Embrace The Inflatable Ads, Houston

Houston has a new acronym -- AGDs, or Attention-Getting Devices.

These are the inflatable gorillas, dogs, whatevers that festoon car dealerships and cel-phone stores all over town, because apparently drivers slam on the brakes and put down $20K on a car if they see a big blue gorilla.

The City Council is trying to outlaw the things, because they detract from the natural beauty of such scenic drives as 59 from the airport to downtown and the Gulf Freeway.

This is just wrong, nanny-state, interfering-gummint stuff.

We think Houston should embrace this trend. If it works for used-car salesmen, it can work for a lot of folks.

Our suggestions:

5. Lakewood Church

There's no War on Christmas to be found here!! Also, in keeping with Lakewood's "The Bible Wants You To Be Rich" theology, there's nothing religious, either.

4. La Colombe d'Or

La Colombe d'Or Mansion & Le Grande Salon is one of Houston's classiest places, an elegant place to dine and be pampered. But how are people going to get the word about how "le grande" it is without a big alligator?

3. Houston City Hall

"Half off every sewer permit this month! We'll throw in a free health inspection, no charge! Tell `em Bill White sent ya by!!!" Like we say, embrace this thing.

2. Toyota Center

Because hey, it's a car thing. Our advice, though, would not be to pick an animal who looks like every other Rocket fan wondering what the hell is up with Tracy McGrady. 1. The Walls Unit, Huntsville (Execution Central)

Who says executions have to be dreary? Liven them up a bit with a big, inflated display. And be sure to show all the compassion and racial understanding we expect from the Texas criminal-justice system by choosing a truly odd animal that looks like it's Al Jolson wearing blackface. Because who doesn't like Al Jolson wearing blackface?

-- Richard Connelly

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