Right Palm Up, Left Palm Down
In 1984, a ten-year-old boy encountered a mysterious 20-foot-tall fiberglass statue named Louie in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Eight years later, he spotted an identical statue in Tucson. A third sighting outside a run-down convenience store made it a trend. Thus began a scavenger hunt to discover the origins of Louie and his brethren. Only one rule applied: No searching for them on the Internet!

Right Palm Up, Left Palm Down

The Log of a Cross-Country Scavenger Hunt by Gabriel Aldaz

Meet the Characters

This page is devoted to the Muffler Men in the order that I encountered them in my scavenger hunt. The names of most statues are widely accepted, and the numbers roughly correspond to the book chapters. The map and descriptions were accurate in 2009, and are being updated in 2023 with your help! Click on the numbers on the map or the names on the right to learn more about each one.
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Escondido, California


In 2009, five years after the scavenger hunt ended, I made a special trip to Escondido to see the Joor’s Muffler Man, a local celebrity, noted for his seasonal outfits such as Santa Claus.

Location: Joor Muffler, 302 East Valley Parkway
Type: Service station attendant
Accessories: Muffler
Spotlight: Featured in a Travelers Insurance advertisement (2007)
Damage: Santa Claus outfit set on fire
  • Joor's Muffler Man

Seeing a true Muffler Man was a great way to wrap up the scavenger hunt (2009).

2023 Update

Coming soon!