Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff of the summer vacation season. Millions of Americans hit the road, gas prices be damned.
Anyone can go to the beach, but are up for a more wacky destination?
Chris Epting, author of “The Ruby Slippers, Madonna’s Bra and Einstein’s Brain: The Locations of America’s Pop Culture Artifacts," recommends checking out some of America’s stranger attractions, like Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the “Wizard of Oz”, Madonna’s bra and Einstein’s brain.
Tucker Carlson talked to Chris Epting about these and other odd tourist attractions. This is a transcript of their conversation.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, "THE SITUATION": "The Ruby Slippers" is a book of every weird possible museum and sort of strange attraction in the entire country. I just want to run through a few of these. I wasn’t aware you could actually see Madonna’s bra. Where do you see that?
CHRIS EPTING, AUTHOR, “THE RUBY SLIPPERS”: At Frederick’s of Hollywood, the famous lingerie shop. There’s a bra museum, a lingerie museum in there. And they’ve got one of her famous stage bras from, I think, the early 1980’s, along with Ethyl Merman’s bra and a bra that Tony Curtis wore in “Some Like it Hot” and some other things, too.
So again, a lot of people know the store but don’t know that if you go into the store into the back, you find this, you know, strange little interesting museum.
CARLSON: You can see Madonna’s bra for free? There’s something.
EPTING: Yes. A lot of these places are free. I find roadside oddities and things where if you’re traveling you can pull off to the side of the road or go one or two blocks out of your way and see something a little extra that you hadn’t planned on.
CARLSON: You’ve got literally hundreds of them, including the location of George Washington’s teeth. By the way, were they wood?
EPTING: No, they’re not. A lot of people think they were. They’re actually hippopotamus ivory and gold. And the original set for them was mule’s teeth. But you know, wood was kind of a myth. I think there was a prototype made in wood. But they never actually gave him wooden teeth.
CARLSON: So where are they?
EPTING: They’re at the Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore, which also has lots of other weird dental artifacts. I think there are no other real famous teeth like that, but you know, old tools and things that sort of helped define the science.
And as weird as it sounds it actually is a really interesting place.
CARLSON: It sounds terrific. Now a lot of people claim to have the world’s largest ball of twine. It’s a pretty common boast as you know. You actually found largest ball of twine. Where is it?
EPTING: Believe it or not there are two of them. The largest ball of twine was made by a community in Kansas. It trumped the one in Minnesota. Believe it or not, there’s one in Minnesota that was the largest made by a single man.
CARLSON: Einstein’s brain. His actual gray matter. Where is it?
EPTING: Einstein’s brain. You can’t go see it. It’s at the Princeton Hospital. I put it in the book more to kind of let people know that it still exists. Oddly enough, at Princeton there aren’t a lot of tributes to Einstein at Princeton. You think there would be a plaque at his house or something like that.
He earmarked his brain for science. It’s still there. Hopefully, the Princeton Museum will let us get a gander at it some time.
CARLSON: Harry and Sally’s table? Explain that.
EPTING: Yes. Well, you know, people don’t realize a lot of location shots of famous movies are in this country. At Katz’s Deli in the East Village in New York City you can see the actual table where Meg Ryan did some of her finest acting, in “When Harry Met Sally”. And they kind of have a sign there that says, you know, you’re sitting at the table where Meg Ryan made movie history. I grew up near there.
CARLSON: Amazing. Of all the places you’ve been, what is your favorites place to go to?
EPTING: You know, I’m a big baseball fan. I love the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore, to go and see the bed where Babe Ruth was born is really thrilling, as well as where he played his first baseball game in Hoboken, New Jersey.
CARLSON: Excellent book. Thanks a lot for joining us.