Put on your creative thinking caps; let's have some fun

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Lynne Cope Hummell

Crazy ideas turn up in the oddest of places.

Listening to the news on NPR on my way home last Thursday evening, I heard about a rogue rooster in the small town of Jasper, Ark., near Little Rock.

Apparently, this feathered fiend is so dastardly the city council is planning to write a whole new ordinance banning roosters from the sidewalks, which is where this rowdy guy is wreaking havoc.

The rooster wasn't named, but let's call him Rudy, because he is behaving rudely, nipping at the heels of little old ladies and chasing children while squawking.

The town's mayor said roosters, chickens and other fowl are allowed in the town limits, and they don't generally cause problems.

A resident said that oddly, a few years ago, a different rooster did the same things at this same residence. Rudy must be the offspring, following his father's or grandfather's wicked ways.

Or perhaps he's just a normal rooster, protecting his flock of hens.

Whatever his reasons, he's ruffling feathers in Jasper. And his story is making the rounds in newspapers across the country - including the New York Times.

I can imagine that TV crews might be on their way to Jasper, Ark., a place few people ever heard of, to capture smartphone video of Rudy in action. The small town soon will be filled with curious tourists, trying to get a glimpse of the mayhem.

Creative entrepreneurs will create souvenir "Rudy" T-shirts and baseball caps to sell. Hotels and B&B's will be sold out. The local cafe will sell Rudy omelettes (oh, the irony), salads and cupcakes in honor of their new celebrity.

Doesn't this sound like fun, and an economic shot in the arm?! All because of a novelty rooster?

So I've been thinking. What oddities or novelties do we have here in Bluffton or on Hilton Head Island that could draw national attention to us, bring in new visitors, and make us really famous for something fun?

It's not that we aren't already well-known. Hilton Head was just named the best island in the continental United States for the fourth year in a row, and Bluffton is consistently making lists as the Best Small Town. We have the RBC Heritage golf tournament, we have Palmetto Bluff, and the May River.

But wouldn't it be great fun to have something like a kooky rooster to draw attention on a more hysterical level? Maybe something more permanent than a rooster who might live only a few years?

What could our landmark be?

How about an unusual house or building, like the UFO Welcome Center just up the road in Bowman? Or the Longaberger Basket building near Columbus, Ohio (it's for sale!)?

We could create a museum out of something simple, similar to the Button Museum in Bishopville. Or something giant, like the world's largest fire hydrant in Columbia.

Could someone knit a blanket around the trunk of the Secession Oak or a Palmetto tree?

Maybe a water tower shaped like a pineapple? No - already done, by Dole in Honolulu. A huge windmill, like those in Holland? Done, in Rhode Island.

Perhaps we should have a contest and vote on the best ideas. Or should we all get together and just do something extremely creative, artful and outrageous?

Maybe the heat is getting to me, but I'm starting to like this idea more by the minute. What are your crazy ideas? Let's hear them! Email them to us at info@blufftonsun.com.

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