While on a visit to the White House for a Father's Day celebration, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk managed to sneak a little skating within the White House itself. He later posted a picture of this executive branch shredding on Twitter, setting off a predictable avalanche of '@TonyHawk: DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!' tweets in response.
Although he received permission from White House staff before the stunt, this incident did provoke a negative reaction from some commentators. Noted moron Greg Gutfeld, of Fox's Red Eye, actually cried a little when he described the great shame he felt that Tony Hawk would be allowed to skateboard in the White House "while all this Iranian crap is going down." What Tony Hawk has to do with the events occurring in Iran is beyond me, but I'd suggest we not prevent him from skating, because if he's going to be any help to the Iranian people at all, it will be while he is on a skateboard, doing something awesome.
Even though several celebrities did die following this incident, possibly because of shame at having their nation's seat of power defaced, I'm sort of coming down on the other side of this issue. My thinking is that if I invited Tony Hawk to my home, I'd be offended if he didn't do a little skateboarding. You want to grind my coffee table, Mr. Hawk? You go right ahead, sir. I hate that damned coffee table.
Why is my table out in the rain you ask? It knows what it did.
In his Twitter feed, Tony Hawk was unrepentant, pointing out that he caused no damage. Technically, he did less harm than the time Elvis clogged the White House toilet, an event I just made up right now, but which sounds plausible enough to be true. Hawk did little more than skate in a straight line down a well-trafficked hallway and perform a Manual, a simple trick which would involve no chance of damaging the property. Unless I was doing it, in which case I would almost certainly obliterate my teeth and a nearby vase of some importance.
But if we take as given that a Manual is an acceptable trick to perform while skateboarding in the White House, does that mean there are unacceptable tricks? Are they unacceptable because of their chance for causing damage, or their potential for freaking out squares? Using Google Image Search and the knowledge of skateboarding I earned from a semester playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, I've ranked the following White House skateboarding tricks in terms of difficulty and offensiveness to the American spirit--as measured in weeping bald eagles.
Trick: Ollie to Heelflip to Nosegrind across back of slipper chair (foreground) to Kickflip.
Offensiveness to the American Spirit: 4 Weeping Bald Eagles
This one can be done at low speed and follows the basic kickflip to grind to kickflip combo that is the bread and butter of the Tony Hawk games. Although the great emancipator never lived to see the invention of skateboards, historians widely agree he would be appreciative of technical street skating in this form.
6White House Bowling Alley
Trick: Ollie to Pop Shove It to Tailslide (right rail) to Ollie to Kickflip to Tailslide (left rail) to Ollie to Hardflip to Feeble (right rail) to Kickflip to Nosegrind (right rail) to Heelflip into bowling pins.
Offensiveness to the American Spirit: 1 Weeping Bald Eagle
Famously constructed during the Nixon presidency, the bowling alley is one of the homeliest rooms in the world. Located in the basement, it seems an ideal location for skating. Getting speed is easily done, and nothing of value is here to be disturbed, aside from Nixon's ghost, whom White House staff assure is harmless, if foul-mouthed.