January 06, 2006

Cry Freedom

Perhaps this is an example of how oblivious I am, but it took me two full days to notice the presence of an overweight woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty waving at passing cars from the grassy knoll in front of the local Texaco station.

Actually, now that I think about it, the first day (Tuesday) she was dressed as Uncle Sam, but it was dusk and I only noticed her because the star-spangled hat added enough height to make her visible over the cars in the other lane.

She was toting a sign the first night, but again, dusk, so I couldn't read it, and she hasn't had one since.

And it's driving me nuts, because I cannot for the life of me figure out why someone would decide to dress up like an icon of American freedom and stand at a random intersection all alone without any sort of signage explaining the gesture.

I'm fairly certain it's not promotional for the gas station or nearby shopping center, because there would be something announcing the purpose of the promotion. And hello? July 4 is a looooong way away.

Is it an ironic commentary on war, oil and freedom? She's standing near a Texaco, which has connections to Texas oilmen and by extension our president...

Is it a "thank you, servicepeople" thing? If so, she's about an hour north of where she should be.

Is it a symbolic reminder of our freedoms, yay America, thing?

Or is it an experiment for her sociology 101 class, and she's recording the reactions of the people nearby?

I really wish I'd been able to read her sign the first night, because now I'm thinking I'm going to have to pull into the Texaco station and ask her what the hell she's doing.

Has anyone else's town been set upon by random national mascots?

Posted by Big Arm Woman at January 6, 2006 12:28 PM

The random guy dressed as the Statue of Liberty and wandering in front of our Post Office in early January is advertising Liberty Tax Service.

It would have been more effective without the parka and the knit cap under the crown...

Posted by: Diane at January 6, 2006 05:01 PM

No, but I came across this anecdote in a Molly Ivins column:

The police blotter of the Mill Valley Herald in California informs us that the constabulary there had to be called out on account of a citizen "dressed like a penguin" who was "standing on a street corner playing a ukulele."

Our middle school principal made the front page of the local paper by dressing in a chicken suit and playing the accordian. He was accompanying the superintendent, who was doing the chicken dance; it was all in honor of students reading some huge number of books. Silliness is a good thing.

Posted by: Michael at January 7, 2006 12:20 PM

OK, the last paragraph of the above comment is mine. Apparently HTML tags don't work in comments here.

Posted by: Michael at January 7, 2006 12:20 PM

Definitely Liberty Tax. It was started by Hewitt of Jackson Hewitt fame - he sold Jackson Hewitt and started over again with Liberty Tax. It's his "guerrilla marketing" shtick.

Posted by: Teri Lester at January 13, 2006 02:21 PM