Silent but deadly
What's big, blue, genderless, mute, and quite possibly a little bit stinky? Give up? It's Charlottesville's new "gascot," who's helping the gas distribution office of the city's utilities department teach kids gas safety.
Today the still-unnamed creature (seen here with city spokesperson Ric Barrick) wandered Downtown waving to passersby. On Tuesday, the city plans an "Unveiling Ceremony of the Gas Mascot's Name" complete with balloons and cotton candy and an official "birth certificate" issued by city officials.
According to Irene Peterson, the city employee who created the mascot's design, more than 200 people entered the contest to name the mascot. Among the creative entries: "Jack Gas," "Mr. Stinky," and "The Flamer." The winner, who will be announced during the ceremony, will receive gift certificates to various city establishments. Peterson says many people– children and adults– are unaware of the smell of the noisome chemical added to the naturally odorless gas and don't know what to do in case of a leak. The city aims to increase awareness with this new silent buddy.