Lumberton City, PA--Residents of this sleepy, tucked-away town in, ironically, Pennsylvania coal country have been buzzing over a new arrival for the past several months. Lloyd Howerton, 47, and his family of four relocated to this Allegheny Mountain village from Cherry Hill, NJ for the civil engineer's rapidly advancing career.
The community has warmly welcomed the family with visits, handcrafted pies and social invitations; however, there are quite a few suspicious souls that make their home here.
The majority of the town (yes, a poll was administered by the mayor) is unconvinced that Howerton is a civil engineer. In fact, they strongly believe that the Crowton, England native is the voice behind the gecko of the Geico Insurance television ads.
"The other day I intentionally bumped into him on the street while I was holding a toasted muffin with butter and jam. I tried to get him to say what it was I was holding so I could compare the accent to the tv commercial," said Don Wilson, 71, a retired coal miner. "When I asked, 'Look at what I'm holding, what do they call this in your country?" he just laughed off the question. It was an uncomfortable kind of laugh. Something's not right."
"He claims he's an engineer or something," said Debra Chambers, 59, of Hoit Street. "I mean, I feel like the accent is a perfect match. I know he's the voice, but I don't want to just come right out and accuse him of it. Ya know?"
"Oh, he's the voice," said Donna Billingsly of Cameron Street. "He's the voice. He's no civil whatchamacallit. He's the gecko guy. I can't say it any more plainer."