A Hero’s Welcome? Shoe Betcha!

Posted on Sun 10/25/2009 by

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20080905_goodwin_shawn_0908Satire by  Shawn Goodwin

Muntadhar al-Zeidi

Muntadhar al-Zeidi

Thank God former President George W. Bush had good reflexes. Otherwise, an unidentified flying shoe, courtesy of Iraqi “journalist” Muntadhar al-Zeidi, would have struck him. Al-Zeidi gained infamy last December when he expressed his displeasure at the point of a wingtip. Never before in the history of the media has a single shoe garnered more exposure. Al Bundy would be proud.

The shoe launch turned al-Zeidi into a minor celebrity. American liberals applauded him, al Qaeda canonized him, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made him his Facebook “friend.” Unfortunately for al-Zeidi, the celebrity came with a price: it helped him into an Iraqi jail cell. For nine months he served his time and honed his craft, throwing shoe after shoe against the wall like Steve McQueen in The Great Escape.

Al-Zeidi was released last month, and now he is making the talk show rounds. Rumor has it that his agent is fielding many offers from the United States. Keith Olbermann promised to name him “The Best Person in the World,” Barbara Walters guaranteed to make him more desirable to the opposite sex by showing his emotional side, and Anderson Cooper set aside a year’s worth of designer jeans from his mother’s company. Even Oprah wants to devote an hour to him and Dr. Phil during sweeps week.

Earlier this week, the man with the golden shoe held a press conference in Switzerland. One does not simply walk onto the set of “60 Minutes.” One has to earn that right. Until then, al-Zeidi will have to settle for “Wake Up, Geneva”:

“I am one of the victims of the occupation,” al-Zeidi said at a press conference alongside two local politicians, repeating his allegations that he was severely tortured, including with electric shocks, during his nine months of Iraqi detention.

His claims were often inexact, and it was unclear if the confusion was a result of faulty interpreting. He said he was tortured for “three months,” and then later he said the mistreatment was over “three days.”

Three months, three days, what’s the difference? The important thing is that Mr. al-Zeidi was tortured by the evil Iraqi government. We know this because he said so. And his admission is more than enough evidence for most left-leaning American media outlets, celebrities, and businesses, which are now doing everything in their power to elevate al-Zeidi to superstardom. The plan is to help the man accumulate wealth, and several ideas are being submitted for al-Zeidi’s stamp of approval.

The Obama administration is considering an offer to make al-Zeidi the nation’s “Shoe Czar.” The title is purely ceremonial, and like most members of the current administration, al-Zeidi will be expected to simply show up, do nothing, and collect a paycheck. Al-Zeidi’s anti-American views are in lock step with most of the other czars’, although his political leanings are not yet radical enough for the American president. Now, normally a political appointee would never make trash bags full of money, but this is the new HopeyChange version of politics. Kickbacks are all part of the deal, and a lavishly appointed residence comes with the newfound fame and fortune. Besides, Tony Rezko still has a few contacts in the real estate industry.

For example, handgun manufacturer Smith & Wesson is tossing around the idea of transforming al-Zeidi’s finishing move into the next line of home defense. By combining an ordinary shoe with an ancient medium-ranged projectile weapon, the birth of the footwear crossbow is at hand. The footwear crossbow is ideal for self and home defense, and is appropriate for both men and women. Actually, women may have more of an advantage, because the average female has much more ammunition lying around her closet. A larger version of the weapon is being produced by McDonnell-Douglas under the questionable title of “the shoe-apult.”

The militant liberal wing of the Food Network has hatched another get-rich-quick scheme. In an attempt to ride the coattails of such famous chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Giada De Laurentiis, the network is interested in signing Mr. Al-Zeidi to a multiyear television contract. “Cooking With Sulfur Gas” will feature al-Zeidi recreating his favorite dishes before a live studio audience. His signature dish? A pasta and cheese casserole named Baked al-Zeidi.

The humor of the Muntadhar al-Zeidi story is found in its consistency. The man threw a shoe at former President Bush. As a result, the Iraqi government threw the book at him and sentenced him to nine months behind bars. After his release, he is throwing the questionable facts of his story against the wall to see if anything sticks.

With any luck, the public will throw his inevitable tell-all book into the dumpster.

FamilySecurityMatters.org’s official satirist, Shawn Goodwin, is a blogger and police detective from Philly.

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