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Irma and Goliath

Updated on September 27, 2017
Tom Lohr profile image

Tom Lohr has eaten a hot dog at all 30 MLB ballparks and is the author of "Gone to the Dogs: In Search of the Best Ballpark Hot Dog."

Muffler Men, like this cowboy in Gallup, NM, are icons of the American road.
Muffler Men, like this cowboy in Gallup, NM, are icons of the American road. | Source

David knocked a giant down with a rock from a sling. In that story, David was the good guy. This year, in a turnabout of events, a woman named Irma is the antagonist and an army of aging giants are the guys you should be root for. And instead of Irma being a person, she is one of the most menacing hurricanes in memory.

Wind and muffler men don't mix. Make that hurricane force winds and you have a recipe for some serious damage to our fiberglass family. And as the saying goes: “the bigger they are, the harder they fall.” While most citizens were worried about Florida residents getting out of Irma's path, our gigantic friends had nowhere to go. A 20 foot tall, stiff lumberjack just isn't going to fit in the station wagon. The Sunshine State's crop of muffler men had to be left behind to fend for themselves. It was them against Irma. Using the Dynamic Muffler Man Tracker (readily available on the web), we put in some calls to the caretakers of these Florida-based giants to see how they fared. The results were mixed.

Cape Coral

The grocery bag hugging Big John, according to the landlord of the shopping center where he greets customers, suffered no damage. His large smile continues to be infectious.

Big John in IL, similar to the one in Cape Coral
Big John in IL, similar to the one in Cape Coral | Source


Tootsie, the beloved Uniroyal Gal, had the benefit of owners with foresight. The workers of Edmunds Metal Works took precautions to protect their precious girl and took her down as Irma approached. They are taking the opportunity to have some cosmetic restoration done. Mums the word though. No gal likes the word getting out that she has had work done.

The famous Tootsie
The famous Tootsie | Source


This guy has been missing for a while. Hurricanes are the least of his worries. Anybody seen him?

Tampa (50th St)

No damage reported to this titan of the auto repair industry.

Tampa (E Fletcher Ave)

No damage reported to this colossus of car care either.

One of the several Florida mechanic Muffler Men
One of the several Florida mechanic Muffler Men | Source


After fighting a brave battle, Irma got the best of our wrench wielding friend. He was blown to the ground and is being prepared for repair. His owners say he will once again stand tall, waiting to unbolt that supersized screw in the near future.

Dade City

Paul Bunyan, sporting an open-end wrench instead of an axe, also took a spill after being battered by Irma. But all is well and he is just waiting to be helped up by his owners.

Giants 4 Irma 2

Overall, considering that Irma was supposed to be the storm of the century, the Muffler Men (and gals) of Florida did as well as could be expected. The throngs of their ardent admirers had feared the worst, imagining that at least one would end up looking like the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz after the flying monkey attack. We can all breathe easy now, once the tourists have gone home, and the residents passed on, Florida will still be a land of giants.


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