At noon today, supporters of Frontier Airlines, the subject of a potential bidding war between Republic Airways Holdings (which would probably preserve the company in some fashion) and Southwest Airlines (likely to swallow it whole), are rallying at Mayor John Hickenlooper's office. The name given to the protest? "Save the Animals," a reference to Frontier's ultra-successful marketing campaign focusing on the assorted critters who adorn the tails of its aircraft. In this case, obviously, the animals are being used as symbols for the thousands of men and women in this area who make their living as Frontier employees. Nonetheless, if Frontier is subsumed by Southwest, or rebranded by Republic, these characters will be nothing more than memories. A lot of memories.
At this point, Frontier planes sport the images of more than sixty animals, ranging from Montana the Elk and Colorado the Ram to Ollie the Great Gray Owl and Spike the North American Porcupine. But as George Orwell understood, some animals are more equal than others. Meet the big six, complete with their personality profiles:
Larry the Lynx
• Favorite Movie: Airplane
• Quote: "It is an honor to be Frontier's Spokesman... or perhaps I should say Spokescat."
• Favorite Pastimes: Having his whiskers trimmed, cat napping on the tarmac, really big balls of yarn
• Pet Peeves: Lost luggage, hairballs, dirty litter boxes
Foxy the Fox
• Measurements: "Wouldn't you like to know?"
• Favorite Pastimes: Chasing rabbits, "vogueing" on the runway, looking foxy
• Quote: "Not in your lifetime."
• Pet Peeves: Foxtail coats, matted fur, fashionably late arrivals
• Weight: More than it should be
• Quote: "You gonna eat that?"
• Favorite Pastimes: Shaking his groove thing, hibernating, belly rubs
• Pet Peeves: Beehives, bear-skin rugs, delays on the runway
• Nickname: Love Shack Jack
• Favorite Pastimes: Eating carrot cake, getting de-iced, hopping from city to city
• Quote: "I taught the Easter Bunny everything he knows."
• Pet Peeves: Rabbits foot key chains, magicians who pull rabbits out of hats, racing tortoises
• Most Despised Movie: Chicago
• Favorite Movie: Finding Nemo
• Quote: "That better be Dolphin Safe Tuna, Grizwald!"
• Favorite Pastimes: Talking about Mexico, dreaming about Mexico, dreaming about talking about Mexico
• Pet Peeves: Jumping through hoops, blowhole jokes, being mistaken for a porpoise
• Favorite Foods: Eskimo Pie, Gazpacho
• Pet Peeves: Warm fronts, Laryngitis, People asking us to sing "Far, Far Away"
• Favorite Song: I Believe I Can Fly
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• Ambition: To open our own barber shop
• Quote: "Chill out, dude."
Unfortunately, chilling out isn't really an option for Frontier employees. When Mayor Hickenlooper meets with them in a few hours, he'd be well-advised to use a different line.