Maugerville — Taking their cue from similar protests across the United States, several students from UNB and St. Thomas have announced plans to publicly condemn local mascot and tourist attraction Harvey’s Big Potato Man.
What was it about the giant spud that prompted these young people to call for the statue’s removal?
“I see it as a symbol of the patriarchy’s stranglehold on produce,” protester Rachel Facey explained. “I mean, why does it have to be the big potato man?”
“Yeah, plus it looks like a dick,” added fellow protester Alex Cleveland. “Which is totally sexist.”
Facey scrunched up her face. “No it doesn’t.”
Embarrassed, another student muttered something under his breath about girth being what really matters.
The organizers have been planning a demonstration for two weeks now, since the beginning of the fall semester. More than 30 students have come together to condemn the fixture, creating T-shirts and signs that spread their message. They even have a slogan, as Facey is quick to chant:
“You Say Potato — We Say Down with Institutionalized Misogyny!”
“That potato is a hero!” exclaimed Luke Dawson, a passionate supporter of the Maugerville market and statue. “They want to condemn the Big Potato Man, but I don’t see them rushing to give up everything that he’s given them, like turnip…and watermelon…and sometimes those molasses cookies. They’re hypocrites!”
Just one day ahead of the scheduled protest, Harvey Harvestor, the eccentric proprietor of the stand, called a small press conference to address the issue head-on.
“The Big Potato Man statue,” he began, “is an icon. It stands as a symbol of not only our modest business, but of our province’s agriculture as a whole. However, that being said, times are changing. It is 2017, after all, and we now know better than to impose a hetero-normative identity onto produce. Therefore, I am proud to announce that we will be making a small adjustment to our beloved statue.
“From this day forward, I decree that the Big Potato Man will henceforth be officially referred to as the Big Potato Person.”
As reporters stood to applaud the proclamation, Harvestor nodded his head proudly and raised his right fist.