PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia is looking to shed the negative designation heaped on it by Travel & Leisure Magazine of having the "least attractive people" of any city in America.
"You know what's killing us?" said Mayor John Street. "Stodgy old William Penn, that's what's killing us." The mayor was referring to the bronze statue of the city's founder that has adorned the top of City Hall for more than 100 years. "Hell, when I get to be 100, I hope I look so good, but let's face it: it is not a pretty sight," said the mayor.
The solution? A sexier William Penn.
Mayor Street personally conducted a nationwide search for a new William Penn and chose an African American woman named Jessica Mars, 22. Mars was all set to don Penn's famous hat, but nothing else, when the selection drew fire from a variety of civic groups. "The naysayers made a big deal out of the fact that William Penn supposedly was a Caucasian male, not a black woman," said the mayor. "I mean, have you ever heard of anything so ludicrous? I was appalled that people could be so mean-spirited."
Street reconvened the search and tapped 22-year-old model Jacob Cornish to be Penn. Cornish will man the perch every day from sun-up to sun-down, but he will not be decked out in the accouterments common to noblemen of the late 1600s, or in anything else, for that matter. "Who would the ladies rather look at: the guy on the Quaker Oats box, or a Chippendales dancer?" the mayor asked. Street defended criticisms that Cornish sports tattoos. "Who's to say it's not historical? I mean, did you ever see a picture of William Penn's naked body? For all we know, William Penn might have had tattoos exactly like Jacob's."
Cornish is not letting his new gig go to his head. "I'm just, like, worried that the chicks who see my [penis] won't understand it's, like, really cold up there, dude."