Giant, purple gorilla delights drivers in Karns

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KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - Much like the cars speeding by on her busy corner, a moment of peace for Alissa Spitler is fleeting.

"There's people going everywhere all the time and they want to get there as fast as they can," she says. "I think we have one second of a quiet moment and then it will start all over again."

But lately, something's making people slow down and take a second look.

His name is Mr. Monkey and he's a giant, purple gorilla.

Any given day, people passing by will see him in Spitler's front yard. He's been in a pile of leaves, in the bushes, even on the satellite dish. Every morning he's in a different spot.

"We decided to move it around. We thought it would be funny," says Spitler. "It was kind of for the kids who always looked for the monkey."

But seemingly overnight, as his location changed, his celebrity grew.

"We didn't ever think people would take so much notice," she says. "It's just cool. Kids around town have taken notice and look forward to going to school so they can see where the monkey is."

The monkey has even made it to Facebook. People have posted, saying they love seeing the monkey move around the yard.

But while this family hopes their stuffed animal will catch your eye, they also hope it will change some hearts.

"It makes us happy, makes us smile that to know in the world we live in today you can find such enjoyment out of something so small," says Spitler.

"Everyone is turning against each other in the election," says Spitler's young daughter, Sheylynn.

In a world where negativity is flying faster than the cars on their corner, a giant purple gorilla is enough to make us all stop and smile.

"He has no political affiliation. He's just here for enjoyment and it just makes our heart happy to know that everyone is enjoying him. It makes our hearts swell," she says.

The gorilla can be seen at the corner of Byington Solway Road and Byington Beaver Ridge Road.