June 28th, 2005

A Plague of Frogs

My town has been invaded by frogs. Big ones. They’re all over the sidewalks and they appear to be here to stay for a while.

It’s Frog Follies, someone’s idea to build community spirit. The thought process goes something like this: if everyone is walking around looking looking at giant painted fiberglass frogs, no one’s going to be knifing each other and knocking over banks.

What happens is that different groups sponsor a frog. The frog is then painted, named, and put out for display on the downtown sidewalks. There are two different frog poses: your basic getting-ready-to-hop pose that you’re most likely familiar with, and a pose that can best be described as “yoga-ish” or “sunbathing.” You can see pictures of both poses on the website I’ve linked. I’m a fan of the yoga frog pose, myself.

It’s kind of neat. It’s fun to see what sort of visual puns the artists come up with. My favorite frog so far is one that’s had ear extensions, is painted green and is wearing a Jedi robe: Toad-a, his name is.

Some of them end up being nothing more than advertisements for the business that’s sponsored it, and that’s too bad, but it’s still enjoyable to see a frog painted to look like a car, I guess.

Some are just painted with patterns rather than having a theme, so there’s plenty of variety.

We had something like this a couple of years ago but with pigs. I’m not sure why we’ve had pigs and frogs. This practice of having painted fiberglass things started in Chicago with cows, from what I’ve been told. Cows at least make sense in Chicago, what with Mrs. O’Leary’s cow and the Stockyards and all. I know of no similar frog or pig legends from around here, but maybe I’ve just not been reading the right papers.

The frogs’ll be here all summer, so if you’re driving through, feel free to stop. Just don’t try to steal one: they’ve got motion sensors in the bases that are monitored by a security company. We had one to many pig thefts the last time around. Community spirit means different things to different people, I guess.

9 Comments on “A Plague of Frogs”

  1. hp says:

    I… want to be there. Follying. Frogs!

  2. BNick says:

    Lafayette has just dropped several places on my list of "cities to consider moving to."

  3. hp says:

    But bnick! FROGS!

  4. the obscure says:

    If they were real frogs it would be tempting.

  5. Brian Arnold says:

    We had similar such things happen a couple of years ago, with horses, and then another year with dinosaurs (which was my favorite).

  6. BNick says:

    You see, what happens is that people eventually forget what the purpose was, and it becomes a permanent part of the culture. Years ago, my town put out pink flamingos. Then another year, it was rusty cars in the back yard. Then wooden cutouts of old ladies bending over tending their gardens. I'll let you guess how many of those we've managed to get rid of…

  7. Brian Arnold says:

    Ugh, I hate the buttcrack people.

  8. John Clark says:

    Hey, we do that too!
    Except here in Florida, we use huge fiberglass manatees.
    There's about 20 or so, all over town.

  9. Merv Griffin says:

    All them frogs, and not a single 20-Ft. tall Kermit? For shame.

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