Slobot About Town CXXVII:

Previous Episode
Next Episode

Slobot's Green Machine, pt. 01!

Slobot had squirreled away some money and was seriously considering spending it on a car.

It was just then that Slobot's old pal Doktor Schnabel came strolling along.

Doktor Schnabel had a side line hawking used cars and he hyped this particular green machine.

Slobot was won over by Doktor Schabel's smooth spiel and so agreed to the asking price...

50,000,000,000,000 (Zimbabwean) dollars.

Slobot then hit the road, destination unknown.

Slobot got carried away driving his new green machine and soon found himself in Tennessee.

Slobot wondered where he should go in Tennessee and that's when he remembered The Simpsons episode "Bart on the Road" in which Bart Simpson, Milhouse Mussolini Van Houten, Martin Prince and Nelson Muntz drive to Knoxville, Tennessee.

In that episode Bart and company visit an astonishing structure, the Sunsphere!

So Slobot drove to Knoxville to see the sphere for himself.

Slobot was thankful that the sphere was in better shape than it was as portrayed in The Simpsons.

The Sunsphere was designed by Knoxville's Community Tectonics as the theme structure of the 1982 World's Fair.

When construction was completed Knoxville was stunned by the 266 foot tall Sunsphere.

At its opening the elevator ride to the sphere cost $2. In the sphere was a restaurant where one could buy a sunburger.

On May 12, 1982 a bullet shattered one of the sphere's windows. Those windows, by the way, are layered in 24-karat gold dust.

For much of its post-World's Fair life the Sunsphere has been underused and occasionally neglected. In the ensuing years, however, some interesting things have taken place there. For example, in 1990 the band Jason & the Scorchers played atop the sphere and, for 3 days in May of 2000, anti-nuclear protesters took up residence atop the sphere and displayed a banner that read "Stop the Bombs." The sphere's observation deck was reopened to the public on July 5, 2007. On the level above the observation deck is a restaurant/bar called Icon Ultra Lounge. In 2013 a patron of the Icon Ultra Lounge accidentally shattered the inner pane of glass (not the outer, gold dusted pane of glass). As of 2014 the two uppermost floors are available for rent.

Near the base of the Sunsphere is a Holiday Inn. Inside that Holiday Inn one can find the oversized model (216 cubic feet) of a Rubik's Cube.

The Rubik's Cube was a wildly popular early 1980s toy designed by Hungarian Architecture Professor Erno Rubik. The Hungarian government paid Knoxville company HySign to build the cube and it became one of the fair's most well known icons.

From Knoxville Slobot drove farther into Tennessee, all the way to Crossville.

Slobot had heard that Crossville had "the world's largest" treehouse.

Slobot soon found that he had heard correctly.

The treehouse is the brainchild of Horace Burgess.

Burgess says that he was praying in 1993 when he heard God say, "if you build me a treehouse, I'll see you never run out of material."

21 years later the treehouse rises 97 feet into the air.

Supporting the house is an 80-foot tall white oak that is some 12 feet in diameter at its base. 6 other trees are also incorporated into the treehouse.

Burgess reports that he has personally hammered 258,000 nails into his treehouse. In 2012 the Tennessee State Fire Marshal's Office ordered the treehouse closed and it remains officially closed to this day. Slobot loved the view from the top!

Stay tuned for Slobot's Green Machine, pt. 02!