You can almost picture the scene: the folks at the ad agency for 7-11 gathered in a midtown Manhattan conference room, hashing out ways to promote the company’s Red Bank store at a time when the biggest crowd of the year will jam the borough for the annual KaBoom fireworks show.
“Hey,” somebody says, “let’s put a giant inflatable Slurpee cup in the parking lot!”
“Yes!” the assembled brain trust shouts in unison, before heading off to their homes in the Hamptons, safe in the knowledge that a good number of the estimated 170,000 visitors to Red Bank will have no choice but to squeeze through the junction of West Front Street and Maple Avenue the store’s location.
And so it was that the company, through an intermediary, last night asked the Borough Council for permission to install a 20-foot-tall facsimile of the ubiquitous iced drink at the store and let it remain there for three weeks.
In most New Jersey towns, it’s probably safe to say, this sort of request would sail through the deliberative process like, well, a Slurpee through a roofer.
Not here, though, and not under this regime. A monstrous Slurpee had all the appeal of brain freeze.
“Unimaginative,” said Mayor Pasquale Menna.
“Unimaginative and not pretty,” said Councilman Michael DuPont.
“Yeah, ‘Welcome to the Red Bank fireworks a great big Slurpee cup,’ ” said Councilwoman Grace Cangemi. “I don’t think so.”
The request was unanimously shot down.
Car dealers and union picketers take note: you might want to keep your plans for giant inflatable bears and giant inflatable rats in the drawer.