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Arnold Schwarzenegger vs an EggIn September 2003, fitness guru, film star and maid-lover Arnold Schwarzenegger was on the campaign trail trying to win a spot as California's Bankruptiest Governor. (It went okay!) During a stop in Long Beach, The Man Who Was Mr. Freeze was hit by an egg while he walked through a crowd on his way to the podium.
The F*ture Governator didn't even flinch when the egg struck him and kept right on his merry way. (He doesn't stop walking for anything less than a nail gun. Haven't you seen the guy's movies?) His security team went on to remove his egg-stained jacket, after which Schwarzenegger joked about the incident, stating that the egg-thrower now owes him bacon. That's really the best way to foil an egg-thrower. Kill them with kindness!
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Steve Ballmer vs EggsHere's a great start to any story: So Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was giving a speech at Hungarian University in Budapest...
With an opening like that, you can't really go wrong.
Anyway, Ballmer's giving a talk to Hungarian university students and conducting sort of a Q&A with them, when a protester stands up wearing a "Microsoft=Corruption" T-shirt. (All the rage these days at Hungarian Apparel, and only 100 Hungarian Forints for a Men's Small!)
The protester then proceeds to loudly accuse Ballmer of stealing billions in Hungarian taxpayer money, after which he unleashed a torrent of eggs at the burly CEO, who was forced to seek cover behind a desk. (Utilizing a cover-based combat system? He is the CEO of XBox, after all...)
While Ballmer did manage to avoid scrambled eggs all over his face, Frasier-style, at the front of the lecture hall and was not hit, he could not escape later reports of exactly why the egg-tosser was irate. It appears that Microsoft had won a contract with the Hungarian Government worth about $157 million US, and many in Hungary felt that the bid had been unfairly skewed towards the software giant. So, mission accomplished, Hungarian Apple fan with poor aim! We are now all a bit more informed.
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George W. Bush vs a ShoeBack in December 2008, President George W. Bush was disliked pretty much everywhere he went. In other countries, he was seen as a vicious warmonger. In the US, he was viewed as a liar and a fool who had essentially tanked the economy. Basically, if he had gone to Disneyland, they'd have had to chance to sign to say: "A Reasonably Happy Place on Earth."
With only a few weeks left in his term, Bush made a visit to the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Palace in Baghdad, Iraq, for a press conference with the Iraqi media. (You know, that country he invaded. No, the other one.) Despite the strict security, one member of the press, Muntazer al-Zaidi, managed to push through the crowd and angrily lob one of his shoes at the President.
Bush, demonstrating some impressive reflexes, ducked and managed to not get hit at all by the shoe. Two security guards immediately took al-Zaidi into custody and the President laughed off the incident. Two other journalists were also removed for praising the shoe-thrower and calling him "courageous." Bush later said he was used to "attention seekers" like this, noting, "It's like driving down the street and having people not gesturing with all five fingers... I didn't feel the least bit threatened by it."
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Karl Lagerfeld and Calvin Klein vs a PieOK, billionaires, politicians and pundits occasionally having things thrown at them makes a certain amount of sense. They may say or do controversial things, and they're always in the public eye. But designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Calvin Klein? Do people just really, really hate pleated pants that much?
Top designers Calvin Klein and Karl Lagerfeld arrived at the Lincoln Center in 2001 to attend the CFDA Awards. Also on hand were members of the animal rights group PETA, who object to Lagerfeld's use of fur. Not to mention pet ownership. That really gets PETA's goat. Also, the expression "gets their goat," which the group finds offensive to goats.
The PETA members began tossing not-at-all-loathsome-sounding (but animal-friendly!) tofu pies at the German fashion icon, putting him in immediate danger of clashing. (The horror!) Unfortunately, the creamy "treats" missed Lagerfeld entirely and wound up on fellow designer Calvin Klein, who was also standing nearby.
Well, still, I mean, they hit a designer, right? A victory all around? Sadly, no, as it turns out that PETA finds Klein to be "a great friend to the animals." Tofu? Not as much. Klein took the pie-ing like a champ, and continued down the red carpet answering questions with pie dripping down the front of his person. He made no comment, but still changed before accepting his award.
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Ann Coulter vs PiesAl Pieda is a two-man collective from Tucson, Arizona, who tossed pies at the direction of conservative author Ann Coulter during a speaking engagement at the University of Arizona in October of 2004. (Not to be confused with Al-Qaeda, which has yet to dabble in baked good-based terrorist activity.) According to the men, later identified as Phillip Edgar Smith and William Zachary Wolff, they were throwing pies not at Coulter personally, but at her political beliefs. (Life lesson: When your goal is to nail the abstract concept of "libertarianism" with a pie, you're bound to end up disappointed.)
Coulter quickly ducked behind the podium and ran backstage as the crowd erupted at the pie-throwing incident. The police report failed to mention if the pies hit her beliefs or not, ("ow, my overarching political philosophy!") but did note that Al-Paida had been arrested for causing a public disturbance. (And for really really bad puns, which it turns out is a criminal offense in Arizona. How forward-thinking!)
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Rupert Murdoch vs a PieOn July 19, 2011, Rupert Murdoch, CEO of New Corporation, was testifying before a British Parliament committee regarding a hacking scandal surrounding his now-defunct newspaper "News of the World." It's hard to imagine anyone more loathed than Murdoch, already the steward of the controversial right-leaning Fox News Channel and the frequently-mocked tabloid The New York Post, now under investigation for authorizing his employees to illegally tap the phones of kidnapping victims families (among others.)
So, naturally, one vigilante decided to take matters into his own hands by tossing a "white foam pie" at Murdoch. The pie sort of connected, getting more on Murdoch's shoulder and sleeve then his face. And adding insult to injury, the pie-thrower himself was clocked in the face by Murdoch's wife, Wendi, who became something of a folk hero following the event on Twitter. (Murdoch was not injured in the attack and returned to the hearing about 10 minutes later wearing a clean shirt. He didn't even look embarrassed.)
Plus...a "foam" pie? Who wants to see someone get nailed with a foam pie? We want meringue! We want banana cream! Something that's going to take at least a few minutes to clean off the man's nice new suit! This object-throwing incident was disappointing even before it started.
Thanks to the power of the Internet, the pie-thrower was soon identified as self-proclaimed "activist, comedian, father figure and all-round nonsense" Jonathan May-Bowles. Known as @JonnieMarbles on Twitter, the alleged attacker was so proud of the action that he Tweeted, "It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before #splat." UNFOLLOWED!
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Tony Blair vs Shoes and EggsBack in 2010, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair published his memoirs and went on a little book tour in support of them. During a stop at Eason's bookshop in Dublin, Ireland, Blair ran into some protesters pelting him with shoes and eggs. (It probably hadn't helped that he had appeared on the popular Irish TV show "The Late Late Show" the night before and made the case for military action against Iran.)
A number of things went pear-shaped with the protestors plan almost immediately. First off, it was raining, so security simply needed to turn down their umbrellas a bit to keep the debris away from Blair. Also, because the protesters were so far away from their target, it was tough to actually make a direct hit, and most of the objects thrown never made it anywhere near the former Prime Minister.
All was not necessarily lost, though, at least from the Anti-Blair contingent's perspective. He ended up canceling a central London signing of "A Journey: My Political Life" in the hopes of avoiding a follow-up egging. Not to mention being taunted a second time.