An On Deaf Ears Special Investigation
Welcome to Austin–People’s Republic Of. A city where Obama-mania has run so amok, there is an entire store devoted to selling Obama merchandise, open until Inauguration Day. Did you think it stopped with commemorative plates? By no means, my naïve friend. By no means.
The ad above, printed in a local rag, and Obama’s confident smile and kind eyes, prompted the first ever On Deaf Ears in-person investigation. What could be in the Obama Store? How much Obama crap could there possibly be out there? Would there be commemorative plates? Glasses for drinking Kool-Aid?
I had to know. I had to set my fears aside, and enter a world of Obama beyond the level of Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare. I had to willingly submit to being inundated with so much Hope and Change that I might ascend to heaven right there on the spot. Or, if Obama is actually a Muslim or the anti-Christ, maybe descend to somewhere else.
None of that was going to stop me.
With one week ’til inauguration, my report is ready to be filed. I now take you…
Inside the Obama Store.
This sign greeted me at the entrance. Even someone as hard-boiled and cynical as me had to admire the appearance of honesty. “Trinkets,” huh? Do people buying Obama crap really want their prized collectors items called trinkets? In their fevered imaginations, they aren’t trinkets, they’re a piece of history, dammit.
At this point, I had the distinct feeling that I was walking into a trap.
But I walked in anyway.
Because that’s the kind of man I am.
I did my best to go undercover as an Obama supporter–I didn’t shower and I reeked of booze. (When you’re a pro like me, such a disguise takes no time at all to prepare.) The proprietor, fooled completely, allowed me to take pictures.
I wish I had a better shot of the Obama family t-shirt. The screen print looked like a TV Guide ad for an ’80s sitcom–maybe a cross between The Cosby Show and Benson.
Did that cross a PC line? No. Newshawks like me don’t cross lines, PC or otherwise–we erase ’em and draw our own.
I expected plenty of buttons, and I got ’em. Not much you can say about a bunch of buttons except that anyone wearing one after the election is a sap. It takes effort to scrape a bumper sticker off your bucket; it takes none to yank a button off your jacket. Hell, I’ll be happy to do it for you.
That didn’t stop me from considering pocketing a bunch of ’em and passing them out to the dames at the neighborhood dive. In the end, I got my wits about me and moved on.
I couldn’t quite capture in one photo the massive amount of Obama crap available at the Obama Store. When I took this shot, about 40% more store was behind me, and, due to the layout, I couldn’t get it all. I also needed to take it quick–the hand-painted shirts disturbed me and I didn’t like knowing that my back was turned to 40% of the Obama Store.
It wasn’t just a world of hurt, it was a world of shirt. There were shirts featuring that Commie-propaganda portrait that stared at me wherever I went for months on end, Obama from the cover of his latest jazz album, and Obama right after he had stubbed his toe.
I heard on the streets what happened to that podium he stubbed his toe on. It wasn’t pretty. That’s the Chicago Way.
I didn’t want to know exactly what “It’s time” for when Obama supporters break these out in the privacy of their own homes. I have to confess to some curiosity as to whether or not Joe Biden’s mug adds to or subtracts from the experience.
Holiday cards for the faithful. Sister Mary back at St. Mary’s would have recoiled at the sight of this and then slapped me across my big mug with a ruler. But a frail’s a frail, even a tough dame like Sister Mary, and I’m made of sterner stuff. I told myself that, despite the presence of the somewhat-incongruous wreath, New Years is a secular holiday–a day for drunkards, detectives, and journalists. Not for Sister Mary.
But then I saw this…
Sister Mary’s voice was pounding through my head, telling me, “Should Obama really be at the top of a Christmas tree, where the Angel of Bethlehem or the Guiding Star are supposed to go?” I swear my knuckles stung as her ruler slapped me from heaven, and then my face stung as she slapped me across my big mug again.
I lifted my tearless eyes heavenward towards Sister Mary, a sneer on my face. “For many,” I muttered under my breath, “Christmas is an entirely secular holiday. I have both Jewish and atheist friends who celebrate Christmas, and even some Democrat friends. So don’t get your habit in an uproar, Sister Mary. It’s not like they’re actually comparing Barack Obama to Jesus.”
Sister Mary was forgotten at this point, as I tried to figure out why Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were being compared to Pontius Pilate. This puzzlement lasted only a moment, as I became immediately dizzy when I looked up to see a wall of buttons.
I was almost hypnotized into buying an Obama gift certificate [ed. top left]. Again, I thought of the dames at the neighborhood dive, but I realized that gift certificates aren’t personal enough. Don’t tell me I don’t know how to pitch woo.
Reeling, I quickly turned.
The proprietor told me that there were inscriptions from something like forty states and sixty countries (many of them Commie, no doubt) on this paperboard wall. I read a few of them. When legible, they said things like, “Yes, we can!” I didn’t know what that meant, and that bothered me. Time to go.
Near the front door, I saw the Obama playing cards. I realized that in a week or so, we’d all start finding out if the cards were marked and we all got played.
On my way out, this neon tempted me like it was hanging in front of a flop house when I had a pro skirt on my arm. It was soothing, actually. Soothing. soothing… I wanted to sleep. I wanted a Big Sleep.
Afterword: Many thanks to the proprietor of the Obama Store both for allowing me to take photos and for being very friendly. If he finds this post, I hope he doesn’t mind me having some fun with the whole thing.
For those capitalist pigs curious as to how this business model functions, the idea was to sell as much as possible before Christmas (when these photos were taken), and then return a lot of it to the vendors who will take it to DC around now to sell at the inauguration. I bet it works.