Becky Fenger | February 25, 2009
The "gimme" gotcha
Sheer brilliance. That's what the playful idea hatched by KFYI (550AM) radio talk show host Bruce Jacobs turned out to be when President Barack Obama visited Dobson High School in Mesa, Ariz., last Wednesday to unveil his plan to bail out mortgage holders from foreclosure.
The police estimated the crowd between 1,000 to 2,000. Not surprisingly, newspaper reporters put the numbers at 450 to 550. Lined up along Guadalupe Road, in places two or three deep, nobody in the throngs got loud or obnoxious. Nobody in the press got the joke, either. Such is the state of the nation's psyche in these times.
Obama supporters and worshipers went to great lengths to sleep out on the cold ground overnight to get first shot at the several hundred tickets to the Presidential speech at the school. Most of the students had to watch Obama weave his magic on classroom monitors, as only a select few of them got special invitations to be in the room with him.
Jacobs' plan was to draw a crowd of folks who are appalled at the mindset that the President should be Santa Claus with taxpayer money to give all things to all people who feel entitled to houses, cars, vacations and all other manner of wants and desires. Surely you remember witnessing the sob stories (reminiscent of the TV show "Queen for a Day," for readers old enough) of voters during the Obama campaign who demanded to know what he would do for them. Remember the lady who wanted a new kitchen, the kid who wanted mandated pay raises for time spent on his McDonald's job, and the woman who said she wouldn't have to worry about paying to gas her car anymore now that Obama triumphed.
The message that Jacobs asked his listeners to send, and the spirit in which it was delivered, was one of mirthful creativity. The folks who gathered at T.G. Eggington's restaurant before Obama's arrival weren't protestors or hecklers. They were mock supporters of Obama's Stimulus Plan to throw money at everything animal, vegetable or mineral.
In that vein, individuals crafted their own placards with their want lists to hold up for the Presidential cavalcade. Here's where the cleverness emerged. One bald man held a sign asking Obama for free hair plugs. Another wanted free beer for his horses. Here are some more things smiling folks asked Obama for: A cabin by the lake; My own chef; No more work; Help in getting rid of ground squirrels; Big screen TV; and a Baby grand piano. One lady wanted a Pony, but the photo on her sign was of a slick Mustang auto. Kids were there, too. One wanted a Dirt bike. On a more personal level, one woman pushed for a tummy tuck.
A man, holding his tiny Chihuahua, held a sign asking for Another Chihuahua. I guess you could say his needs were small (I couldn't resist that crack). Jacobs himself held a sign asking for Baseball tickets, not surprising with his sports background. He was joined by fellow KFYI talk show host and former congressman J. D. Hayworth who caught a glimpse of one sign which simply said: "I want; I want; I want!"
About 45 minutes before President Obama's limo arrived, one carrying Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner rolled past the people lining the street. Maybe he read enough of the homemade signs to contact Obama on his Blackberry, warning his driver to use a different route to enter Dobson High School--- which is precisely what he did.
What boggles the mind is that apparently not one local news account of this event reported the fun joke. Worse, as Bruce Jacobs points out, is that not one person attending the event approached one of these fake "moochers" to call them out on their selfish, entitlement mentality. We Americans have become so accustomed to citizens (and even non-citizens) demanding stuff that no one even noticed. For shame!
Courtesy Photo: Bruce Jacobs, KFYI (550AM) radio talk show host