Allah hates dancing!! Especially by fountain drinks. ::the horror!!!::
Quiznos cup gets order to go
BLUFFTON: Some don't savor the mascot's honk-getting antics.
Carolina Morning News
Quiznos' quirky dancing cup recently got a taste of disappointment after Beaufort County code enforcement officers ordered the fast food mascot to get its straw off U.S. 278.
The bebopping inflatable fountain drink has been entertaining lunch-bound Bluffton motorists since the restaurant's Nov. 8 opening.
But then the cup got served.
Citing a county sign ordinance that bans both "moving signs" and "off-premise signs," codes enforcement officers recently ordered the cup to go.
"(Quiznos) can't do that," said codes enforcement administrator Michael Hudson.
"That's considered an illegal sign."
Fearing a fine, managers confined the dancing mascot to the parking lot of the Low Country Village shopping center where the restaurant is located.
The cup might be only half visible now, but it was apparently still brimming with caffeine Tuesday.
"I don't know if they notice me, but they do honk once in awhile," said the cup's human inhabitant, Beth Hance, as cars whizzed on U.S. 278. "They noticed me a lot more before."
The energetic 39-year-old Bluffton woman still grooves silently while listening to The Temptations on her headphones. But with trees buffering bypassers' views, she doesn't get much response these days.
Nor does the restaurant. The farther away the cup moves from U.S. 278, the more sales dip.
In the two weeks since Hance was ordered off U.S. 278, lunch sales have plummeted, said assistant manager Shirley Gillison.
"We got a whole lot of people coming in saying if wasn't for the cup, they wouldn't even know we were here," Gillison said. "Now they ask, 'What happened to the cup?' ... It was a great boost to have her out there."
Quiznos customer Matt Valentino likes the dancing cup.
"He's a good cup, too, because he's always dancing and doesn't take breaks," the 17-year-old Blufftonian said. "I think they should let him be."
His friend, Samantha Britt, 17, agrees.
"He has a right to dance on the side of the road," Britt said. "As long as he doesn't run into traffic, I don't care."
But others did care.
County codes officers received several complaints about the cup, said Hudson.
The cup was dancing close to the road, in a public right-of-way, which is not allowed, he said.
Because the dancing mascot bears the Quiznos Sub logo, it is considered a sign and all signs must receive a county permit, Hudson said.
Other businesses have attempted to circumvent the law by having workers man their signs, but merely having human attendants doesn't make a sign legal.
There is one notable exception to the county's sign law. Billboards and placards on top of cars aren't covered because codes officers have no authority over vehicles, Hudson said.
Fines for violating Beaufort County's sign ordinances can range from $100 to $1,087 per offense. Warnings are usually issued first.
If the future of Quiznos' dancing cup seemed half-full Tuesday, it was draining fast.
Even in its own parking lot, the dancing "sign" still isn't legal, Hudson said, because it has not received a permit from the county.
Hudson didn't say whether the law would apply to cups dancing on top of cars.
Reporter Stephanie Ingersoll can be reached at 837-5255, ext. 110, or