Monday, July 20, 2009


Sometimes I think when people begin feeling helpless about the big things in life, they go around looking for a little thing to object to. And if things go their way, they will “Win” instead of “Lose.” "We may not be able to change everything," they think, "but man, we can change this!”

In this case, “This” is a 5’10” mannequin that was purchased and placed outside a Barbecue restaurant in a little town in southern Ohio. No, she’s not naked, but she is voluptuous, which, depending on the eye of the beholder, is either very good or very bad.

She was brought to town this spring by the owner of the restaurant. Because of the bad times, many shops along his street have been boarded up or have left town. The small town of just 11,000 people is struggling to attract businesses. The owner of the restaurant himself reports that his own business pre-mannequin was down about 40%. In an entrepreneurial spirit, he thought perhaps a sandwich board out in front would help pull in business, and in browsing through a catalog for sandwich boards he saw “her.”

She was a model WL-25, which was described as “European large bust.” And therein lies the problem: too much chest. The owner made a place for her on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. He dressed her in donated clothing - a bikini bra in a Hawaiian print, denim shorts, which all young pretty girls love to wear, and a baseball cap. He named her “BarBe Q.”

He might have named her “Lusty Busty Brown,” whom some of you older folk in California may remember as an erstwhile model by that name back in the ‘50s and ‘60s. But he didn’t go after a titillating name, just an appropriate name for a pretty mannequin with long blond hair and comfy clothing outside his Barbecue restaurant.

Well, half the town raised a ruckus. One woman thought a hooker had taken up residence in front of the restaurant. Another one demanded that BarBe Q put on a shirt and look decent! One family decided to move to a place where they wouldn’t even have to drive by the restaurant.

But on the positive side, one lady glanced at her and said, “I’m jealous,” but then suggested BarBe Q also put on some high-heeled shoes to go with that outfit! And others just couldn’t figure what the hullabaloo was all about. Let the poor man be, they thought.

Because of the complaints, the city fathers were fairly concerned and wanted her to wear more clothing, as well as to meet some other requirements, but when it was pointed out that several bridal shops in town featured lacy, peek-a-boo lingerie on mannequins in their shop windows, and after much discussion, the city fathers settled for an Advertising permit and a few other little administrative details.

So for now, both the restaurant owner and BarBe Q are alive and well. When the owner puts his chickens in the smoker, a line of customers stretches out the door and down the street. Everyone admits his chicken, his brisket and pulled pork sandwiches are well worth the wait.

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