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4 Animals That Ran for Mayor (and Won!)

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Has the presidential race soured you on politics as usual? Next time you’re in the voting booth, consider casting your ballot for a nontraditional candidate. These towns did exactly that and are enjoying the benefits of a super hands-off – or more precisely, paws-off – government.

1. Stubbs — Talkeetna, Alaska

This week, one elected official is celebrating his fifteenth year as mayor of the 900-person hamlet. It’s a long reign for any politician... especially one with a tail. The story has taken the Internet by storm: when a handful of residents didn’t like any of the human candidates, they encouraged voters to write in Stubbs the cat instead. As luck would have it, the feline won. Locals rationalized that having a cat as mayor would be a boon to tourism, and so they allowed the cat to assume his rightfully won position. Nowadays, the tabby spends most of his time palling around with constituents at a local general store, sleeping, and sniffing catnip from a wine glass. Who says you can’t have it all?

2. Bosco — Sunol, California

Bosco, a Labrador-Rottweiler mix, served 13 years as the mayor of Sunol. While his title as mayor of the small, unincorporated town was purely ceremonial, one Chinese newspaper took the canine compatriot a little too seriously.

In 1989, communist publication The People’s Daily pointed to Bosco as proof that democratic elections don’t work. Rather than dismiss the comment, revolutionaries embraced the pup’s newfound symbolism. In the wake of the Tiananmen Square protests, Bosco was invited to participate in a pro-democracy rally outside of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, where participants dubbed him the face of democracy and freedom.

3. Henry Clay III — Lajitas, Texas

The mayor of Lajitas, Texas, knows the best way to beat the heat on a scorching summer day: pop a few brewskis and chill out. The only problem? Drinking can be a massive struggle when you’ve got hooves instead of hands. Good thing there are always plenty of booze-bearing tourists ready to jump to the aid of Henry Clay III, a beer-swilling billy goat. As Lajitas’s third hoofed mayor, Clay belongs to a powerful political dynasty that began when his grandfather was elected in 1986.

4. Lucy Lou — Rabbit Hash, KY

In 1998, Goofy the German Shepherd was elected mayor of a quiet Kentucky hamlet. Actually, he bought the election. In what began as a fundraiser for a local church, townspeople thought it would be fun to hold a mock mayoral election (ostensibly modeled after the real mayoral elections held in Chicago). Townspeople paid a dollar per ballot and voted as many times as they pleased. Goofy defeated his bipedal opponent in a landslide, receiving an astonishing 8,000 votes. Since that fateful day, the town has elected two more canine mayors. Goofy was replaced by Junior, a black lab who embarked on a goodwill tour across the state to build improved relations with the quadruped community. Junior was succeeded by border collie Lucy Lou, the town’s current mayor. Her signature issue? Campaigning for canines’ rights to hang out in the town’s General Store.

And two who were unelectable...

Saucisse — Marseille, France

In a classic underdog success story, Saucisse the dachshund went from abandoned puppy to prominent political figure in the country that invented miming and fried snails. The pup was on the ballot for the 2001 mayoral elections in Marseille – France’s second largest city. While his owner, Serge Scotto, put down his canine companion’s name as a joke, Saucisse – whose name means sausage – captured four percent of the vote. Despite losing the election, the pup became a media darling and went on to be featured in several novels and even appeared as a contestant on a French reality show.

Willie Bean Roscoe P. Coltrane — Fairhope, Alabama

In 2004, citizens of Fairhope, Alabama, simply couldn’t stomach the name-dropping, smack-talking flavor of local politics for one more minute. When a mayoral candidate tried to put up a campaign sign near The Coffee Loft, a local café, the owners received flack from customers who believed the endorsement had been placed there by the shop. To reaffirm the establishment’s political neutrality, shop owners decided to officially endorse Willie Bean Roscoe P. Coltrane – an affectionate, slobbery yellow lab – for mayor.

The café became the pup’s official headquarters, marketing pooch paraphernalia such as yard signs and t-shirts. Unfortunately, Willie Bean burst onto the scene too late to actually appear on the ballot. Nonetheless, townspeople showered the pup with support, proclaiming that he cleaned up politics. And as supporters pointed out, Willie Bean certainly doesn’t have any skeletons in his closet. He buried them all in the yard.

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Little Baby's Ice Cream
Pizza and Cricket Cake Are Just Some of the Odd Flavors You'll Find at This Philadelphia Ice Cream Shop
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Little Baby's Ice Cream

Ice cream flavors can get pretty out-there, thanks to the growing number of creative scoop shops willing to take risks and broaden their customers’ horizons beyond chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Intrepid foodies can cool off with frozen treats that taste like horseradish, foie gras, and avocado, while Philadelphia's Little Baby’s Ice Cream is pushing the boundaries of taste with chilly offerings like everything bagel, Maryland BBQ, ranch, and cricket cake.

Cricket-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Everything Bagel-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

As Lonely Planet News reports, Little Baby’s Ice Cream launched its first signature “oddball” ice cream—Earl Grey sriracha—in 2011. Since then, its rotating menu has only gotten quirkier. In addition to the aforementioned flavors, customers who swing by Little Baby’s this summer can even try pizza ice cream.

The store created the savory flavor in 2011, to celebrate neighborhood eatery Pizza Brain’s inclusion into Guinness World Records for its vast collection of pizza memorabilia. The savory, Italian-esque snack is made from ingredients like tomato, basil, oregano, salt, and garlic—and yes, it actually tastes like pizza, Little Baby’s co-owner Pete Angevine told Lonely Planet News.

Pizza-flavored ice cream, made by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

“Frequently, folks will see it on the menu and be incredulous, then be convinced to taste it, giggle, talk about how surprised they are that it really tastes just like pizza … and then order something else,” Angevine said. “That’s just fine. Just as often though, they’ll end up getting a pizza milkshake!”

Little Baby’s flagship location is in Philadelphia's East Kensington neighborhood, but customers can also sample their unconventional goods at additional outposts in West Philadelphia, Baltimore, and a pop-up stand in Washington, D.C.’s Union Market. Just make sure to bring along a sense of adventure, and to leave your preconceived notions of what ice cream should taste like at home.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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Warby Parker
Warby Parker Is Giving Away Free Eclipse Glasses in August
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Warby Parker

When this year’s rare “all-American” total solar eclipse comes around on August 21, you’ll want to be prepared. Whether you’re chasing the eclipse to Kentucky or viewing it from your backyard, you’ll need a way to watch it safely. That means an eclipse filter over your telescope, or specially designed eclipse glasses.

For the latter, you can just show up at your nearest Warby Parker, and their eye experts will hand over a pair of eclipse glasses. The stores are giving out the free eye protectors throughout August. The company’s Nashville store is also having an eclipse party to view the celestial event on the day-of.

Get your glasses early, because you don’t want to miss out on this eclipse, which will cross the continental U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. There are only so many total solar eclipses you’ll get to see in your lifetime, after all.


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