Posted at 11:40 AM on December 15, 2008
by Jeff Horwich
Watching the instant replay makes it clear: President Bush has some serious reflexes.
That reaction time made the difference between two vastly different ways this story could have played out. Imagine if he'd taken it square in the face. The guy had good aim -- it could have happened, especially if Bush hadn't been looking up.
Instead, many of us have to admit that -- whatever we think of the President -- we've got a twinge of pride (maybe more than a twinge) that America ducked the shoe.
Insult us? Go ahead -- you probably even have a point. But don't think the Stars and Stripes can be taken down with a shoe in the face. It just ain't gonna happen. These colors don't run (they duck -- and fast).
National shoe-ducking pride aside, Sanden and I were just speculating about some even cooler ways this could have gone down. Maybe you can add to our list:
* Rather than ducking, Bush's left hand springs up at 90-degree angle like an unleashed catapult and catches the shoe mid-air (Jeff)
* Bush immediately takes said caught-shoe and flings it back from whence it came, striking the thrower between the eyes (Sanden)
* Bush catches the shoe in his mouth, like a bullet (Sanden)
* Bush executes a roundhouse kick and blocks the shoe with his own shoe (Jeff)
* Bush ducks the shoe and is immediately ready with a classic Austin Powers line: "Really! Who throws a shoe?" (Sanden)
* The shoe bounces harmlessly off of the three-foot radius invisible force field that surrounds the President at all times, thus revealing the presence of said force field (Jeff)
Got more? Maybe a role for Iraqi PM Nouri al Maliki?
Review the footage, and add your comments below to what seems to have become one of our nerdiest blog posts yet.
Your options one and two remind me of high school American Lit, when our teacher was describing to us James Fenimore Cooper's rather verbose style; at one point in one of the Leatherstocking tales, Cooper uses a page and a half (or so says Mr Kearney) to describe the sequence of bad guy throwing an axe at the good guy (Leatherstocking), who catches the axe, the momentum of the catch pulling his own arm into the cocked position, from which he lets fly an axe-throw of his own - neatly splitting the original axe-wielder's skull in twain.
For President Bush, my thoughts are twofold; make it three. 1) Had the guy not yelled, his target would not have been warned. 2) Had this been his father, President Bush would have been beaned. 3) a la Animal House, who does he think he is? He can't do that to our President - only WE can do that to our President.
If he wanted to do some real damage he should have thrown pretzels.
I like the roundhouse kick to the flying shoe. And you're right, even though I really detest Bush, his reflexes in this case are pretty amazing.
Thanks for adding the extra footage, that's even funnier than the shoe throwing. I loved watching the President go from relief laughter, smug smiling/shoulder shrug, being pissed, to realizing the cameras were rolling, to letting us know the facts, "...the facts, it's a size 10 shoe." It's the whole denial, bargaining (smug smile), anger, depression, acceptance cycle. Well, he is a human, thus disproving my former assumptions.
Osama Bin Laden appears out of nowhere, throwing himself directly in the path of the flying shoe. A slow-motion sequence ensues...
Bin Laden: [Leaping, in mid-flight] Nooooooo-oooo!!!!
Bush: [Horror-stricken face]
The shoe strikes Bin Laden, pelting him in the chest. Bush kneels by the fallen Bin Laden, weeping.
Bush: But why? I don't understand...after all these years...all these terrible fights...why would you shield me from the shoe?
Bin Laden: [Hoarsely] Because...because...isn't it obvious?
Audience: [in unison] NO!
Bin Laden: I...I...
Audience: [in unison] WHAT???
Bin Laden: I love you. I just couldn't show it. [Collapses in agony]
Bush holds Bin Laden in a fervent embrace.
Bush: Don't you DARE die on me! Not here, not like this!
Bin Laden: It's too late...just know that I'm sorry. You deserved better...much, much better.
[Bin Laden dies]
Cue despondent music.
Wow, Alex. I think you win!