Frivilous metal protusions, like the ones crowning the car wash above, once abounded on the American retail landscape. They were attached to coffeeshops, motels and diners to attract consumers who were fascinated with the Space Age. Resembling boomerangs, fins, parabolas, flying saucers and "starbursts", these adornments symbolized the motion and energy associated with rocket ships and atomic energy.
They were completely nonutilitarian, yes, but think of all the steel required to produce them. Think of all the manufacturing/industrial jobs behind these cartoonish hunks of metal. Workers were needed to construct them, paint them, install them, and then later, power-wash them clean. If we brought back these whimsical designs, the steel factories would be up and running, people would flock to the shops just for the novelty ---and we'd be delivered at last from the despair of the rectangular strip mall that has sucked the life out of the American soul.