I get called a curmudgeon every once in a while. I don’t take it as an insult. I find curmudgeons to be very funny, so every now and again I like to model that kind of behavior because it amuses me. What doesn’t amuse me is how some other people behave, and my opinion on this just might come across as curmudgeonly.
In this case, I’m thinking about the couple that crashed the White House dinner the other evening. The finer part of my nature would say that I’m sure that they’re (otherwise) lovely people. The curmudgeon in me says they ought to be tarred and feathered in the public square. And you kids ought to stay off of my lawn, too!
It takes a heck of a lot of gall to show up uninvited at someone’s house for dinner. I’m not sure there is a word for what it takes to show up uninvited at the President of the United States’ house for dinner.
It should come as no surprise that the woman of this couple is trying to get on the Bravo television network’s upcoming reality series “The Real Housewives of D.C.” So called reality television has only a very tenuous basis in actual reality, and crashing a White House dinner, or likewise saying your kid is floating around the Colorado sky in a balloon, is the kind of idiocy that results.
Maybe it’s time to dial all of this crap down, because the pursuit of (minor) celebrity by ordinary people is turning otherwise harmless individuals into threats. When public safety personnel and the military (not to mention all the TV helicopters) have to go chasing the nonexistent Balloon Boy around the countryside, there is a big risk of danger, both to them and to the public at large. In the case of these dinner party dopes, they didn’t endanger the public, and indeed they may have unwittingly done us all a favor by causing the Secret Service to clamp down on who gets to hang around the President. That wasn’t their intent, though. Their intent was self-aggrandizement.
We live in a “look at me, I’m special” society these days, and for we surviving curmudgeons, it gets a little old. I don’t know whether they should be charged with a crime, but I certainly won’t be all up in arms if they are. They took a big risk. They got a big reward. They may suffer a small loss in the aftermath.
We also seem to be living in an age where we salute stupidity. The couple’s claim now is that they were waiting for a phone call from the person from whom they were trying to wangle an invitation, but their cell phone battery died. Now I don’t know about you, but if I were to have the opportunity to possibly go to a State Dinner but had to wait to hear for sure if I’d made the cut, I’d make damn sure my battery was charged and that I’d be easy to reach.
I don’t know whether their battery was really dead or not, and it matters not. Either way, these people behaved stupidly, and haven’t the proper shame not to celebrate it. Either they had a dead battery while they were expecting a fairly important call about whether they’d have dinner with the President and could find no way to remedy it, or they’re lying to cover the fact that they knew they wouldn’t make the cut and were going to show up anyway and don’t mind looking like idiots by telling us they, uh, had a dead battery while awaiting said call, and since they didn’t hear from anyone, they just figured they’d show up. Please, people so dense need to be removed from my consciousness.
Decent people, I think, would be embarrassed, and want the whole thing to go away. Decent people these people may be, but they aren’t acting much like it. This is their chance at celebrity, and it from here sure looks like they’re going to milk it for all it’s worth. It’s repulsive, really. One thing I’d like to say is thank heavens for Tiger Woods and his personal problems taking the media spotlight away from them. For that, I am forever grateful.