To you, a mattress may be just a comfy place to pass out at the end of the day. But to city council members in McHenry, Ill., a northwest Chicago suburb, it's a public menace.

Well, at least when the mattress is standing by the side of the road, waving to drivers who pass by. See, the McHenry City Council has outlawed business mascots like Mattress Man, a costumed character for the Verlo Mattress Factory store.

The city says it considers these mascots to be "moving signs" that it can regulate. And plenty of other places have banned similar creatures for the nuisance and driving distractions they can cause.

But mascots like Mattress Man may actually represent a more fundamental debate, DePa ul University prof Rodney Blackman tells the Chicago Tribune.  It might be an issue of free speech.

"We're not talking about aesthetics," he says. "We're talking about expression."

Thanks, Dan, for tipping us off to this.

Photo via Flickr, from Little Nashville.