Outside a Fire Station, a Manger, a Menorah, and… What?!

At a fire station outside Deerfield Beach, Florida, there’s a Nativity Scene and a menorah. And, with the help of the ACLU, atheist Chaz Stevens just added a display of his own to the mix.

[Image removed at the insistence of Mr. Stevens]

That, my friends, would be a Festivus Pole. Made of beer cans.

Stevens’ pole, constructed from 23 Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans, follows the proud Festivus’ tradition of having a “very high strength-to-weight” ratio, while still be considered “extremely low maintenance.”

I suppose a pole would be appropriate outside a fire station…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • JasmynMoon

    It would be equally appropriate outside of a strip club.

  • Jen Ibrahim

    Begin the airing of the grievances and the feats of strength…

  • Sheldon Cooper

    Festivus for the rest of us! ;)

    I would prefer a status of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, though, I’m a proud Pastafarian.

  • William Assper

    That’s awesome—and hilarious. These are the kinds of “general winter solstice timeframe” displays that atheists should be lobbying to erect in the public square. Not some obtuse “holiday” display with a message deriding religion. You don’t see signs above the nativity and menorah that say “Become a Jew/Christian. Atheism is ridiculous”.

  • Lee Miller

    How long until it’s vandalized . . .

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351473675 Matthew Baker

    It would seem to be a Hipster Festivus pole

  • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

    LOL, cute. My fire station has Santa with his reindeer and elves. But if they started adding religion, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Festivus pole or a solstice display.

  • nomnom

    People who drink Pabst should be put on a watch list for possible acts of assholishness

  • JohnnieCanuck

    But. But. The Pope said there weren’t any animals in the stable. 

    The Bible doesn’t mention them. He didn’t read it there. That settles it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gordon-Maples/520438539 Gordon Maples

    Decorating for the holidays is way easier than I thought. I’m very down with this.

  • Ronlawhouston
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1340633716 Maria Fontana Franklin


  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    I would *LOVE* if it was available a good-sized FSM depiction display for under $100, so we could have them put up next to Nativity scenes at courthouses, town halls, and fire houses across the country!

    If there is some Pastafarian-friendly person out there who is handy with physical production skills, this would be a fantastic way to contribute to the movement.

  • Robster

    Ahh..the great god beer, the one that’s always there. It’s enough to give me the warm and fizzies.

  • Helanna

    . . . Soooo how much do you think we could make if we opened an Etsy shop or something with, say, giant painted plywood cut-outs of the FSM in holiday gear?

    Man I wish I had any physical production skills, ’cause I’d go for it.

  • Michael

    You could always ask the people who already do FSM holiday ornaments on Etsy.

  • Bad_homonym

    In our family that is usually some sort of arguement followed by a fight!

  • Coyotenose

    The history of Jewish peoples combined with their minority status precludes that sort of behavior. However, it is implicit in Christianity given the larger context of the religion: No gods before Me, I am the only way, the threat of Hell, the majority social pressure built up over many centuries… All that the anti-religion displays do is say the same thing as most Christian ones, but overtly. Their offense is that they’re HONEST.

  • Coyotenose

     The great god Beer presented himself to the Sumerians. Given how long ago their heyday was, according to Creationist thought*, He is necessarily older than the universe.


  • NotTHATguest

    Nice. I think I will do one with different brands of beer.

  • nakedanthropologist

    That’s pretty damn awesome, if you ask me.

  • Lurker111

    He didn’t have any Rolling Rock cans available?

  • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

    I love those! Too bad they’re so expensive. We really need a cute mass-produced FSM ornament.

  • Artor

    I have a hard time imagining a tower of beer cans outside a fire station is “extremely low maintenance.” How often do you think the beer needs to be re-stocked? Daily? Hourly? It seems like the tower would get shorter pretty quickly.

  • Artor

    Ninkasi was the Sumerian goddess of beer. Also the name of a local brewery here…

  • Hermann

     Grievances?? Sure, I didn´t get any beer!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    I’m thinking of it more as a way to support the movement, rather than a way to make money. 

    There’s nothing wrong with making money, but it’s also cool to do things just to advance a worthwhile cause (and maybe get some blessings from his noodliness). 

    Meanwhile, I like your plywood idea…. maybe what we really need is a plastic (weather resistant) banner that could be tacked onto  plywood. The most common plywood is apparently 4-feet by 8-feet, usually costing less than $20. 

    Is there an artist who can create a ~ 4-foot by 8-foot FSM image and a place to get plastic banners done? 

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    I agree. I love Etsy’s FSM stuff. But it is out of my price range.

  • Godlesspanther

    I hate to be a Festivus Grinch, but…

    They really didn’t put much time, energy, imagination, nor concern for aesthetics into this one. 

    This is a stack of beer cans. The end result — it looks like a stack of beer cans. It’s not impressive.

    Come on heathens — we can do better that that. 

  • Helanna

    Supporting the movement is great, but . . . I’m a broke college student. :(

    You’re right though, I would love to support the movement. 

    I dunno, I’m really going to think about this. Probably can’t do much for this year but maybe by next year at some point. I’m gonna talk to an artist friend of mine, maybe she’ll have some design ideas (or knowledge of where to get cheap plastic banners, because a brief Google search shows that they run pretty expensive). I don’t know how feasible any of this is, but we can at least try. 

  • Gus Snarp

    Unless of course your point is mockery of the foolish idea of having religious displays on government property at all. Inclusion of multiple religious viewpoints is not the solution here, as it forces the government to open itself to displays by every tasteless fool around. The real solution is for religious displays to be left up to private groups and individuals. Hence, a festivus pole of beer cans, to demonstrate the tasteless foolishness they’ve opened themselves too.

  • Gus Snarp

    I question his claim of a high strength to weight ratio. At the very lest the connection points between the cans lower the ratio dramatically. And what kind of strength should be measured? Beer cans have a high strength to weight ratio for straight vertical compression, but they’re very weak laterally or under torsion.

    An old friend of mine has a Festivus celebration every year. He’s too far away for me to go usually, but one of these days I will attend.

  • Gus Snarp

    There’s also this: http://www.cigarcitybrewing.com/
    But microbrews are rarely available in cans, though I hear that’s the latest trend. Damn hipsters.

  • The Other Weirdo

     Blasphemy! Thou shalt not vandalize fallen beer cans.

  • Michael Pipkin

    I hope, for Mr. Stevens’ sake, that he poured all that beer down the drain and did not consume it.  Drinking PBR qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment….