A character in a public service announcement that was broadcast over several years in the Portland area. The Kite Man seemed to be some person (or perhaps a team) that dealt with freeing children's kites from lines as well as teaching kite safety (but did they have to think we would be stupid enough to make a kite from wire and wet string?).

Presumably, if one got their kite caught in a powerline they would call the number given and have it freed. I know of no one who ever called this number. I recall few kids actually flying kites — in Portland, it isn't particularly windy.

Still, it's a fun way to jog a fellow Portlanders memory: walk up and say "Is a safe kite made of metal?..."

The commercial as I remember it:

Shot of mustached man in a big kite costume:

"Is a safe kite made of metal?"
Cut to a small group of children seated on the grass who then shake their heads.

Cut back to Kite Man:

"Wire or wet string?"
Back to kids, more in the spirit now.
Kite Man:
"What about frogs?"
Cut to single shot of a girl in the crowd of kids:
"I like frogs."
Kite Man:
"What if your kite winds (he draws out the word as he twirls his eyes theatrically) around a powerline?"
Kids are really "bringing it home" now:
"Call the Kite Man!"
Closeup of almost-smirking Kite Man.
"At Pacific Power" (wink)

A friend who works for the power company says she has some information about the Kite Man, but holds onto it like a bloody state secret — someday I hope to find out the dirt...

Yeah, the line about frogs was always a weird moment... perhaps my first introduction to the non sequitur.

Note: Eco has his own personal memories about the Kite Man but, as I don't remember them myself, I'm hesitant to node them myself. Perhaps he will add a Kite Man "Directors Cut" write-up to this node...

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