With apologies to Al Snow and the Nervous Eaters, the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi reveals the most curious backyard decorating problem since John Smoltz dragged that poor couple to Home Depot.
One day last spring, while driving north on Georgia Avenue toward my West Palm Beach home, I turned east onto Hunter Street and saw Juan Pierre peeking from a pile of trash. I hit the brakes and backed up to investigate.
Seems Juan Pierre’s head, part of a discarded billboard advertising Marlins games during the 2005 season, was being tossed with other jagged pieces of scrap metal in the parking lot of Clear Channel Outdoor, which handles many of the billboards you see alongside South Florida roadways.
The Marlins tossed Pierre in December 2005, trading him to the Chicago Cubs. But the sight of his head jutting from a pile of garbage was too much for me to handle. In his three seasons with Florida, Juan was an enjoyable interview for beat writers. He even sprayed me with champagne after the Marlins won the World Series in 2003.
So in a fit of temporary insanity ” or is that sanitation? ” I arranged to have Juan Pierre’s head moved to my yard. No small task, since Juan Pierre ” the billboard, not the player ” happens to have a very big noggin.
A Clear Channel employee hauled the head to my house during his lunch break. It’s 5 feet high and nearly 8 feet wide to where the billboard ended at his shoulders. At the edge of the driveway, I grabbed Juan by the chin and dragged him into the yard, his shoulder tearing through the lawn.
We propped the head against the outside wall of the garage and covered it with potted palm trees. We slid our Adirondack chair in front of its shoulders. We moved the potted mother-in-law tongues in front of Juan’s face, adjusted the orchids over his head and …
Wait a minute … There was a Martha moment… Clubhouse chemistry was forming in our yard! Juan Pierre’s head, with its nicks, dents and boot prints, was blending in with the colorful surroundings. The head belonged.