Joshua Hawkins said the request seemed “pretty weird,” but the dark-haired man who made it was offering cash, and a lot of it.
The man said his name was Nate and he wanted Mr. Hawkins, a local artist, to paint an enormous Soviet-style mural of Cookie Monster — the voracious, pastry-loving “Sesame Street” creature — and three Russian words on a commercial building in Peoria, Ill.
When the job was done over Thanksgiving weekend, the man paid in full and Mr. Hawkins, 33, proudly displayed the mural on his Facebook page.
But Mr. Hawkins learned C can also be for Caper.
Less than a week after the mural went up, Mr. Hawkins said he received a call from the real Nate Comte, who said he had never commissioned the Cookie Monster mural.
The mural was short lived, but as Cookie Monster likes to say, “No cry because cookie is finished. Smile because cookie happened.”