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by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
August 22, 2001
It's in a rather seedy area and I wouldn't recommend visiting here at night, alone or on foot, but is was fine during the day.
Be warned: You MUST have a warped or unusual sense of humour since this place is like nothing you've probably seen or will see again. There is no rhyme nor reason to it but rather a bizarre mix of toys, memorabilia, etc. from the 60s right up to today. See the cardboard statues of Jennifer Lopez, Kathy Ireland...and Elvis, of course. Listen as the "curator" gives you a rambling, non sensical oratory on who knows what. See the vibrating tin can, watch the doll that actually bites into a Big Mac (it's magic!) and be prepared to be jovially insulted. There are no set times, you just walk in and join the loose tour at whatever stage it's at.
When I arrived, a couple from Texas were the only victims, I mean guests. Within 20 minutes, some people from Germany and other couples wandered in and our group grew to about 13. My nieces came to find me and they also got sucked into the Elvis tour void - definitely lost in space here. Sometimes, the guide would back track and go through part of her spiel again; other times, she changed topics like men change channels with a remote control. I was lost but judging from the bemused and befuddled expressions on the faces of the others, so was everyone else. So far, nothing had to do with Elvis but there was so much to look at, we didn't mind...or maybe we just didn't notice.
As we progressed from the clutter filled back room to the larger and more clutter filled main room, Elvis walked in; or should I say, Elvis in disguise? He sat down near an unfinished jigsaw puzzle for a few minutes, then got his gold lame cape and took off for parts unknown. We later saw him with his guitar chatting to people on the street and even later, busking for the crowd at the Saturday Market.
After about 20 minutes of the tour, and with no end in sight, we decided to make a break for it since we had to meet up with my sister. As we left, I noticed the others in the group still looked confused but all seemed to have goofy grins on their face. I have a feeling that this is a place they'll remember -I know I will!
There didn't appear to be any charge for the tour although they did have tee shirts, including glow in the dark ones, for sale - the perfect memento from the Church of Elvis.
From journal Exploring Portland's Quirks
June 25, 2001
From journal Weekend in Portland