Big Pink Pig
Hatch, New Mexico
On a whim, Teako Nunn of Hatch, New Mexico, bought a giant statue of a pink pig. He kept it in the lot of his RV dealership, then moved it to his downtown restaurant, Sparky's. No one had any problem with it.
Then Teako moved the pig again, to the outskirts of town, and he hung a sign on it to advertise his restaurant. That's when the trouble started.
It turned out that Teako had broken obscure city and state laws by hanging a sign on his pig. Arcane infractions can sometimes be overlooked, but not this time. A handful of people in Hatch didn't want a pig -- even an adorably goofy pig -- as the first thing that travelers saw when they entered town. They used the law to try to make the pig disappear. The prodigious porker, mired in bureaucratic mud, seemed doomed.
But then something surprising happened. In 2010, Teako and his wife, Josie, mounted a "Save the Pig" campaign in its defense -- and they won. The pig not only survived, it became a celebrity. Today it still stands at the entrance to town, and there's a worn patch in the weeds next to it, tamped down by its many shutterbug fans.
"It's been good for us in a kind of crazy way," Teako said. Business is up in the restaurant, traffic is up in town. "People come in and eat and we talk and everybody's happy," said Teako. "It turned out it's okay to have a big pink pig."