Last night I was talking to David-- my only (and significant) other-- and relating the fact that I will be playing beach volleyball at Hooters every Thursday night from now until perdition--which shouldn't be OVERLY long. I consider Hooters to be a cultural signpost on the highway to the apocalypse. Next exit, 40 miles: Stucky's.

Well, we started wondering about whether or not creepy old doods would be ogling me while I play. Personally, I think they'll be far too busy leering at the waitresses, who (unlike me) pay attention to them and pretend to be nice so they can soak em for a big fat tip.
This inevitably led to a discussion about the questionable sartorial sense of Hooters' waitresses' "uniforms". I think we can all agree that the orange rayon shorts, shiny flesh-colored 'Minelli' tights, and white sneakers combo is more than a little trashy. Unless you are the kind of guy who regularly uses phrases like "I'm gonna demolish that crotch" the getup is just plain physically unappealing. I postulated that the founders of Hooters consciously made these horrible wardrobe decisions so that the wives/girlfriends/secretaries of the men who frequent Hooters could have a little catty nugget of bitchidence to chew on: the fact that, sometimes thanks only to the outfit, the waitresses don't really look hot, just kind of nasty.

But David pointed out that the franchise was started in the 80s, and at that time, the beer & wing-serving aerobics instructor look may have been the height of fashionable sex appeal.
I erroneously thought that Hooters MUST have come from the Midwest. I'm not sure why. I guess I just assume that everything embarrassing that's made of synthetic fabrics comes from there. So I began wondering what other horrible 80s engendered legacies America's Bread Basket has foisted on the rest of the civilized, breathable-fabric wearing world.
It turns out that Hooters was actually started in Clearwater, Florida. But I was still curious about what plagues came out of the Great Plains during that decade. Turns out, not too much happened in that part of the country in the 1980s.
Just like today.

Papa John's Pizza: Indiana, 1984

As a high school student working at a local pizza pub in Jeffersonville, Indiana, Papa John's founder John Schnatter realized that there was something missing from national pizza chains: a superior-quality traditional pizza delivered to the customer's door. His dream was to one day open a pizza restaurant that would fill that void.

Papa wants to fill your void... with mooshy crust, undercooked toppings, and copious amounts of bowel-wrenching gas. Or as one E-pinions reviewer calls it, "Pizza for Kentucky and Indiana...Garlic dipping sauce? lol!"

Rollerblades: Minnesota, 1980

Minnesota students Scott and Brennan Olson were looking for a way to practice hockey during the off-season. What they came up with is a way to instantly make any heterosexual male look fruitier than a skittles enema. You 'blade to those Chelsea piers, Gabriel! Don't let the terrorists win!

This Guy: Ohio, 1988

Thank you Myspace. Without your pile of code, I would never have me the author of "drunk stories lol" and inventor of such verbal gems as the phrase "ER1"... as in "ER1 in the club gettin' tipsy".

He's been "keepin' it real nigga" ever since he was a lower case G. (I swear to god this is a real baby picture from his site.) And people say that shit is a "choice"!

Great Plains: Minnesota(??)- 1987

I wasn't listening to pop country in the 80's. God help the wretched souls who were. Can't come up with a video concept for your mediocre country tripe? SOLUTION: Nearly-continuous 360 panning!! Confuse and nauseate the viewers until they're no longer sure whether they're watching a music video or endoscopic footage of a colonoscopy.