Smugglers' Inn started as a theme restaurant in Blaine, Minnesota and has become, if not a legitimate advertising agency, then a viable agency alternative with two dedicated ad employees, Carol Henderson, art director and Jarl Olsen, copywriter. Read the whole saga in these posts or click the pirate to follow the entertaining tweets of our dishwasher, Pongo. Who may or may not be an orangutan.!/PongoTryHard

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fool us once...

Release the Kraken!
...shame on you. Fool us three times, we will go to your house and lie in wait with a canvas mailbag, a zip tie and Rommel, the 12 lb. Maine lobster (and an angry lobster he is). Followers of Smugglers’ Inn will be shocked to learn that there is no event called “Soupstock”, no Prop 192 and no Lagos Entertainment with access to stars like Shakira and Garth Brooks. Oh, and Latka from Taxi? Still dead. Better you should hear it from us than read about it in the Anoka County Shopper.
It appears that your favorite restaurant and ours has fallen prey to a gang of sophisticated crooks whose online signature indicates their headquarters is an internet café in Lagos, Nigeria. The response of our own Department of Homeland Security when we informed them of our suspicions that foreign cyber-terrorists were launching attacks on honest-to-Abe Lincoln American small businesses?
I do not know if this reference predates most of the readers of this blog, but in 276 episodes of Dragnet, Jack Webb never once responded to a concerned citizen with “duh”. If a citizen was hysterical, Joe Friday may have brought her down to earth with a respectful, “Just the facts, Ma’am,” but he would not try to make her feel stupid, even if she had insisted on sharing her hypothesis that her neighbor, whose arrow-riddled corpse was floating face down in his swimming pool, had committed suicide.
To add injury to insult, the souvenir Garth Brooks/Smugglers’ Inn cowboy hats that we had reprinted with “Latka from Taxi” came back from the silkscreeners misspelled. Who will want them now?
Luckily, as one door closes, another opens up. Sometimes, this is because you are standing on a trap door, but in our case, it appears karma has finally gotten off its dimpled behind and rewarded us for being good boys and girls.
I calculate that with a 34% food cost, we would need to sell something like 5,000 bowls of clam chowder to make up for our losses on Soupstock. The stuff is good, but heroin it ain't.
The future was looking bleak until we received an offer to participate in a new business venture that promised to pay us a return almost exactly equal to the amount we had spent on Soupstock. Here’s the really freaky part—this great offer comes from the same country, Nigeria. What are the odds? We can’t discuss details, but suffice it to say once we have established our money laundering-- pardon me, “currency trading” account at The Goodluck Jonathan Bank of Nigeria, we won’t be terribly concerned about a few ruined cowboy hats.
All we really need is a few thousand to get the ball rolling. Anybody out there need some award-worthy Smugglers’ Inn brand mojo? The holidays are coming up; we also do catering. Please think about it. Just please don’t think too long, as after 14 days, this incredible offer will go to another lucky business with a reputation for honesty and the same number of lucky letters in its name.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ladka from "Taxi" to read Smugglers' Inn theme song.

by Lindsay Cheltenham-Pierce, society reporter, Anoka County Shopper

“This is a great day for Smugglers’ Inn and a great day for fans of Taxi,” said a spokesman for the restaurant and sometimes ad agency who spoke with me earlier in the week. The occasion was the announcement that yet another celebrity would be performing “The Ballad of Smugglers’ Inn” during the upcoming charity event known as Soupstock. Previous assertions by Smugglers’ Inn that Shakira or Garth Brooks would be doing those 
honors have proven false.

“I mean, like, we’d still love to hear someone SING it, but after spending all that money just to get blown off by these big stars, we had to set our sights a little lower. Lagos (Lagos Entertainment, the promoters of the event) suggested Latka. The dude that played Latka, Andy Kaufman, does this spoken word stuff. I don’t really understand it. He’s a performance artist. I guess for the last 26 years, he’s been pretending to be dead, so there should be massive interest.”

When asked about their disappointing experiences with Mr. Brooks and Ms. Shakira, Smugglers’ Inn was sanguine.

“We have a saying we have the service industry: people suck. You spend thousands of dollars just getting to these stars. Their handlers just lead you on and you write them checks and then, nothing happens. Thank god, the people at Lagos are going to reimburse us for those expenses, plus the cost of 400 Shakira sings Smugglers’ Inn T-shirts and whatever we spent on those felt cowboy hats with “Garth Brooks and Smugglers Inn”. It’s all good. Except for the part about having to wait to get paid; that isn’t good.”

A date for the Soupstock, which seeks to raise money to help restaurants and hotels that have paid out more than $1,000 in fines after hiring undocumented workers, still has not been set. Calls to the promoters were not returned.
As for Andy Kaufman being alive, rumors to that effect have circulated since the comic’s death was announced in 1984. Several internet sites are dedicated to the theory that the famous hoaxer re-emerged 20 years later with a new identity—Lady Gaga.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Garth Brooks to sing Smugglers' Inn theme song.

by Lindsay Cheltenham-Pierce, society reporter, Anoka County Shopper

“We’re pinching ourselves, I mean, holy sand dabs—Garth Brooks!” said an obviously star-struck Smugglers’ Inn representative who had donned a black hat for the announcement. Brooks, the second-highest grossing solo act of all time after Elvis Presley, reportedly was “touched right here” when he had read the never-recorded lyrics, which recount the story of a struggling business’ fortuitous transition from restaurant to restaurant/ad agency, leaving out the part about the hepatitis scare in 1989 from which this restaurant never fully recovered.
Continued the spokesman, “Garth Brooks is the quintessential American and Prop 291, which is all about American freedom, is right up his alley. Frankly, I never liked what’s-her-name’s music. (A reference to Shakira whom, it had been previously reported here, had been slated to sing the Smugglers’ Inn Theme song.) She’s from Colombia, not the District of--the Colombia by Chile and Brazil. Those people have no conception of time; I think its something in their genes. Anyway, she had conflict. The guys at Lagos were P-O’ed. Well, they sure made it right. Yee-ha! Garth Brooks.”
“Lagos” is Lagos Star Entertainment, the promoters of the concert event known as “Soupstock”, which seeks to raise lobbying money to promote measures granting fast track status to undocumented kitchen workers. Lagos is reportedly in “final negotiation” with the country superstar.