The Theft of Spuds MacKenzie and Not Paying Rent.
This is a story of a famous advertising dog who was stolen in 1992.
A little backstory first...If you remember Spuds, you might need to be 40+ years old. Starting in 1987, Spuds MacKenzie, a Bull Terrier, became the original party animal who starred in several Bud Light commercials that can be seen;
According to Wikipedia, "Spuds McKenzie ad campaign was not without its share of controversy.
Shortly after Spuds' rise to fame, it was learned that the dog, portrayed as male in the ads, was actually female". So, the problem with gender identity is nothing new!
Secondly, there was an advertisement as Spuds dressed as Santa that received some legal action.
Then, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers "alleged that Anheuser-Busch was pitching the dog to children...the FTC found no evidence to support that allegation".
However, the advertisements did influence 20-30 year olds into questionable activity that becomes the basis of the story - The Theft of Spuds MacKenzie.
Spuds became so popular, merchandise flowed (just like Bud Light) and signage showed up in bars across the country.
I was 28 years old and I had to make a choice. I was presented with an opportunity to go to skiing at Killington VT. The choice was to go skiing or pay rent. It was an easy decision - go skiing and deal with rent and late fees next month.
The skiing and snowmobiling was great. We made spaghetti and ham sandwiches on white bread every night to save money because we needed our cash for the only bar at the top of the mountain.
After a couple Bud Lights, our inhibitions leveled off and our courage increased. As we were getting a little louder and more conversant with other skiing patrons, we started goofing with a larger than life-size Spuds MacKenzie cardboard sign.
As the night carried on, I would move Spuds a couple feet so that no one would notice. Every few minutes, Spuds would move. We had a plan, everyone knew their position and the signal. One person engaged the bartender in banter, another kept the waitress busy closing out the tab and someone watched the door.
I gave the signal and with Spuds under my arm, we bolted out the door. We now owned Spuds MacKenzie, or stole him, depending on how you look at it.
Spuds was a fixture in my apartment next to the TV for many months.
I met with the apartment management company to plead my case. I paid the late fees over time, and it was well worth it. I have the pictures to prove it!