Friday, August 20, 2010


We loved/looked down our noses at "Joe the Plumber," the ordinary guy John McCain used once, and then, because people paid attention, McCain used Joe again and again.

Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher became quite famous -- got to be a public official in Ohio, actually won a seat on the Republican Party committee that sets the party agenda.

Criticizing the Senator for "trying to use" him, Wurzelbacher, wrote a book -- "Fighting for the American Dream," with a jacket cover that says "what you will discover about this simple plumber from Ohio will reach deep down into your soul and inspire that spark of the American Dream that lives within is us all."

Also "Joe" served briefly as a war correspondent, which is (my opinion) -- for a very prosaic, boring, ordinary guy, more than enough.

Remember the "Balloon Boy?" We ate up the news about a six-year-old floating away in a homemade flying saucer near Denver. And then, when authorities found the kid at home and said it was a hoax -- we ate up the news about the punishment meted out to his folks. "Yay," I thought, ungenerously, hoping they'd suffer for what they'd done just to gain fame and money. (Mom got 20 days, Dad got 90, a fine, 4 years probation -- 100 hours of community service to pay off the fine.)

Gee, the "Two Pilots"-- missing the airport by 150 miles -- that turned into days of media speculation. How could two guys miss it? The weather was clear. What were they doing? They said they were working on their laptops on crew scheduling. No one mentioned what I was thinking (Sex? ) I remember bulletins about the investigation. So, what happened to them? Were they fired?

Just now I Googled them -- their licenses were revoked. The guys can re-apply and get new licenses at the end of this month. For goodness sake -- they shouldn't be piloting anything ever again!

Ah yes -- the beautiful young couple -- Mr. and Mrs. "Salehi" who crashed the White House party for Obama with no invitation. Wow, the party crashers won big! They were set to do a realty show. Did that fade? Oh well, any day now, we'll undoubtedly be seeing them on some other show.

Do you wonder how "Octo Mom" is doing with all those kids? I don't. I am sure she'll cook up something else to earn our attention, and get some sponsor's money.

In December, I wrote about the 19-year-old "Barefoot Bandit," Colton Harris-Moore -- New Hero for the Kids." (Click the link and check it out -- he's got 29,400 Facebook friends.)

He was arrested in the Bahamas after crash-landing a plane he stole on July 4th, from an Indiana airport. He's a suspect in more than 80 police investigations in nine states and three countries. We made him into a hero and now, well, he's amazing -- we have to stop him!

Hey, we've got Stephen Slater, a flight attendant who couldn't get a woman to sit down when the plane was landing. She kept unloading her luggage, and called him a nasty name. He called her a nasty name, grabbed 2 beers, and left by the emergency slide exit. Everyone's interviewing him. What's ahead for him? A promotion? Unemployment? A job on TV?

Joe, Balloon Boy, Pilots, Party Crashers, Octo Mom, Barefoot Bandit, Flight Attendant Slater -- what hits me hard is why oh why do we herald them, make them famous?

Maybe, because if it can happen to them ... hey, gee, maybe it can happen to us.
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