Portage la Prairie, MB –
The assault on historic monuments is hitting Portage la Prairie hard and it may cost the idyllic city its premiere tourist attraction.
Protesters will assemble Monday night to highlight their efforts to have the world’s largest Coke can removed or replaced with a healthier option.
“It’s an offensive sight to have tower above our skyline while our people suffer,” head protester Adam Carmichael said. “What does this ungodly thing say to our children. It must go.”
Carmichael’s group see the tourist beacon as a symbol to the growing obesity and diabetes epidemic and want the city to take a leadership role in addressing their concerns.
“Fellow diabetics are losing limbs and sight on a regular basis because of a high sugar diet our culture forces on people,” Carmichael said. “Youth are more obese and inactive than ever in our community and our biggest monument helps promote it.”
For years, the giant pop can has pulled tourists off the highway for photos with many of them staying around long enough to grab gas and urinate.
“Portage is the perfect piss stop on the Trans Canada Highway,” city spokesperson Anita Roswell said. “The Coke can is a big part of that. If we were to lose the attraction we’d miss out on millions of tourism dollars.”
“You can’t put a price on health,” Carmichael said. “We spend more money on dialysis than we’d get from tourists anyway.”
While the protestors would prefer the immediate removal of the structure they are willing to consider options.
“The city told us they would look at painting the can to make it a beer can or some other canned beverage but that doesn’t address our main concern.”
The group is opposed to any type of commercial beverage being advertised on the site and prefer it be returned it to it’s original water tower state.
“We don’t think anybody would turn off the highway to take a picture of an old water tower,” Roswell said. “We’ll look at other options like perhaps the world’s largest shot gun shell or the world’s largest roll of bologna or salami.”
“In our initial focus groups, the consensus was that people would want to take a photo with with world’s largest meat. It didn’t seem to matter what kind, but the world’s largest farmer’s sausage seems kinda fun.”
Carmichael admits there would be an attraction to having a picture next to the biggest farmer’s sausage on the planet he would prefer the city stay away from meat and opt for a vegan option.
“We don’t want to be in the same spot a few months down the line with vegans wanting the monument down,” Carmichael explained. “The city should look at making it the world’s largest pickle or cucumber. It would have the same phalic appeal but be less controversial.”