“Quirky” Winters Makes the News
Channel 10 ABC Sacramento did a fun little piece on our lucky quirky charm…
See the video here:
An April fool’s joke has turned into a sort of a “long running joke” in the small town of Winters.
A lonely parking meter showed up on main street last year. It was removed but then another parking meter returned in its place. The prankster didn’t stop there. He has been spreading subtle jokes throughout the town.
“It’s all in good fun,” says the man known as “Tall Bruce.”
When you first drive into Winter city limits, you will probably notice two things. Small town charm and a parking problem. The population of Winters is around 7,000 people, there is only a few hundred parking spots and just one parking meter. The lonely meter sits in front of the Ace Hardware and, to say the least, it’s a little confusing for tourists.
“People don’t have to pay it,” Tall Bruce said. “I was just making a joke of the parking problem.”
The meter doesn’t create much revenue. Just five cents will get you 30 minutes on the meter. The profit is dropped off monthly to city call and goes towards the firework fund.
The first parking meter was removed. City manager John Donlevy says when the second one showed up, he took that as a hint to start working on the parking problem.
“The city manager is often the target of these jokes,” Donlevy said. “The meter is now part of the town. We don’t enforce it and we don’t have a meter program.”
The parking meter prank isn’t the only joke “Tall Bruce” plays on tourists.
He started a fake, private investigators office inside an abandoned building on main street. A window on the second floor says Sam Spade Private Detective. He named it after the Humphrey Bogart film Maltese Falcon.
“There is a phone number on the window,” Tall Bruce said. “If you call it, you will be sent to an answering machine.”
Someone actually listens to the messages and if you are calling from a cell phone you may receive a response.
“The best message was from a woman wanting Sam to find her a rich husband,” Tall Bruce noted.
Two years ago, Tall Bruce set-up a scarecrow on a wall. Someone mistook it for a real person and called the police. Then, on the first week of December, Tall Bruce organized to have an old warn-out piano purchased on craigslist, dropped from a fork lift.
So far most of his joke have been received well. “Just for laughs” Bruce says if anyone has problems with the prank they can call Sam Spade’s Private Detective Service.
Copyright 2016 KXTV