Submitted by:Prospect

Mississippi Un-Welcome Center


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In our travels, my chauffeur and I are occasionally reminded  some people don’t like dogs.  And, some people are just unfriendly.  While northbound in Mississippi on I-55, we found someone who is both.  He was the security guard at the rest area at mile marker 239.

We’ll give him the benefit of having a bad day but we suspect his ego trip goes deeper behind that security badge he kept pointing towards.  As an employee of Cobra Security he is not an official Mississippi state employee, but works for the security contractor.  We're sure officials at the Mississippi Division of Tourism would consider him a poor ambassador of Mississippi hospitality.

On the south end of the rest area we noticed a cardboard sign attached to a pine tree with the use of 2 wood screws and plastic bottle caps.  We mis-read the sign as “Doc’s Room” since there was an apparent local camped out nearby under the covered picnic area.  We thought “Doc” was the person with a folding chair and large spread of personal belongings upon the sheltered picnic table.

From what we thought was “Doc’s Room” wafted the aroma of pipe tobacco and portable radio sounds into the otherwise fresh air of a post-rain evening.

But we were wrong.  The sign was not for Doc.  The sign was to be read as “Dog’s Room.”  Thinking we were safely inside the official dog area, the air of our evening stroll was further interrupted by the screams and hollers of a security guard.  We were a mere 15 feet outside the tiny area designated as “Dog’s Room.”   Given the great expense and effort undertaken by the State of Mississippi to mark the approximately 700 square foot dog area, we were committing a serious offense.

The security guard yelled and hollered. He all but called us stupid for not noticing the “Dog’s Room” sign.  He was the most unfriendly person we’ve ever met in our travels.  

His story of how the other dog area signs were irrelevant is contradicted by our previous experience at the counter-part southbound rest area at mile marker 240.  There the guard observed us as we encircled the rest area – staying away from the crowd.   The guard there was friendly; offering us travel tips for the area.

Here at the Mississippi Un-Welcome Area at northbound mile marker 239, we were told we couldn’t take pictures.  This contradicted our experience at the southbound Mississippi Welcome Center 39 miles to the north.  There we watched and waited for our turn to take a photo in front of the large welcome sign next to the security station as a bus-load of tourists took their photos first.

If you can, plan to drive another 56 miles to the Tennessee Welcome Center at Mile Marker 3 (state line is at Mississippi mile 292).

Prospect's SignatureVisited September 25, 2010  5:30pm

Mississippi Un-Welcome Center

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  • Dog Photo #1 from Mississippi Un-Welcome Center
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Mississippi Un-Welcome Center

Mississippi Un-Welcome Center

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Mississippi Un-Welcome Center

vanessa said on: May 20, 2011 - 2:29pm

Amazing how a percieved position of authority can make a person behave!

MemphisDog said on: Oct 21, 2010 - 10:36pm

Thats not very dog-friendly. thanks for the heads up and recommendation about the TN Welcome Center, when I'm down that way I'll remember this.

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