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Shoe Attack Lesson #1: Bush Has Mortal Kombat Reflexes

So Someone threw their shoes at the President this weekend. Shoes. The President. I know. We wouldn't really be a comedy site if we didn't discuss this at least a little bit, would we?

Anyways, here's the facts: During a press conference, an Iraqi reporter carefully removed both his shoes, stood up and proceeded to throw them, one after the other, at President Bush. The President responded, sensibly, by ducking twice. His attacker, now out of ammunition, then responded by being tackled to the floor by a team of Secret Service Agents. And aside from some glib shoe puns, that was the end of it.

Right of the bat, my first reaction was to be marginally impressed at the President's reflexes. Bush has taken a lot of stick for being a terrible president, which is probably fair, given his generally high levels of terribleness. But did you see the speed of that duck? That was Mortal Kombat fast. I half expected to see a harpoon come flying out of his coat sleeve after the first shoe sailed past.

Second reaction: Where was the Secret Service? I gather they've taken some flak already about this, although mainly from pencil-necked pundits and bloggers like myself, nattering away safe in our beds. Just milling around the Internet, I've seen lots of sweaty outrage about "the second shoe" today. It does seem a little surprising that a guy could fire two whole shoes at the President of the United States before someone stopped him. What if they were one of those knife boots the kids are into these days? That could have done some damage.

In all fairness to the Secret Service, they have tightened security up a lot in the last forty years.

But upon further reflection, the Secret Service agents probably handled this as effectively as possible. The guy was throwing shoes - although they probably could have shot him before he got that second shoe off, what do you have then? A dead guy with no shoes on, that's what, and then you're asked to leave the country and never come back. Considering how widely loved Bush is in Iraq (check back this time next year for the Iraqi's first National "Fuck Bush Day") it's probably a minor miracle that he's able to go there at all and come home alive, much less with a tread mark on his skull.

Third reaction: Oh, good work Bundy. The Iraq war has kind of fallen out of the American public's consciousness the last year or so, mainly because it just leaves everyone feeling kind of bummed I guess. So this little stunt has, on the surface, brought it back to the forefront. But in a completely trivial way. Like every other type of protest, the only thing people talk about is the protest itself, not the message being raised. There are a lot of things about the Iraq war that deserve to be treated with a certain level of seriousness (all the dead people for one.) But instead of talking about that we've now got newsrooms across the country racking their brains looking for shoe puns.

Fortunately this is a comedy site, where serious discussions are generally verboten, and blatant hypocriticism encouraged, so I'll move back to the shoe/dick jokes now.If I could offer a bit of friendly advice to the President - speaking as someone who has things thrown at him with great regularity - here's a handy list of responses I've developed for many common things that may get hurled at you in the future. With the help of a specially modified batting practice machine, you'll be able to hone your clearly already sharp reflexes further, which should be of some help in your future career, whatever it is you wind up fucking up next.

Objects thrown at you: PillowsExample: You've just been asked to perform a minor chore by your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/long term same-gendered "roommate." You playfully respond "..." They throw a pillow at you, and repeat their request, punctuating it with an impolite suggestion. Response: Let it bounce off you harmlessly. Throwing something back would seem to be the logical response, but this is a path that quickly leads to broken lamps, televisions, granite counter tops and relationships.

Objects thrown at you: ProduceExample: You're at the supermarket picking up a tray of vegetables and dip to bring to a social function. While in the produce aisle, one of your past spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends/long term same-gendered "roommates" hurls one or more pieces of fruit or veg at you, accusing you of stealing their DVD player. Response: Simple one. Duck. Who looks crazier, the one throwing fruit, or the one who stole a DVD player and peed in the dishwasher during the later stages of a shattered relationship? The one who did it in front of witnesses. Leave in peace and let the cops handle Ol' Stinky Dishes.

Objects thrown at you: Dirty LooksExample: At a social function of some sort, you've just pointed out to some new parents that they have an ugly baby. Now they're throwing dirty looks at you like you hit the damned thing. Response: Dirty Looks can't hurt you physically, so there's no need to deploy any avoidance maneuvers/chafe/flares in this circumstance. The only thing dirty looks can do is make you doubt yourself, so I suggest you ignore them. In this example, I'd ignore the dirty looks and blaze onwards, suggesting to the father of the aforementioned child that there's no way he's ugly enough to be the father of this abomination.

Objects thrown at you: Gang SignsExample: Someone has taken slight at one of your patented hard hitting observations. You respond by forming a 'W' with your hands, while adding "Wu Taaaaaang!" in a high pitched voice. They respond by widening their eyes suddenly, rolling up their sleeves to reveal a plethora of crudely etched tattoos, and throwing a gang sign of their own. As someone who has made up several gang signs on the spot in your time, you recognize it immediately as one that was not made up on the spot. As if conjured by some dark magic, firearms appear in the hands of several other people nearby. Response: Cry as hard as you possibly can. You have pissed off the wrong people, again. Your only hope now is to diffuse their anger by replacing it with disgust. Don't expect sympathy - you won't get it. But being smacked around like a fat blubbering baby for three hours until they get bored and leave you in a puddle of your own fluids is better than being shot I would imagine. I note with no small amount of pride that I've never been shot.

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