Why is Jungle Pete riding the leg of a 26-foot tall aluminium nurse in this photo? Static electricity experiment? Publicity stunt for the Meat Blog? Bad Mexican food? Do you give up?
The statue "Unconditional Surrender" brings dimension to the famous World War II photo of a sailor smooching a nurse in Times Square. The classic impromptu moment captured the thrill of victory as Japan announced their surrender. Subsequent photos reveal the nurse pulling pepper spray from her skirt and spraying the anonymous sailor in the face.
None of this explains my bucking calf ride.
The statue was first unveiled in New York City in 2005 before it came to the shores of Sarasota, Florida. It remained there for the "art season" before the colossal creation was shipped off to San Diego. Residents of my birthplace of Sarasota were so elated that the steel curtain was falling on this 3-D peep show that they brought it back. Sort of.
Yes people hated it. But enough people enjoyed it that a Category 3 hurricane-proof aluminum replica was created as a modern day Colossus for Sarasota Bay. Although the size pales in comparison (the statue of Helios, aka the Colossus of Rhodes was over 4x the size), the cost to the city drew a few more detractors. At $700,000, the price tag to keep the piece of art was more than the community was willing to bear. Case closed. Haters go home happy...until an 88-year old WWII veteran came forward and offered to pay for the statue which will now apparently remain in the city of.... in the city that.... what the hell is Sarasota famous for???
Which brings me back to the original question - Why am I riding the leg? Friends Rebecca and Eric Gordon, who will remain nameless brought MaLe and me here over the weekend to enjoy the spectacle. As we approached, a passenger in a car passing by yelled "that statue sucks". I disagree and to finally answer the question - I'm riding the leg because there wasn't a sign that said I couldn't.