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.

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