A few modest proposals for ways the cell-phone industry might dress up its towers
Dispatches, October 1998
The purveyors of cellular communications, anxious to be a “good neighbor” to those folks living in the shadow of its billion-volt, thousand-foot-high relay towers, is embarking on a crash program that industry spokespersons call
Tower C-1006, Furrow City, Iowa. Iowa’s first man-made giant redwood tree — indeed, its first redwood of any kind — is taking shape out here in corn country. And a sensational shape it is! When completed, the 1,200-foot, drive-thru, styrofoam “Big Red” promises to become a tourist attraction second to none in the Hawkeye State.
Tower AX-873, near Seattle, Washington. This ingeniously lifelike “sinking oil tanker,” anchored in an artificial lagoon, conceals a functioning cell-phone tower while artistically deflecting blame for environmental mayhem onto the Pacific Northwest’s pet whipping boy, Big Oil.
Here at Tower VT-90003, five miles outside Minnetonka, the sacred Viking heritage of Minnesota is memorialized by a 1,100-foot metal sculpture of Eric the Red. “Those superstitious Swedes will think twice about whining,” reasons a tower designer, “when they find a Norse conqueror glaring down on them.”
Soon, all Florida will be “abloom” with monster palm trees like this, Tower B-768-FG, near Sebring. Its electrified metal “trunk” will shoo away would-be shimmiers, while every month artificial coconuts will be released to fall earthward and shatter, scattering special introductory long-distance offers to the four winds.
— Text and Illustration by Bruce McCall