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City: Busty Sidewalk Mannequin Must Cover Up

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By David Goguen on May 15, 2009 8:50 AM

Plastic Replica of a Woman Still Needs to Be More Lady-Like

For KT Barbecue's "BarBe" mannequin, there's no Malibu dreamhouse or pink Corvette, just an Ohio sidewalk and a real-life Ken who likes to dress her in skimpy clothing to lure in customers. Specifically, his mail carrier's size-5 "Daisy Duke" short-shorts and a bikini top he got from his godsister's daughter, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. And yes, the fact that we're still talking about a mannequin is the only thing keeping the word "felony" out of that last sentence.

Ken Tessel claims that business at his KT's Barbecue joint is up 40 percent since BarBe was installed on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant in Reading, Ohio. In an interview with the Enquirer, Tessel recited BarBe's measurements and showed off the catalog he picked her out from, saying "She's got big boobs. That's why I bought her." Okay, I promised myself I wouldn't cry, but that is SO romantic.

Not everyone in Reading is in love with BarBe, however. One local told the Enquirer that having the mannequin outside the barbeque place attracts "people who are looking for sex." But willing to settle for a pulled pork sandwich, apparently.

And as far as the city's government is concerned, BarBe is signage, and any new sign requires a permit. So Tessel dressed BarBe in a tasteful loose-fitting shirt and carried her into an appearance before Reading's Design Review Board, the Enquirer reports.

The Board ruled that BarBe can stay on the sidewalk only if she is dressed more modestly, in clothing that is size-appropriate. Tessel wasn't happy with the decision, fuming to the Enquirer that BarBe "should be allowed to wear what she wants," and also suggesting that BarBe's skimpy look was more of a seasonal thing: "She's not going to wear a bikini top in the winter. She's going to bundle up in a thermal shirt."

Of course she is, Ken. Otherwise, this whole thing would just seem really weird.

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