COLLINSVILLE, Ill.—Monday, the city council of the horseradish capital of the world, Collinsville, cried bloody murder against some spicy behavior headed its way—namely, the roving "strippermobile," which had been spotted not within the township, but nearby.
The van-type vehicle was apparently promoting adult entertainment businesses in the area with scantily clad strippers dancing behind glass. The police hadn't actually seen it but city hall had gotten a few calls.
An ordinance banning the activity was drafted that would "prohibit all instances of live entertainment or performances or advertising in, on or emanating from a vehicle or trailer which is moving or momentarily stopped on the street in the city of Collinsville."
When the matter came up during the May 24 city council meeting, chaired by Mayor John Miller, the proposed language was read by the clerk and quickly approved. The police chief, Scott Williams, was asked to give an overview of the situation.
"It's my job to inform the council that this is not a joke," he said, laugher sweeping the room. "If you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them." Everyone knew what was going on. Even the mayor chuckled.
One councilwoman was not amused. She mentioned the time a few years back when they had tried the same thing, and had even driven by some schools as the kids were coming out with. It was "sick and wrong,' she said, adding, "And I've talked with at least one person whose little child said, 'Mommy, what are they doing?' And, you know, just to have that kind of exposure out there. And not just to kids, but to others that really don't care to see it."
The mayor was upset, too. "I mentioned to the city manager this afternoon. I said, it's really bad when the city council has to adopt an ordinance such as this, when it's such terrible, non-family-oriented type of advertisement in a community. But I'm glad we're doing it to keep this out of our community."
The same councilwoman had a warning for Collinsville. "And lest anyone think that, gosh, it will go away or that sort of thing," she said, "I would just call your attention to ... I saw an article, I think towards the end of last year about a community on the West Coast—go figure—that had passed an ordinance that allowed people to walk nude around the community. So sometimes it is the salami and the string thing—we'll just nibble a little here and how much you put up with. So lest anything think that we're acting maybe a little more strongly than we should, some things that you would have thought a few years ago would absolutely be impossible to happen in this country, are happening."
Murmurs of agreement, after which the roll call was taken, and the motion passed unanimously. "Definitely, yes," said the mayor, casting the final vote.
However, considering the (hastily written?) language of the ordinance—prohibiting "all instances of ... advertising in, on or emanating from a vehicle or trailer which is moving or momentarily stopped ..."—won't any trucks, buses or cars with advertising on them now be prohibited, even those that roll slowly through the neighborhood calling kids out to buy?
Did the "strippermobile" just kill the Collinsville ice cream truck?