We couldn't make this stuff up even if we got our MFA in Creative Writing at USF, got toked up on acid and then tried. But San Franciscans rejoice, your favorite mascot is back.
Yup, the Healthy Penis campaign is back in San Francisco and organizers claim it is better than ever. Not since the Sexual Harassment Panda or Larry the Lobster has a mascot been so confusing.
Only in San Francisco (believe us they tried to move the campaign to Los Angeles and our neighbors to the south were not too excited) is a campaign that may be headed by the worst, at least the strangest, mascot in history. An effort to educate people about syphilis is spearheaded (sorry) by an eight foot healthy penis and his friends.
The campaign began in 2002 after the San Francisco Department of Health conducted several focus groups to see how best to raise (sorry) awareness about syphilis in the city and how best to persuade gay men to get screened.
The city says the campaign was a huge (sorry) success because it led to a significant decrease in syphilis cases. The Healthy Penis was later introduced in in Los Angeles, Portland, Philadelphia, Seattle, Santa Clara County and in Winnipeg, Canada but in a less provocative way we're told.
The campaign has expanded (sorry) to include an African-American penis named Byron the Penis and a Hispanic penis named Pedro the Penis as well. The original penis Clark is heading up the campaign and is still the most recognizable penis in the city. Phil the Sore is also back in the campaign trying to cause all the havoc that syphilis causes. Maybe the scariest part of it all is that the three penises have Facebook and My Space pages, while Phil has his own regularly updated Twitter page.
Needless to say the Healthy Penis drew national attention, including an appearance on the Daily Show in 2003, which you can check out below.
For more information on the campaign or to read the Facebook, My Space or Twitter accounts of your favorite penises and syphilis check out the Healthy Penis page.