O'Donnely Brand Paper Place Mats

From Plastic Tub

The O'Donnely's Ribhouse and Honkytonk chain, founded by Ryan O'Donnely, was a heady blend of hubris and raw masculinity. Using a d├ęcor that was "suffused with a muscular Christinaity," in the words of one anonymous editorialist, the restaurant's appeal was immediate and immense. In the words of Shawn Peasmith, PhD candidate at FSU, "O'Donney's is the definition of a Poob Magnet."

Whatever the case, his placemats certainly endeavored to live up to his image as a square-jawed and some would say, ham-fisted sports hero, a natural politician with a big smile and a helping hand ready to serve up a mound of chili-cheese fries and half-pound hamburgers. "His pitchers of beer are always ice cold and make rings on those cool place mats." -- Fat man interviewed in O'Donnely's TV ad, 1979.

O'Donnely was a norious racist and the placemats reflect this: One favorite activity, for example, was a maze called Help the Nigger Home.

In addition to being peppered with jokes, riddles, crosswords, puzzles, puns, Fun Facts and other trivia, the O'Donnely placemats sported a unique brand of vitriol and agit-prop of a right-wing nature, usually in the guise of good-natured yarns but with the occasional hysterical screed thrown in.

An entire subculture of collectors and traders has sprung up around the thousands of mat designs known to have existed. Art Doll, AA fan and utopian visionary, had over 500 different mats.

See Also

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