If someone on your holiday list tunes into HBO every Sunday night for the latest installment of Westworld and then spends the rest of the evening exchanging theories in various chatrooms (“The Man in Black is really Arnold!” “No, he’s William 30 years later!” “No, he’s Yul Brynner. And Ford is really Hannibal Lechter!”), boy do I have a gift for you.
You can get that Westworld fan his or her very own westworld!
Now, of course, I do not mean the actual park as depicted in the show. Where would your gift recipient put something that appears to take up an area the size of the actual old west and includes enough mindless automatons to have affected our presidential election?
You can, however, purchase the slightly smaller Donley’s Wild West Town, which is in Union, Illinois, just 30 miles from absolutely nowhere.
I am not kidding. In fact, the entire town is listed in the latest edition of the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog! (continued after screengrab)
Imagine, for a mere $7 million, you can delight your Westworld-loving friend with a “fully operational town that pays homage to the Old West with 23 acres of sarsaparilla- and sagebrush-themed amusements.”
And you know that train you see in aerial shots on Westworld so you know the place is gigantic? Well, Wild West Town has a train, too: “a working junior-sized steam locomotive that takes children for rides on its own railway “
Plus, your gift will include:
“14 buildings with two residences, offices, a warehouse, museum, restaurant, convention hall, and a commercial kitchen…a 12-person silver mine-themed roller coaster, a handcrank-powered cart track, and a carousel centered in the town square…covered wagons, rail fences, hay bales, water barrels…pony rides…saloon, jail, smithery, livery, and more.”
That’s right–there are two residences. That means your loved one can actually move there so you no longer have to listen to them wonder aloud about what happens to semen when a male guest has sex with a host.
And just like the TV show, there are “people” in Wild West Town–
“…a host of cowpokes, gunslingers, and rascals that perform a daily cowboy show replete with roping, hornswaggling, and fistfights.”
I put “people” in quotes not because the performers are lifelike robots, but because they are actors, which, as we all know from Chevrolet commercials, are not the same as real people. (By the way, Hammacher Schlemmer hastens to add that the live actors are not included in your purchase, so your gift recipient won’t have to worry about providing room and board to the likes of “Shotgun Sherrie” [real name: Lisa Goldberg], the sharpshootingest female desperado who ever set foot in rural Illinois.)
Now, while it’s true that the person who receives this wonderful gift will not be able to partake in many of the activities available at Westworld, such as train robbin’, bad guy killin’, prostitute proddin’, and computer codin’, he or she will experience all the thrills of “panning for gold, or plinking at targets at the slingshot range.”
But wait–there’s more. There’s a whole museum with genuine cowboy memorabilia such as (according to Wild West Town’s website): guns, gun belts, spurs, ropes, whips, hats, saddles, spurs, boots and woolly chaps. Plus actual death masks cast from dead outlaws’ faces. Not to mention gold and silver mine tools and equipment. Also a Civil War display with weapons, medals and a Union soldier’s diary. And an entire “Street of Yesteryear” with a barbershop, doctor’s office, pawn shop and “so Much More!”
If there’s no one on your gift list worthy of such a lavish present, it seems to me that this would be a great investment for yourself. I mean, $7 million for 23 acres of anywhere is pretty much a bargain, and you get all this cool western stuff, too! Maybe you can pay for the whole purchase by panning for gold! And then you could sell off all the antiques (who knows what you can get for 100+ year-old woolly chaps?) and auction off the rides (as I write this, there’s an actual 1957 merry-go-round on sale on eBay for $295,000.00.)
Then you could modernize your old west town to appeal to millennials. Turn your sarsparilla-serving saloon into a macchiato-making Starbucks. Instead of having your actors hornswoggle, have them recreate scenes from Django Unchained. And make sure you sell sponsorships to all your attractions, like your Humana Doctors Office and your Kay Jewelers Gold Mine and your Uber Pony Ride.
Anyway, whether you’re interested in giving someone their own little piece of the wild west or investing in Illinois real estate, Hammacher Schlemmer wants to make it clear that “…special conditions and guarantee limitations apply to this product.” I would imagine that one special condition is that supplies of Wild West Town are limited. There may also be no extended warranty on the steam engine.
Oh, yeah–and shipping is not included.
See you soon.