Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of RoadsideAmerica.com
March 18, 2010
The tailpipe-hoisting icon of Buck’s Muffler Shop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, fell to a minivan on St. Patrick’s Day.
“His right leg is busted up really bad, in lots and lots of pieces,” said Jerry Wallenstein, owner of the shop and of Mr. Bendo, a Muffler Man. “The other one’s all there, but it’s just about cracked off. That guy crushed it.”
(Note: there are several other Mr. Bendos across the country. They have not been harmed.)
The 27-year-old driver tried to make a turn in front of the muffler shop and instead plowed into it and Mr. Bendo. The driver had rear-ended another vehicle elsewhere in Sioux Falls before his encounter with the statue. “He was drunk, no insurance,” said Jerry of the driver. “It’s a good thing he hit the building. That saved the leg a little.”
Jerry said that it might take a month or two to repair the legs and get Mr. Bendo back up, but he vowed that it would be done. “If I don’t, the people of Sioux Falls are gonna run me out of town,” he said. “It just happened last night, and it’s just been call after call after call after call.”
An impromtu Facebook support group — Fix Mr. Bendo — was rapidly accumulating fans; at some point, if Bendo stays down, we predict it could exceed the population of Sioux Falls.
Mr. Bendo has held aloft his tailpipe since 1963.
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