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<em>El Raton!</em>

I got a call two days ago from a local residental construction company, inquiring whether or not a temporary sign permit would be required for a 30′ tall, 15′ wide inflatable rubber rat (which required a diesel-powered generator to run the compressor which kept it inflated).

Apparently, the rat is a prop being used by some local labor union protestors who were picketing this construction company for using non-union workers. The picketers had been hanging around the construction sales office for a week or so, with little major effect, so they decided to bring in the big-guns–a yellow rubber rat the size of an upended city bus.

I took the complaint and opened a case, and took the information to a supervisor who decided the case was bizarre enough that he was going to personally investigate. He was taking the office digital camera, and I asked him if he’d forward me copies when he got back. The first afternoon, when he went out, the protestors had already left for the evening, so he went again early the following morning and snapped the pictures you’ll see below.

For the record, large inflatable figures, like the gorillas and dinosaurs that tire companies and auto sales places use do require temporary signage permits and inspections to ensure that they are safely installed and securely anchored. If the demonstrators secure a permit (which should not be difficult) they can continue displaying their rat.

Rat as seen from the road.

Closer view of rat–it has a pustulent stomach.

The rat’s got a picket sign, too, attatched to rodential nipple-rings.

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