The Suitcase Lady


March 4, 2008, 11:16 pm

I was following a gigantic, smiling pig down the highway recently. Considering that pigs turn into pork chops and bacon, he was putting a good face on things.

The pig I’m referring to was painted onto the back of a Piggly Wiggly semi truck. He is one of a gaggle of creatures created by marketing geniuses. I sincerely hope I am mature enough to be shopping at Piggly Wiggly (I do) and buying gas at the Pig Stop (I do) for reasons other than my love for a cartoon character.

America is awash in these advertising personalities. My daughter collects them when they achieve the ultimate success… being converted into “rubber men” toys. Her kitchen shelves are filled with them, and I defy anyone to walk into her kitchen and not smile. Click here to view.

She started out with the fat boy with the pompadour and the checkered pants. That, of course, would be the ever smiling Big Boy. Last winter my husband and I discovered an actual, surviving Big Boy restaurant out in a small town in the middle of the California desert. Naturally, we left with the 2007 incarnation of the rubber boy.

Just think of how many of his friends you personally know – The Jolly Green Giant, Snap, Crackle and Pop, The Dough Boy, The Marshmallow Man, The Campbell Kids, Charlie The Tuna, Tony the Tiger and on and on!
I must confess that there is one rubber man I would love to have. Unfortunately, I must have champagne taste when it comes to rubber people. My guy commands big bucks even though he is only 6 inches tall. His name is Bibendum. He’s the roly-poly Michelin Man whose body is all made out of tires. I find his smile and exuberant energy delightful. Rumor has it that he writes a great dining guide, too.

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