I love stories told in brief compelling episodes, each one a new clue to the titillating climax that lies ahead. However, instead of soap operas or the political circus surrounding a presidential candidate’s every misstatement, I favor the narrative of the offbeat, expressed in rants, ramblings and bizarre imagery. The continuing saga of Natalie/Carolina’s Pet Portrait & Dog Walking posters is what “must see Thursdays” was probably like to the masses back in the 1990s, only not quite as safe and filled with non-sequitur tangents, far out propositions, and downright strange renderings of Noah’s prophetic herd.
Anyway, this Sunday, after months of silence I finally got my fix. After catching a fleeting glimpse of a poster taped to the back of a stop sign more than a week ago, this time I mustered up the motivation to hop off the bus along Cortland Ave. to capture one for the archives. Not only did I find a one, I actually discovered two and a quarter previously unseen posters along the sunny, early morning streets of Bernal. While his witty cartoon thought bubbles remain a means for animal-human communication, our artist seems to have abandoned his rough pen sketches in favor of a collage of photo-surrealism. From what I gather the 1980′s advertising campaign of Bud Light must have had a profound impact on Will’s formative years, as he appears to have enlisted the help of the once famed, ever-exuberant party animal Spuds MacKenzie, donning swimming goggles and offering clever one-liners as a spokesman for his master’s artistic services.
Interestingly, in “True Hollywood Stories” fashion, I discovered that Spuds MacKenzie (real name: Honey Tree Evil Eye) had quite the controversial life, complete with meteoric rise to fame followed by an almost immediate free-fall. After becoming an over-night sensation that began with a 1987 Super Bowl commercial, Spuds received a slew of endorsement deals and his face garnered everything from t-shirts to dolls. However, it was soon let loose that the super-macho, ladies’ man Spuds was actually a female! With the frenzied media controversy that ensued, reportedly Anheuser-Bush execs tried to shield her from cameras to conceal her female parts that might become front-page news when she had to go #1.
Like other pop-icons Prince and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, Spuds was even the target of angry temperance-oriented parent groups, who in 1992 accused her employers of selling the “too-cool-for-monogamy-and-sobriety dog” to America’s children. Even though the FTC ruled in the maligned Bull Terrier’s favor, the ads were dropped and less than a year later Spuds died of Kidney failure at the age of 10.
Anyway, back to Will, who decided the optimal way to advertise his “Adventure Walks” was by showing a little girl being dragged along by an overpowering Alligator. Natalie the dog, with the clear intention of distancing herself from this bizarre spectacle, states she “did not take that picture.” Good to know who’s got your back, eh?
And then there’s this. If you ever leave town, you may have another option to leaving your beloved canine with family or a professional boarding kennel.
It’s nice to have something to look forward to (again).