Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hello Dalai! Or Things You Can't Make Up

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 3:20 PM

So I get a call from Film Commission head Linn Sitler today around noon.

"Bruce," she says, "you need to get a reporter and a photographer down to Tom Lee Park in the next 15 minutes."

"Why?" I ask.

"I can't tell you, but it's big, trust me." And she's gone.

So I send out a call for a reporter to check out what's up at Tom Lee. Chris Davis volunteers. He texts me a few minutes later that there are lots of cop cars and that the rumor is that the Dalai Lama is about to appear. It was around lunchtime, so I got on the company intercom, announced the Dalai Lama was soon to be in our neighborhood, and if anyone wanted to say, "Hello, Dalai," now was their chance.

"Hello, Dalai," is, of course, the most obvious and overused joke about the Dalai Lama. I said it ironically, okay?

Apparently Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery thought this joke was somehow original, and somehow a good idea to try out on the Dalai Lama himself. So when introduced to his holiness, Myron babbled something about a fistbump being a local tradition (really?) and started awkwardly forcing his fist at the DL, saying "I've always wanted to say this: HELLO DALAI!"

Mayor Wharton, Mayor pro tem Lowery, the Dalai Lama, and Linn Sittler
  • Chris Davis
  • Mayor Wharton, Mayor pro tem Lowery, the Dalai Lama, and Linn Sittler

Get ready Myron, you're probably going to make the Daily Show, David Letterman, Keith Olbermann, etc. in the next 24 hours. After that, you will live on Youtube.com forever and ever. Yep, the Mayor Pro Tem is fixin' to get his 15 minutes, and he ain't gonna like it much. This clip is going get played and played (The Flyer will have one up by Davis later today.), and it will probably destroy what little shot he had at the mayor's office. Surprisingly, we Memphians still like a little dignity in our public officials, especially after the Herenton clown-show of recent years.

I did hear that Myron and his advisers had been thinking about trying to chest bump the Dalai Lama, but decided to save it for the Pope.

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