This Saturday, Kilikopela and I went on a Tiki Expedition, this time to find El Tikitiki in Alvin, Texas, about 30 minutes south of Houston. Kilikopela had followed the advice on someone's earlier post on How to Find Tiki Sites in Your City, and looked up "tiki" in the online phone book. He came by to get me around 11:00 (having phoned to awaken me at the crack of 10:00. The nerve!).
We couldn't start, however, until we did something very important: try one of the bottles of PISCO that I had scored last week (see the Pisco thread under "Collecting Tiki")! YES! THAT'S how you start off a morning of tiki-hunting! I put down my coffee, Kilikopela put down his chocolate Jack-in-the-Box shake, and we drank Pisco sours for breakfast! Might I add that K actually LIKED the taste!! REALLY! He even drank some straight! (The drink wasn't NEARLY as bad as you folks had said; I was expecting NASTy, and I rather liked it too!)
Feeling sufficiently warmed, we headed straight for Alvin, stopping along the way at some antique malls and finding a few goodies. Finally, we realized we were at the intersection where El Tikitiki should be, looked up, and saw above the "El Tikitiki" sign, a big "Washateria - Coming Soon", and workmen buzzing all about the stripped and gutted building. Aargh! K hopped out of the car and queried a workman, who assured him that there had never been any tikis of any kind inside. "Really?," I naively asked, "he knew what tikis were?!" "Nah, I asked him if there were any 'weird wall-hangings or weird statues' in there. No one ever knows what tikis are, but they'll call them 'weird statues'!" Good move!
We threw in the towel for tiki bars in Alvin, but there was good antiquing and thrifting yet to be done. I particularly like the porcelain Hawaiian ashtray that I found, with a hula girl, smoldering volcano, and "We really shake our ashes here, and give free lei's too!" Kilikopela got lotsa great books (including one on the making of "South Pacific" which has the little tiki drawings that Sven included in B.O.T.) and another marital-aid-looking tiki. I got an early '70's foot-high resin Lona (with the high comb, right?) which was bowing forward! He musta melted in someone's attic, so now I've gotta straigthen him out, literally.
All in all, a successful day, despite there being no tiki bar in Alvin, Texas. But DAMN those Maoi bottles of Pisco are BEAUTIFUL!!