Friday, November 30, 2007

The Tommy Boy Gambit

Today, a man walked into the Rochester, New Hampshire campaign office of Hillary Rodham Clinton, opened his jacket, and showed campaign workers what he said was a bomb.

CNN received a phone call from a distraught worker inside the office, and put him on the phone. The man, Leeland Eisenberg, told CNN he has mental problems, and could not get the help he needed. He demanded to speak with senator Clinton.

Eisenberg is well known to local police; he was said to be due in court this afternoon in a domestic violence case involving his wife, and he was known to have mental issues.

For 5 and a half hours, Eisenberg held police at bay, gradually releasing hostages. Finally, he surrendered to the SWAT team waiting for him outside, and I watched that arrest live. Or... semi-live, since CNN added a several-second delay, just in case something went horribly wrong.

Now, here's the thing...

Last night, the movie Tommy Boy was on cable. I'd never seen it, and heard it was funny, so I watched.

In the climax of the movie, Tommy (Chris Farley) straps on a "bomb" and walks into the corporate offices of the company his father founded, in an attempt to get control back from con artists. He demands to speak with the board of directors.

TV cameras are there, live, as he tells his story. When someone mentions the bomb, he says, "What, this? Nah, it's not a bomb. These are just road flares."

Tommy provides proof that the usurpers are cons, regains control of the company, preserves a factory town's jobs and economy, and gets the girl (Julie Warner. Yeah, I know. But it's a fantasy pic).

So, a clock, some tape and a few road flares turn Tommy Boy into a hero.

During the standoff today, Eisenberg's stepson reportedly told someone at a cafe in the area that last night, his father had asked him where he might get some road flares.

Now, I'm not necessarily saying that the movie is responsible for Leeland Eisenberg's actions. After all, the man clearly needs help.

I'm just really curious whether Leeland has cable...

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