Charlotte The Cow takes on Wendy’s and Michael Lee from State Farm

Boothbay store jumps into a hilarious sign war that started in Central Maine

Thu, 05/06/2021 - 11:15am

    BOOTHBAY—A sign war trending all over Maine is bringing some laughter and lightheartedness with dueling messages between businesses.

    Michael Lee, an agent of State Farm based in Waterville, whose business is across the street from a Wendy’s restaurant, prompted the first move by posting the challenge: “Hey Wendy’s! Want To Start a Sign War?

    The photos of the exchange, posted on the businesses’ various social media channels last week, tell the story. The name of the game of a sign war is to be cheeky, use puns, and lob a good-natured diss.

    When Wendy’s posted, “What are you wearing Mike from State Farm?” a reference to the State Farm commercial, Michael Lee of State Farm then upped the ante with a reply, referencing Wendy’s “buns.”

    Ohhhhh game on. Now we’re cooking with gas.

    Speaking of gas, Michael Lee went there in a reference to Wendy’s chili.

    Probably not unexpectedly, other businesses wanted to get in on the action.

    The Boys and Girls Club YMCA at the Alfond Youth Center managed in 12 words to name-check Wendy’s and Michael Lee with a pun on fitness. Then the Silver Street Tavern decided to message The Boys and Girls Club to come over for happy hour (which is even funnier as the Boys and Girls Club kids are only ages 6-12 years old).

    Later that week, a woman in a cow mascot uniform who goes by Charlotte The Cow (preferring to keep her real name anonymous) roped Boothbay Harbor in on the game. Charlotte, who works for The Smiling Cow in Boothbay Harbor, posted her own sign, asking: “Got Milk?”

    Staff at The Smiling Cow told Pen Bay Pilot that they hadn’t bought the costume for her—she went out and bought it herself just for fun. “I got into dressing up as a cow last year,” Charlotte said. “In 2019, I got injured at work, and was bored at home, so decided to buy a couple of inflatable cow suits to run out and greet tour buses that come into Boothbay Harbor. I went through two of them last summer and I decided to invest in an actual cow mascot suit.”

    “There aren’t many people who know about Charlotte The Cow yet, so I thought this was a great way to introduce her to the public,” she said. “As soon as a friend showed me Wendy’s post, I said ‘I want in!’”

    Charlotte The Cow may end up making an appearance in the Midcoast this week, as she’s free-range.

    “I actually suffer from severe depression and anxiety and putting that suit on and walking out of the store, seeing the kids out on the dock, they light up,” she said. “They make me feel better knowing that they’re having a great time.”

    Charlotte’s sign mooved the needle: Wendy’s just responded with their own sign calling her “udderly amoozing.”

    To stay up on the current incarnations, follow #centralmainesignwar on Twitter and Facebook.

    Kay Stephens can be reached at