Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Shoe's on the Other Face Now

Who throws a shoe? Honestly! (Apologies to Austin Powers.)

The Presidency is a dangerous business. Almost 10% of everybody who has ever held that office has been assassinated. Others have had close calls. Others still have simply died in office. Compare that to your line of work. Doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

Consider that, during his “farewell tour” of Iraq, President Bush narrowly escaped full facial impact with not one, but two, Rockport walking shoes. Appeared to be about a 10 ½ D, traveling at somewhere around 40 mph. And he wasn’t even wearing a helmet.

Now, some have found the violent assault on the American President amusing. In fact, one lady being interviewed by a TV reporter, laughing, said “He threw one for the world”. Another person suggested the shoes be immortalized by having them bronzed.

CNN’s Michael Ware, reported “Opinion is divided – in support and in condemnation of this action”.

David Letterman, speaking of the President’s impressive lightning-quick reaction that kept him from being nailed in the face, said “I don’t think Bush has dodged anything like that since the Viet Nam war”. Later in the show, somebody chucked a pair at Dave.

Watching the video of this historic moment, I too was impressed with Bush’s agility. He may be the only president we’ve had in my lifetime that was capable of making those effectively thrown missiles miss their intended mark. I imagined what would have happened if previous presidents had been in his place.

Clinton, of course, was accustomed to having articles of clothing thrown at him. But he was never very nimble, and would likely have been carried out with at least one stiletto stuck in his forehead. Hillary would probably have removed the other one and walked barefoot to ride with him in the ambulance.

Bush 41 would have had a coalition of support that would have never allowed this to happen. Matter of fact, that reporter would likely have surrendered his shoes when he walked in the door.

Reagan. He took a bullet! Even a pair of Shaq’s shoes wouldn’t have awakened him from his nap.

Jimmy Carter? Nobody would throw a shoe at Jimmy Carter.

Gerald Ford, I’m afraid, would have been the first POTUS we lost to footwear. Sadly, the culprit might not have even had to remove them. Ford would have just tripped when he walked into the room and strangled himself on the laces.

It is accurate to say that I have not been among President Bush’s greatest fans, but I do want to go on record, right here, right now, condemning this atrocity. I mean, you just can’t go ‘round tossing brogans at the President of the US of A. I like to think that, had I been there, I would have stepped up and taken those shoes up-side the head for my country. Which leads me to wonder “Where was the Secret Service?”

Those dudes are supposed to be ready & able to take a bullet for their boss, and here the poor guy had to artfully dodge two articles of footgear on his own? Those things could have caused mass destruction right there in Iraq. And some of you doubted the weapons were there. The whole thing reeks of conspiracy if you ask me.

I understand the shoes have been confiscated by federal authorities and will be held as evidence. Rest assured that all “foot-age” of this event will be reviewed and studied for decades. A commission will be established, but the findings will probably not be released in our lifetimes. Books will be written. Movies will be made. Songs will be sung. An American legend was born this weekend.

Laugh if you will, but this was George W. Bush’s finest hour. Years from now, we all will remember where we were and what we were doing on the day those fateful shoes were hurled at the head of our very own head of state. And, great president that he is (was), he made ‘em miss.

By far, the smartest, and coolest, thing GWB has done in his eight years in office.

© 2008 Rick Baber


Anonymous said...

Yes sirree, RB. It was the president's finest hour. You obviously wrote this before it was widely known that it was press secretary Dana Perino who took a shoe for her president and country.
I would like to hear more from you, though, on the shoe hurler's accuracy at a pressure moment. Every time I have set myself to clean someone's clock, I'd get close enough to throw the jab and I always missed. Then I'm made and it's my clock that gets cleaned.
This Iraqi was on target with the prez, no less. If Bush doesn't move, he's got Prowalker stamped on his forehead. The shoe hurler could be a general.

Rick Baber said...

Gawd bless Ms. Dana. She's a great American. I've often wanted to smack her with a shoe myself.

Rick Baber said...

Where'd everybody go?
I need a witness for this, my revised headline (before somebody else copyrights it):
"These are the time that fly men's soles".

debby ohl said...

you just crack me up, how did i ever miss meeting you in the 70's, am so glad now to have discovered your wit, and santa is bringing me a copy of cybermouth chronicles for Christmas, my hope for humanity is restored and 2009 looks Rosie once more. debbyo

Anonymous said...

you might not like rick so much when you read the story about a kid pissing on his head
thats just nasty

Rick Baber said...

I'm sure we ran across each other somewhere. A lot of those memories are...how should I say?... lost. I'm glad you're tuning in to the Cybermouth Chronicles (Dinner With WT), and hope you enjoy it. Pay no attention to that mysterious anonymous poster - read 'em all, and lemme know whatcha think!
BTW, I never know if/when my column gets published in the Guard. Did you read this one there, or did you just find it when checking back in with the blog?
Stay warm!

Anonymous said...

Funny! Sadly true, but funny just the same.

Anonymous said...

I'm not kidding I think that Debby chick is hot!!!

Anonymous said...

Here's another one I haven't seen in the paper. Maybe you need to put me on your e-mail list.
BTW, I haven't seen any new art on your website. Got any more ready?

Anonymous said...

to otis -
this article was published in the Morning News today. my question is that shadow character supposed to be baber?

Anonymous said...

Caught this in the Morning News today. Very funny! We hope to read more from you here in nwa!

Anonymous said...

Hey man,

Sorry I'm late posting here - I still find myself in 2009 while still trying to catch up with 2008.

Sign me up as the soundman for that great gig in the sky. You may recall that I made everybody sound a whole lot better than they really were. 'Course, I can't hear as much as I did then...but then who can?

I had flashbacks for a solid 10 minutes after reading some of those names and places people posted. Residual chemicals I guess...

And here's a musical point-n-time for you: Deer, AR, c. 1975, when we built a band from stray Batesville talent for a final gig after the originally-booked band no longer existed...

Bonus round: Name the dudes who jammed in the school cafeteria in Deer that night. (Or maybe it was the gym? Oh yeah, it was both, presumably not at the same time.)