Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid of the 'Cardiff Kook'

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCSanDiego

    Last year, Encinitas' most infamous statue, the Cardiff Kook, was adorned with a giant pumpkin head for Halloween. Just like clockwork, pranksters came back this year and dressed the statue up as Jason from the "Halloween" movies, with a machete dangling from his hand and a hockey mask on his face

    The bronze statue, of a surfing man has been criticized since its debut, in 2007. There have been many reasons for the criticisms of the statue; some feel the surfer does not represent the surfing community well -- its pose is awkward and an improper representation of real surfers. Others criticize the statue because they think it's just plain ugly.

    Throughout the past three years, people have dressed the Cardiff Kook up in various outfits, including bikini tops and skirts, scuba gear and evening gowns. The Cardiff Kook has also been decorated with umbrellas and flags secured to its hand, and posters placed on its body. The most elaborate and headline-worthy prank came when the statue was surrounded with a giant papier-mache shark, creating the illusion that it was being eaten by the great white shark a la "Jaws."

    "My personal reaction is I love it," said Encinitas Mayor Dan Dalager. "The city's reaction is that we do not condone or encourage these kinds of things."

    Although outfits and props are always taken down by city officials, that doesn’t stop pranksters from dressing up their favorite kook in town.