<p>And the next item up for bid, a lovely heart-shaped bathtub. Red. Who’ll give me $100? One hundred? One ten, one ten, lemmehearonetwenty, one ten, lemmehear one twent—onetwenty…</p> <p>…and so it will go, over and over, until all the heart-shaped tubs are gone. </p> <p>The Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge was once a prime honeymoon spot for NYC-area newlyweds, nestled in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, but they closed their doors in 2001. They offered an array of tacky rooms (over 900 in fact), in which it seemed everything was heart-shaped and red: heart-shaped beds (that rotate), heart-shaped tubs, heart-shaped windows, heart-shaped bath soap. While a red heart-shaped tub is certainly interesting enough, for me the pinnacle of newlywed chic was the champagne glass-shaped tub. Young couples would ascend a ladder and hop into a giant glass of effervescent liquid—presumably bubble bath—and engage in a little dip into bad taste (among other things, as I would find out later in life). </p> <p>Back in the late 1970s when Saturday Night Live was actually good, I used to stay up way past my bedtime so I could watch the Not Ready for Prime Time Players, and pretend I got all the jokes (I was nine in 1977, so I didn’t). But during the commercial breaks, my sister & I could count on two commercials every week: one for The Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge, and another for the Ideal Manufacturing Corporation. I looked forward to seeing these just as much as the rest of the show. </p> <p>The Ideal Manufacturing Corporation’s offering featured what appeared to be some out-of-date footage of models steppin’ out with their husbands in some impossibly large Lincoln, while the following lyrics filtered out of the speakers: </p> <blockquote> <p>If you’ve got a passion for fashion, (bee-bum)<br />
and you’ve got a craving for saving, (bee-bum)
take the wheel, of your automobile,
and swing on down to, IDEAL! (bop, ba-da-da-da-DAH dum…)
<p>While I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, I know those lyrics by heart. They’re so bad, they’re good, and the Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge must have gone to the same ad agency as the Ideal Clothing Corporation, as their ads were equally cheesy and downright delicious. First of all, the place was actually called, simply: Mount Airy Lodge. But you see, the finale of their little promotional ditty featured a chorus of women liltingly singing “Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge”, and so it became the Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge for my sister & I. The commercial also showed lots of grainy snapshots of their blood-red, heart-shaped bedspreads, and so help me god, actual human beings in a giant champagne glass bathtub. Everyone seemed to be having such a good time, amidst all the velour. And of course they were; the place was billed as a honeymoon paradise—everyone was humping like jackrabbits. But I was nine when I was watching these commercials. I assumed they were just enjoying the fact that they had a giant bathtub shaped like a drink glass in the middle of their bedroom. Turns out they were, but not in the way I had been imagining. </p> <p>Those commercials are such a part of my youth, I was saddened to find that this weekend, the whole honeymoon horror show is <a href=" http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=531025">going to the auction block</a>. If you’ve always wanted a heart shaped tub, or bed, god help you, but this weekend a place in the Poconos just may have what you’re looking for. </p> <p>P.S.<br />
So, in another case of You Gotta Love The Internet, my curiosity got the better of me: right after posting this story, I Googled “ideal manufacturing” and “commercial”. Not only did I find a website that has info about this fine institution (as well as an MP3 of the song from the commercial), but they also mention that they have an airport on site. It’s private use, but I think I need to get permission to land there, don’t you? Oddly enough, I was planning a flight to Hammonton anyway, as it’s on my list of NJ public-use airports I’ve yet to land at.
From the Airnav entry for Ideal Manufacturing Airport:
<p>Airport Operational Statistics<br />
Aircraft based on the field: 1
Single engine airplanes: 1
<p>Additional Remarks – PRIVATE FACILITY LICENSED BY STATE FOR 1 PLANE 1 PILOT</p> <p>Guess I’m not flying there. </p> <p>P.P.P.S.<br />
In reading the wealth of info at the above mentioned site, it would appear that my synapses are mis-firing. Looks like the Ideal commercials were viewed after I’d moved to south Jersey, circa 1981 or so, since the guy who put those commercials together only advertised in the local Philadelphia/Southern NJ area. Apparently, the former owner of the Ideal Manufacturing Corp was a bit of a cheapskate, and would air his commercial gem on UHF channels 17 and 29 after midnight in the Philly area. So, I’m already mixing up my memories. This is bad. I’m only 36.