Gangsta Pranksta

The more the Romney camp tries to unzip the “Mitt as Irrepressible Prankster” meme, the more clear it becomes that either “prank” is an earthling word that Mittbot 2012 cannot compute or else the dude is just a fucking psycho. Here’s a fond remembrance of pranks past published by Tucker Carlson’s puke funnel:

On a Friday evening in 1962, or perhaps 1963, Ben Shaw and his sales employees at the Princeton Prep Shoppe in Birmingham, Mich., were watching traffic roll by as an ordinary work day wound down. But with young Mitt Romney around, Shaw recalls, nothing was ordinary. The future presidential candidate and three friends dressed in what Shaw calls “gangland fashion” hopped out of a 1930s vintage Ford that was double-parked across the street, in front of City Hall and the police station.

The four teens wore “trench coats with turned-up collars and wide-brimmed fedoras,” Shaw told The Daily Caller in an interview.

The pretend gangsters made a beeline for the storefront. One knocked the door open while two others “stood menacingly with their hands in their pockets.” Shaw instantly pegged the fourth member of the team as Romney. The boy “shoved his way in,” he said, wielding a toy Tommy gun.

“This is a stick-up,” Shaw recalls Romney saying, adding that he “proceeded to ‘spray’ the entire store as sparks from the toy flew from the muzzle.”

In the blink of an eye, the pranksters jumped into their getaway car and sped away.

Mock executions, how droll! Of course, teen pranksters attempting such a stunt today would likely die in a hail of bullets as the shopkeepers exercised their right to “stand their ground,” particularly if the teens in question had a greater melanin concentration than Romney and his pals.

Shaw told of another Romney “prank:”

He recalled another staged stunt, “the fireman story,” that happened around the same year during the Christmas season. As holiday business picked up, Shaw kept the store open until 9:00 p.m. during the week, he said, and routinely received truck shipments around closing time.

So when he heard a “loud banging” on the metal delivery door in the back of the shop as he was preparing to lock the front door, he thought it was just another late-night delivery.

But when Shaw opened the door, he explained, he suddenly stood face-to-face with Mitt Romney “in full Bloomfield Township fireman’s regalia.”

“He had on the waterproof cape, the fire helmet, and he was carrying a bona fide fire ax,” Shaw told TheDC, and barged into the store screaming, “Where’s the fire? Where’s the fire?”

The costumed Romney paraded through the store — all the while yelling about a nonexistent fire while swinging the ax over his head — and walked out the unlocked front door. And as quickly as he had barged in, he vanished.

Again, this would result in summary execution for duskier-hued yoots, but one can readily appreciate the shopkeeper’s need to tolerate the “pranks” of a local scion with the juice to commandeer 1930s-era cars, gangster outfits and “fireman regalia” with which to amuse himself with the local merchant class. Especially at the “Princeton Prep Shoppe.”

Someone on Team Romney has an inkling that these events might not put their man in the best possible light since they’ve denied the “Tommy gun” and “ax” portions of the stories while coyly declining to deny the rest of the adorable hijinx, but the shopkeeper stands by his version. Does anyone really think that’s funny? Who the fuck are these people?

71 replies
  1. 1
    DogMom says:

    So Mitt is James O’keefe’s mentor? Please don’t tell me the one about Mitt dressing up as a pimp . . .

  2. 2
    JPL says:

    Mitt is a bully!
    Betty, Great post and hopefully the watches don’t turn to warnings in your area.

  3. 3
    WereBear says:

    They seem to all include violence. And not the cream pie kind.

  4. 4
    Phylllis says:

    Confirmation that Mitt is the co-worker that makes your job a miserable living hell.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    @Phylllis:

    Mitt is the co-worker that makes your job a miserable living hell

    Mitt is never the co-worker. He is always the boss. The rest is accurate.

  6. 6

    Just for shits and giggles, imagine the right wing freak-out if a similar story about Obama were to surface. There’d be all sorts of carrying on about “thugs” and the Nation of Islam and god knows what else.

    But privileged white boys have always operated under a different set of rules.

  7. 7
    MattF says:

    @WereBear: Hm. There is a certain repressed something-or-other going on there. Probably goes back to the Daddy Problem.

  8. 8
    dr. bloor says:

    A history of impersonating a cop and a mobster. Once again, Mitt plays both sides of the issue.

    What a jerk.

  9. 9
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Deep philosophical question: Which comes first, the violent bullying tendencies, or affiliation with the Republican Party?

  10. 10
    Commenting at Balloon Juice Since 1937 says:

    Yeah? Well, Obama bogarted a joint once.

  11. 11
    lacp says:

    Prankster? He sounds like a fucking nut.

  12. 12
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    1930’s gangsta regalia and firemen’s outfits?

    Romney sure likes to play dress-up. Maybe he doesn’t really want to be president; maybe he just wants to look or play the part.

    .

  13. 13
    the Conster says:

    @Southern Beale:

    You beat me to it. Imagine the stories about Obama and his friends going gangsta and spraying a store with a fake gun just for teh lulz. WTF.

  14. 14
    Tokyokie says:

    During the early ’70s, I organized and participated in guerrilla skits during high school that included the firing of really loud cap pistols, but everybody who was “shot” was in on the skit, the skit’s audience was restricted to the school’s students and staff, and immediately after each act of “violence,” a couple of guys in white coats would dash in, load the “victim” onto a stretcher and run right back out. The difference between Mitt’s pranks and mine were that we never considered disrupting the affairs of those outside the school community, and our performances were to amuse ourselves and others in the school. Mitt’s pranks were for the amusement of Mitt and his gang of pranksters, and the main source of amusement for them was rubbing the noses of those from of lesser social standing in their lack of social status.

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @the Conster: If Obama did that, he would not be President. He’d be six feet under. Stand your ground and all that.

  16. 16
    Brian R. says:

    Does anyone really think that’s funny? Who the fuck are these people?

    Ahem.

  17. 17
    RossInDetroit says:

    Birmingham has changed a lot. I work there and live nearby. It would be hard to imagine a more sedate and law abiding town. The most drastic local youth scandal I recall was racist graffiti in a high school restroom. There was an uproar. That was 14 months ago. Pretty quiet since then.

  18. 18
    Brian R. says:

    @JGabriel:

    Romney sure likes to play dress-up. Maybe he doesn’t really want to be president; maybe he just wants to look or play the part.

    That’s how we got C-Plus Augustus the last time around.

    Man, what is it with all these pampered, elitist, trust fund Republicans and their constant need to dress up like macho men?

    Wait, I think I answered my own question.

  19. 19
    Phylllis says:

    @Baud: @Baud: See, my mind couldn’t even consider having to work for the mean little bastard. And Ann would of course be the kind of wife of the boss who bitches about employees ‘stealing’ from her husband when they make a personal call at work.

  20. 20
    MikeJ says:

    Mock executions, how droll! Of course, teen pranksters attempting such a stunt today would likely die in a hail of bullets as the shopkeepers exercised their right to “stand their ground,”

    Forget about the shopkeepers, what do you think the government would do to a kid with the middle name Hussein impersonating emergency personnel?

  21. 21
    buckyblue says:

    Pranksters? These aren’t pranks. These aren’t clever. These douchebags just forgot it wasn’t Halloween.

  22. 22
    RossInDetroit says:

    Here’s a Birmingham anecdote. A friend of mine got jugged by Birmingham’s Finest for piloting his BMW with a skull full of bad chemicals. He was rude and unruly. In the morning they asked what he’d like for breakfast, and delivered the requested coffee and croissant promptly. He says it’s the best place he knows to get thrown in jail.

  23. 23
    maya says:

    But Mitt put away all his childhood toys and discovered that he could accomplish much much more hilarity with a leveraged buyout than he could with a fake tommy gun and fireman’s ax.

  24. 24
    Brian R. says:

    @maya:

    But Mitt put away all his childhood toys and discovered that he could accomplish much much more hilarity with a leveraged buyout than he could with a fake tommy gun and fireman’s ax.

    True. He still gets his shits and giggles by forcing his way into small businesses, raising all kinds of hell, and running away laughing before the cops show up.

  25. 25
    Older_Wiser says:

    Still the hatchet man in a different costume.

  26. 26
    amk says:

    Cue brachiator chiming in with how you’re all being meanies to willard. Also. Too. To ms mehmney somehow.

  27. 27
    rikyrah says:

    I’ll say it again: don’t nobody says anything positive about Willard unless they get a paycheck from him…and yes, I include his family.

  28. 28
    Rugosa says:

    @JGabriel: suddenly the tune “YMCA” pops up in my head, hmm . . .

  29. 29
    Culture of Truth says:

    I’m trying not to be an Obot partisan and all, but this is just weird. and to think they called Trayvon Martin a thug.

  30. 30
    Culture of Truth says:

    I can see how people could find W personable, Reagan charming, Poppy likeable, even McCain could be funny.

    Romney seems unable to interact with humans well.

  31. 31
    beltane says:

    Mitt Romney sounds like he has the makings to be a truly awesome sociopathic dictator of the Kim Jong Ill variety. Unzip him and who knows what type of monster will pop out.

  32. 32
    HRA says:

    It seems that he has a uniform fetish except for the military ones.

  33. 33
    SteveM says:

    Young Romney = Young W – alcohol and drugs.

  34. 34
    YellowJournalism says:

    These are not pranks. A prank would be Romney and his buds walking in wearing trench coats, taking them off, and running through the store naked with a sock on their junk. This stuff is violent and disturbing, and the fact that it happened more than once suggests an air of harassment.

  35. 35
    beltane says:

    @HRA: Maybe that will change if he becomes president, at which point he will don the uniform of a seven star general and proclaim that he is the military genius who defeated Hitler, Napoleon, Hannibal, and Sargon the Great.

  36. 36
    bjacques says:

    Greg Stillson with a joy buzzer.

  37. 37
    Donald G says:

    So, as Romney (presumably as “Frank Mitti”) was LARPING about playing a badguy out of “The Untouchables”, who was running around pretending to be Robert Stack?

  38. 38
    The Red Pen says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Just for shits and giggles, imagine the right wing freak-out if a similar story about Obama were to surface. There’d be all sorts of carrying on about “thugs” and the Nation of Islam and god knows what else.

    Definitely.

    In my opinion, these are pranks from a different time — a time when toy guns didn’t get you shot. Hyperventilating over them makes us look like humorless prudes (IMO), but Jeebus forbid that a similar story be uncovered about Obama.

  39. 39
    Kathy says:

    @RossInDetroit: I grew up in Birmingham. In the seventies it had calmed down quite a bit. Also, Cranbrook was a pretty cool place that was a part of the community in a way other private schools like Detroit Country Day never were. It seems the best thing Mitt does for places would be to leave them.

  40. 40
    Hoodie says:

    @The Red Pen: These are pranks from a different time, and I’m sure they were real knee-slappers back in 1962, a time when women and dark-skinned folk knew there place. The important point is that there is no evidence that Willard has matured and progressed as society changed, as none of these stories of his alleged “humanity” appears to be less than 40 years old. Hell, Donnie Osmond isn’t that locked in amber.

  41. 41
    MattF says:

    @Kathy: It’s not Mitt that’s doing anything wrong– it’s the trees refusing to stay the right size.

  42. 42
    redshirt says:

    @bjacques: Bingo. Scary!

    Also, if Mitt is elected, can you imagine all the awesome costumes and pranks he’ll pull on the entire world? There will be no end to the laughs (tears).

  43. 43
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Hoodie:

    The important point is that there is no evidence that Willard has matured and progressed as society changed, as none of these stories of his alleged “humanity” appears to be less than 40 years old. Hell, Donnie Osmond isn’t that locked in amber.

    This is why I think it’s worth bringing up. This story ran in The Daily Caller. This is probably what Team Romney wants you to know about Mittens.

    They think it puts him in a flattering light, just as one of the clueless MiniMitts spilled the beans about the dog on a roof story thinking it somehow showed “cool, crisis-free management style” instead of an appalling indifference to a pet’s safety and comfort.

  44. 44
    Mark B says:

    Sounds like the kind of pranks the frats used to pull at UT in the 70s and 80s. I remember one of them had a ‘party’ where they destroyed a car with sledgehammers, and one of them spray painted ‘FUSK NIGGERS’ on the car, ironically obfuscating the least obscene word. It was all cool, until a picture of the car appeared in the Daily Texan.

  45. 45
    redshirt says:

    Also too: That was always my favorite old Warner Brothers cartoons – gangstas.

    “Yeah, see? You’ll never take us alive coppa”.

  46. 46

    The “pranks” are disturbing, as noted above. Both for the impersonations of authority and the violence. Budding sociopath on display, much like in the forced barbering torture tale. This is not the portrait of a good man.

  47. 47
    Kathy says:

    @MattF: Point taken. However I think they all grew a couple of feet after he left.

  48. 48
    g says:

    @bjacques: I like this comment so much I want to buy it a drink!

  49. 49
    Shana says:

    These “pranks” were not all when he was a kid. Remember the story about when he was governor and one of the troopers on his security detail short sheeted his bed at a hotel and the next day Romney told the trooper that the maid responsible for the room had been fired? Real funny stuff, getting someone who had nothing to do with it fired (even if he was “joking” about it) in order to scare the guy responsible. All his so-called funny stuff involves harm to innocent people. What a dick.

  50. 50
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @JGabriel:

    1930’s gangsta regalia and firemen’s outfits? Romney sure likes to play dress-up.

    He’s a regular one-man Village People.

  51. 51
    g says:

    I must be humor-impaired, but I don’t even understand the purported “humor” behind the pranks. Are the larfs all about making some poor shopkeeper freak out with fear of violence? Is that the funny part?

    “You shoulda seen their faces, they thought they were gonna die!”

    “You should seen his face, he thought his store was on fire!”

  52. 52
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Rugosa: Ah, posted my #50 before I saw this. Sorry.

  53. 53
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Anyone else noticing Romney makes GW Bush look good, as far rich entitled pricks go?

  54. 54
    g says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Anyone else noticing Romney makes GW Bush look good, as far rich entitled pricks go?

    Yes. Romney doesn’t even have the mitigating sympathetic factor of having been a drunken failure.

  55. 55
    ChrisB says:

    @The Red Pen:

    In my opinion, these are pranks from a different time—a time when toy guns didn’t get you shot. Hyperventilating over them makes us look like humorless prudes (IMO),

    I largely agree with this but why are we all assuming that Romney’s compatriots were white?

    @Culture of Truth:

    Romney seems unable to interact with humans well.

    Who can forget his “Who let the dogs out” moment?

  56. 56
    Mnemosyne says:

    When I was in high school in the 1980s, I knew guys who used to build their own pipe bombs and set them off in the woods for fun (in fact, I dated two of those guys). So I can’t get super-exercised about Romney pulling stupid pranks around the same age.

    But, as others have said, what’s weird is how many of Romney’s pranks seem to revolve around dressing up to impersonate authority and/or threaten violence.

  57. 57
    The Red Pen says:

    @Hoodie:

    These are pranks from a different time, and I’m sure they were real knee-slappers back in 1962, a time when women and dark-skinned folk knew there place.

    How the hell did we get from dressing up as a gangster and brandishing a toy Tommy gun to institutionalized racism and sexism?

    Is this some kind of Post-Modernist claptrap about how if a privileged white guy did something in the early sixties, it was intrinsically racist and sexism because of course it is?

  58. 58
    The Red Pen says:

    I largely agree with this but why are we all assuming that Romney’s compatriots were white?

    It seems like a safe assumption. It might be wrong, but I’d wager a modest bet that it’s correct.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, there was something in the air in the early 1960s. Merry Pranksters, anyone?

  60. 60
    Hoodie says:

    @The Red Pen: No, it’s that being a gangster didn’t have the connotations then that it does now. Mimicing that kind of behavior was socially acceptable and the subject of hilarity, when it was done by white guys in 1962. The real point, however, is that is that Romney and his message haven’t moved all that far past 1962. This is a prank that only grandpa could appreciate, which shows you where Romney’s messaging is at.

  61. 61
    ThresherK says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Shrub was at least rugged enough to play rugby (even though we all saw that foto of him punching someone on the pitch), a sport where one is subject to take it as well as dish it out.

    From Bush Pere (actual fighter pilot) to Bush Fils (actual AWOL pilot) to Romney there’s quite a dropoff. I shudder to think what the next one will be like.

  62. 62
    Tehanu says:

    I don’t like practical jokes and pranks of any kind, because I don’t like being embarrassed or seeing other people embarrassed, so I’m biased. It strikes me that these little “jokes” — including the short-sheeting trooper bit, as well as the notorious forced haircut — all have the same thing in common: they aim to make people feel bad and/or frightened, not just flustered or silly. This isn’t humor; it’s sociopathy.

  63. 63
    Jebediah says:

    @ThresherK:

    From Bush Pere (actual fighter pilot) to Bush Fils (actual AWOL pilot) to Romney there’s quite a dropoff. I shudder to think what the next one will be like.

    Well, if I have done the link correctly, this is my guess.

  64. 64
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @g:

    Yes. Romney doesn’t even have the mitigating sympathetic factor of having been a drunken failure.

    Yes, oddly that’s more endearing than Romney bot because Bush at lest once admitted he wasn’t perfect because of his birth style choice.

  65. 65
    TenguPhule says:

    These aren’t pranks, they’re crimes.

    Has the statue of limitations run out yet? Or can some bold soul still arrest Mitt?

  66. 66
    Tonal Crow says:

    Does Mitt also hold down co-workers and forcibly cut their hair? Or did he give that up after high school?

    Didn’t we learn our lesson about electing people who make a habit of this kind of thing (as in Dubya blowing up frogs with firecrackers)?

  67. 67
    LanceThruster says:

    Who would have guessed Willard is an exhibitionist bully. It does not ascend to the next level unless the hoi polloi witness his “creative” disruptions.

    Maybe he was trying to establish his bona fides as a future “pretendadent.”

  68. 68
    Betsy says:

    @Tehanu: I’ve been thinking for months now that Romney is a sociopath. Each new “gaffe” seems to confirm it.

    I can’t believe everyone else isn’t seeing this.

  69. 69
    Narcissus says:

    Mitt’s starting to remind me of the Chris Walken/Seth Meyers Prankster skit.

  70. 70
    karen says:

    Mitt reminds me of Biff from Back To The Future, a bully who forces others to take it because they all know there’s nothing that can stop the bully from doing it.

  71. 71
    fuckwit says:

    This is different from George W. Bush how exactly?

    Shrub was notorious for his sadistic “pranks”. Read the excellent biography “Fortunate Son” for the details.

    No wonder the Rethugs nominated this douchbag. He’s a bully, a spoiled rich prep-school child of privilege, just like Shrub.

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