A BEAST EXCLUSIVE!
Confessions of Sarah Palin’s would-be Egger
By “Mr. Egg-thrower”
When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat. –George Carlin
Last night I was arrested, handcuffed and placed in the back of a squad car for the first time. My crime: I threw an egg at Sarah Palin’s book signing in Rochester, NY. Why had I gone rogue? I shall explain.
November 21, 2009, 9:00 pm—I am drinking beer, processing low-grade champagne and relaxing with the wife. I am preparing to immerse myself in the sweetly escapist World of Warcraft. The local news is playing in the background, and I’m not paying it much attention. Soon, however, I hear the names Palin and Henrietta Borders. My heart jumps when reporters reveal that Sarah Palin is in Rochester, signing her putrescent drivel, just 10 minutes from my home! They show a smiling throng of Palin supporters lined up to meet Caribou Barbie herself. One woman is dressed as a lookalike of Palin: Imagine Tina Fey, only older and not quite right. The reporter interviews this doppelganger, who mutters something incoherent (I suppose she was “in character”) and they move on to cover the anti-Palin protest. A lone shot of a handful of shivering hippies is dismissed with several words from our intrepid reporter.
My mind races. The event is slotted from 6-9 pm. Will it go over time? What can I do, and will my actions actually mean something? I think back to earlier in the day, when I read an article about Palin’s most recent lie about health care reform. It seems that on top of having “death panels” to kill Grams, Comrade Obama wants to imprison real Americans who refuse to buy insurance. I would have shrugged this off as so much political bologna if I had not been pondering a report in the American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 99, No. 12). This Harvard study linked lack of health insurance to 44,789 deaths per year. That is to say, in the last year, fifteen times as many Americans died due to lack of health insurance as died in the September 11th attacks. To make matters worse, America has over 8 million uninsured children. I’ve been fuming over this for months, and today I see her lies gaining ground, right here, where I live. In my mind, her demagoguery aimed at blocking health care reform may lead to thousands of preventable deaths. Sometimes a lie is more dangerous than a bullet.
Now the internal debate begins: Why didn’t you, uninformed, crappy citizen, hear about this sooner? Go get dressed and move your ass to the protest…but it’s probably over and I should stay here warm with wife, beer and Warcraft… Gah! But what if Palin is still here? This is potentially a crucial moment. What kind of a man are you!? What would your ancestors think? My mind pans to what I remember of American history— American colonists assembling to throw snowballs at British soldiers, an event that led to the Boston Massacre. What if those people had been too lazy and comfortable to get out in the cold to raise some hell? We’d probably already have universal health care like Canada and Australia. And slavery would have ended much sooner. Things might not be that bad, actually. But if the likes of Palin and Glenn Beck can wrap their stupidity in patriotism, then so can I, dammit! I throw on some clothes, kiss the missus and reach for the nearest projectile weapon: a free-range, organic egg. Like some half-assed, disheveled minute man, “musket” in hand, I shoot out to my car and gallop down the road to Borders Books.
I park behind an Uno’s Pizza joint and make my way on foot. Hmm… no deluded zealots, and no patchouli-soaked hippies. Am I too late? I march past the door. The place is a wretched mess. Many people are milling about, but it seems like the end. There’s a news van outside and a woman appears to be giving an interview. I ask a clerk what happened here. “Sarah Palin” was her response. I ask if she’s gone. “Yes.” I’m only minutes late. My hand goes for the egg in my pocket. “I’m sorry I missed her,” I say. In one motion, the egg is out and I’m pitching it full force at a pyramid of Palin books. In slow motion I see the oblong, white missile fly true towards its mark. The egg loudly smashes into Palin’s grinning, idiot face, and chicken menses splatters the entire pyramid.
The throng is silent. I scan the crowd with what I hope was a look of utter contempt. I turn and calmly walk away. About 20 yards out, I hear the clomping of feet. Three men are after me. “Hold on there!” one shouts. I stop. They identify themselves as police. I scan a badge and see that the cop is from some town out in the boonies. These were off-duty cops from Real America© who were volunteering to work crowd control. In fact, the place had been swarming with off-duty police.
After a short legal discussion about jurisdiction, local police are summoned. We wait in front of Borders. To their credit, my captors are gentlemen. Coming from the Bronx, I am prepared to be cursed and maybe roughed up a bit, but these are okay chaps. A reporter comes over to ask the coppers about the number of people attending the event and I draw his attention to the fact that I am being arrested for what I’m calling an act of patriotism. He shrugs and I see that the van reads “Fox News” on its side. Damn! He’s writing some nonsense about controlling the crowds and I tell him to put at the end, “one guy from the Bronx threw an egg.” He grins and humors me by scribbling something in his pad. I try to reach him with something impassioned, reminding him that people are suffering while Palin spreads insidious lies about health care. The comfortable, soft, pale, little fellow turns his back and walks away.
Next, a small herd of people gather around me. A black woman, whom I thought to be a reporter when I saw her in Borders, is front and center. Maybe she’ll take my story and turn this sad and ridiculous fiasco into something worthwhile. Wrong. Each of the crowd is holding Palin books, including my imagined African American savior. They are pissed Palin pals, and apparently, I’d gotten them with egg. The woman complains that she was up since 3 am for Sarah, and now she has to change her clothes. I receive multiple dirty looks and lectures. I graciously offer to pay their dry cleaning bills, but they represent the Party of No and predictably rebuff my generosity. I give them my reasons, and they warn me not to believe the “lame media” conspiracy against Sarah. To them, any facts are mere fabrications of a media conspiracy. We are no longer able to reason together, as they’ve discarded rational thought as a trapping of liberalism. I’m lucky Sarah’s not here, they vaguely threaten. I imagine a helicopter swooping out of the sky and a crazed, grinning Palin blasting me with a high-powered rifle, like so much helpless endangered wildlife.
Thankfully, officers from the county Sheriff arrive and the crowd disperses. I am cuffed, my belongings confiscated and I’m placed in the back of his squad car. The back of a squad car is very constricting and, I believe, designed to make you feel uncomfortable and under control. The funny thing is that I no longer care. Officers come to take info and we chat a bit. I give them my political spiel, and we chat about Rochester and my work here. They leave and I’m left to stew in the squad car. A station wagon sidles up, so that two old hags can judge me. I give them my million dollar smile and they drive away confused. The police officer returns and he gives me my medicine: I damaged over $800.00 worth of books and this is apparently serious. I think on it: forever to be branded as a criminal, possibly screwing up a hard-earned career, and all for something as trivial and pointless as defacing some books. I still don’t care. As ridiculous a gesture as hurling the egg was, I can still look at my face in the mirror with some degree of self-respect.
As it turns out, I am lucky not to have to face any legal consequences. The officer works it out with the Borders management so that I can pay for the damaged property and they’ll drop the charges. In tallying the cost of my deed, the policeman explains that in addition to most of the stock of Palin books, I also egged several copies of a biography by the late comedian George Carlin. This raises the event to the level of high comedy, and the kindly officer and I share quite a chuckle. I enter Borders, receive lectures from a manager about how Borders is “apolitical” and has a noble mission to “educate” the masses. She also lectures me on her disapproval of violence. Underneath it all, I think she is sympathetic, as she cuts me a 40% discount on the books and even smiles when I joke about not having a Borders Rewards card.
The final punishment comes from the Borders regional manager. I am now forbidden from all Borders stores and may be arrested if I enter one of their properties. The officer pats me on the back, saying “come on, Mr. Egg Thrower.” I leave the store broke, but not broken. We exchange a hearty handshake and I promise to continue promoting health care reform through legal channels. I drive home contemplating my front row seat in the freak show that I love and call home.