker). When we got to the museum, we were told that it was closed on Mondays, and it was Monday, so we couldn't go in. What a crushing blow. Wouldn't you think that something so in demand by the masses would be open 24/7? I'll never understand. We did receive a kind mercy in the fact that the gift shop was open. We spent some time there, and I dropped about $80. I'm not kidding. I really spent $80 at the Spam gift shop. I got a can of Spam, a cookbook and hot pad for my roommate, Melissa. She still weeps with joy when she looks at it. Spencer and Drew got plastic pig piggy banks with "Spammy" written on the side. We bought a baby bowl and spoon for the baby that they'll have in March, and I got a t-shirt, a book and a fridge magnet. All Spam. Nice.
The book is great. I'd like to meet the authors because they must be very clever, funny people. They were able to write this with a fine balance between promoting Spam and mocking it. They obviously know that the product has become a bit of a joke, and have played off of that. Here are some of the chapter listings in the table of contents:
Chapter 5 The meat that won the war. How Spam may have saved the world and given us the gift of freedom (this chapter talks about the US troops during WWII eating Spam).
Chapter 6 Spam family tree. A family reunion has never been this delicious or frightening to pigs.
Chapter 11 The Spam museum. Referred to as "The Sum of All Human Knowledge."
After leaving the gift shop, we spent the rest of the afternoon at a park where the kids ran and played. Later, we had dinner at a beautiful restaurant a few miles out of town. It was surrounded by trees and on the river. The wall along the back of the dining room was all windows with a great view. They actually had a Spam dish on the menu. I don't remember what it was now. We didn't eat it.
Here are the boys at the park.
I'm sure I'll be in Rochester with them again, and we'll take another shot at visiting the museum. Until then, I'll just have to read my book and dream of that day.