Posts Tagged humor

Nunn, God hurt by new law

Award Winning: This column earned the IDS Best Column of the Week award, April 5-9, 1999.

The March 29 front page of the Bloomington Herald-Times announced that the “Mayor envisions city without billboards.” This is one of Bloomington’s many efforts at beautification. Another example of beautification efforts has included work on Kirkwood Avenue.

But this particular mode of beautification is going to be particularly expensive, both for the city, the owner of the billboards and for advertisers who use those billboards. It is expensive for the city because the city must compensate Hoosier Outdoor, the billboard company, for the eliminated billboards. It is expensive for Hoosier Outdoor because they will have their business significantly reduced.

Last but not least, and perhaps the most expensive proposition of all, it is expensive for those who advertise on billboards and are dependent upon the people who respond to those ads for their business. Two people immediately come to mind: Ken Nunn and God.

Odd, isn’t it? In many respects they are diametrically opposed. One is good and one is, many people would argue, bad. Without pointing fingers, I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide which one is which.

Ken Nunn, a local personal injury lawyer, is a significant advertiser around town. He is probably the number one advertiser in Bloomington with four-color ads in the Herald-Times, the phone book and billboards.

But if billboards are eliminated from Nunn’s advertising mix, the number of injured clients who seek his assistance from him will probably drop dramatically, perhaps even forcing him out of business. Naturally, we wouldn’t want to let that happen, because it is important that everybody knows their legal rights.

God, a universal deity, seems mainly to advertise on billboards, although his message is usually sponsored by a number of people in the newspapers Fridays. One of his billboards can be seen on North Walnut as you approach State Road 37.

“Keep using my name in vain, I’ll make rush hour longer,” signed God.

It would be immensely interesting to find out what kind of response rate God’s getting from his ads. This turned out to be impossible to find out, because there are fifty different kinds of churches in Bloomington, according to the Ameritech Yellow Pages.

That’s not counting the fact that five different Lutheran Churches exist: Faith Lutheran Church LCMS, Lutheran Campus Ministry ELCA, Lutheran Church Shepherd of the Hills, St. Thomas Lutheran Church ELCA and University Lutheran Church.

To top it off, that doesn’t include Jewish people, who are relegated to look under “Synagogues — Jewish” instead of the churches. (Before I get any howls of protest that this is indeed appropriate, let me point out that one of the categories under Churches is “Churches — Buddhist.”)

Of course, to get to this point in my logic, one must assume that God is an all-encompassing God and that he does not care which place you go to worship. Whether it is a Jewish synagogue, a Christian church, Buddhist temple or Muslim mosque (although I did not see any in the phone book), God is just happy to have you praying for Him.

Regardless, conducting a survey of these churches and asking about the increase in attendance as a result of God’s billboards around town would be expensive, time consuming and difficult.

Given all the potential problems that come from the elimination of billboards around town, Ken Nunn’s bankruptcy and reduced prayer for God, this is not a decision the mayor should take lightly. The repercussions of this decision could last for an eternity.

In all seriousness, hats off to Bloomington Mayor John Fernandez for undertaking this bold initiative.

I sincerely doubt that the advertisers in this town will suffer tremendously from the loss of this space. Injured people will still make their way to Ken Nunn and God will still win the hearts of many.

The big winners in this decision are the people of Bloomington who will live in a city without billboards — a place where you can see the sky, the trees and historic buildings without a big, ugly billboard getting in the way.

– – – – – –

Ken Nunn and God on the same line
(published April 22, 1999)

Adam Lederer did a good job on his April 9 editorial “Nunn, God hurt by new law.” I must confess that this is the first time my name has been on the same line with God. I am absolutely flattered.

Keep up the good work

Ken Nunn
Attorney at law Nunn and
Green Law Offices

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