The billboards feature a human being that we can only surmise was hired through The Big, Fat, and Hairy People modeling agency, if such an entity existed. One shows the birthday suit clad person admiring a landscape (perhaps the property where the Toyota plant will be built). Another reveals the same person imitating Rodin's classic "The Thinker" pose, which makes the shocked and awed observer believe the bountiful derriére (that's French, thank you) is firmly planted on a toilet (or bidet, more French) seat. The next one features a giant big toe with a nail that resembles a toxic waste dump, and the final billboard resembles your typical South Texas beer gut - did we say "yours?"
What really bothers people is the fact the billboards dominate the downtown landscape for travelers on U.S. 281 South, where the San Antonio River crosses under as it meanders from Brackenridge Park into downtown. Various news agencies, including the Current, gullibly believed and reported Connally's insinuation that the signs would be taken down last week.
One must remember that Connally is an expert manipulator in the realm of public relations. He first appeared on the Alamotown scene as a hotshot promoter for the local cable company and regaled us with tales of unlimited TV channels and low, low, low monthly cable rates. San Antonians signed up in droves without realizing we would later pay through our hairy noses for the privilege.
Another warning sign about Connally surfaced in 1997, during former mayor William Thornton's bid for a second term. Connally was working for Thornton as his campaign manager when at some point a quarrel erupted between the two, and Connally accused Thornton of stalking him.
Thornton subsequently had to step down as mayor to make way for Howard Peak. There is no evidence connecting Connally's stalking charge to Thornton's political demise, but it is something to think about while looking at the offending billboards.
As the rosy fingers of dawn appeared on the horizon last Thursday, we thought that again Connally and his corporate client had duped the masses. Yet, this time it was the City that had stalled the sign removal, since it had recently voted to include the Star Storage property in a river overlay district, which would require any change in the billboards to go through the Historic Design and Review Commission. The commission is slated to meet Wednesday, April 16 to consider the matter. After that, Connally has promised new "go, warriors go" signs would go up in place of the scary hair messages within seven to 10 days.
Christie (no last name given, and we couldn't pry it out of her) of Connally & Co. would not reveal the nature of the "patriotic" messages that would replace the hairy toilet-squatter with the fungus nursery on his or her toenail - it appears to belong to the furry model. She would only say that the new billboards could bear messages that "Support our troops 100 percent."
Let's help T.J. and Co. out with the content of the messages. How about "Mean People Suck" (superimposed over a photo of an Elite Republican Guard), or "War Is Not Healthy For Iraqis And Other Peaceful Desert Dwellers," and what could be a favorite among local pickup-driving goat ropers: "Piss On Saddam Hussein." •
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