Is Yakima’s Newest Figure an Improvement or an Italian Eyesore?
If you're driving on Nob Hill Boulevard and you look toward the airport, you just might see a puffy plumber. No, you have not driven into an inter-dimensional portal and found yourself transported to the Mushroom Kingdom, you are just in the vicinity of the new location of 1UP Games.
I was intrigued. I've seen those wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men, and mannequins holding rotating pizza signs, but I have not seen anything this awesome. I talked to local owner Alex Smith about the gigantic blow-up Mario.
He (Mario) came from a company in China that makes custom inflatables and Alex knew that he wanted the Nintendo Icon because he's seen other businesses with similar mascots and he knew that that was the one for him. Mario is 5 meters tall, about 16 feet, 4 inches and cost around $600. There are 8-foot models, but go big or go home.
Mario might have been too big, as Alex told me how he has received a letter from the city demanding that he remove Goomba Smasher citing city code violations. Personally, I (Timmy) don't see why he should need to remove it. It's on top of his building where the public cannot harm it or be harmed by it. It is clear of power lines and trees. So maybe it's just city officials being a bunch of Koopas. I asked what he plans to do, to which he replied, "I may have to file a freedom of speech suit like a fellow business owner in my Facebook group had to do in Florida. So I had to ask: If he is forced to take down the inflatable Italian turtle slayer, could I buy him? "Unfortunately I don't see myself ever selling him because he makes such a big statement for the store," Alex said.
Maybe we can put him in the Tanooki Suit, and get the EPA & PETA on board to claim that the city wants to remove a rare mustachioed raccoon from a place its clearly made its home. Or we could claim the race card! Citing how the city wants to remove an Italian plumber created by the Japanese people who speaks English with a Spanish name and look.