Notes from the 2008 Southwest Foodservice Expo: Walk Around Mascot Costumes

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When I see folks standing on the side of the road in costume, hawking whatever hides in the strip center behind, I can't help but feel sorry for them, which is odd, since in other settings I'd probably fantasize about kicking them. (Clutch, I'm looking at you.) I think it's the heat that gets me, or, rather, that gets them, all wrapped up in that bulky fuzz.

But a trip this morning to the George R. Brown opened my eyes to a whole new kind of mascot. Thanks to Signs & Shapes International, the underemployed can now relax in the luxury of inflated anthropomorphic designs, which feature constant airflow and presumably don't suffocate you. Perhaps most important, in the words of the company's Web site, they don't stink. -- Keith Plocek

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