Most of you are probably old enough to remember that tag line from a TV commercial for fancy mustard. A chauffer opens the glove box of a luxury car and hands a jar of Grey Poupon to his stuffy master in the back seat who is eating a gourmet meal. When they arrive at a stop sign, another luxury car pulls alongside and rich guy in car number 2 asks rich guy in car number 1, "Pardon me. Would you have any Grey Poupon?"
That commercial has been satirized many times and the phrase has been the definitive satire of over-the-top pompousness and snobbery for years.
Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and his wife hosted a "Wine and Wickets" croquet party on the lawn of the Governor's mansion this afternoon, but it didn't quite reach Grey Poupon standards. It was more like the Beverly Hillbillies hanging out by the "see-ment pond."
The invitation for the party, billed as a fundraiser for refurbishing part of the mansion, was sent to about 1,800 "Madison lobbyists, female lawmakers, neighbors of the mansion, GOP campaign contributors, leading business officials and friends of the first couple", according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Tonette Walker also sent an email to the invited croquettes:
"I am inviting fellow leading ladies like yourself to please join me in donating a purse filled with some of your favorite things. The purses will then be raffled off at the event," Tonette Walker added. "For example, I'll be donating a Tignanello bag filled with some of my can't-live-without items like my favorite shade of Bobbi Brown lipstick and an Aveda hand cream that I can't get enough of."
My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail, but I showed up anyway, as did about 25 other loud and boisterous croquet crashers, some with used handbags filled with cards listing "can't live-without" items like health care and public schools. Alas, we were only allowed to watch from the street, but that didn't spoil our party. The players were only about 50 feet from us, in full view, so we sang along to their music playing from loudspeakers, including "Twist and Shout" by the Beatles and "Born in the USA" by Bruce Springsteen. We also sang some of our own tunes, like "7 Million Dollars of Damage On the Lawn", sung to "99 Bottles of Beer...."
Believe it or not, when the croquet began, they were going to start playing without singing our national anthem, so we obliged and sang it. And they call themselves patriotic?
We encouraged them as they played, shouting at them to "Hit the Ball!" and yelling "Come on. You're Losing!" We jeered bad shots with cries of "Shame! Shame!" and "Get Off Our Lawn!"
Words cannot do it justice. Enjoy these photos:
When I drove by on the way to work (I took a slight detour), the party truck was there and the staff was laying out flags mapping out the croquet field on the front lawn.
Our used handbags were collected at noon in the Capitol during the daily Solidarity Sing Along, and laid out on the street near the mansion prior to the croquet tournament.
When I drove by after lunch, the tents were up...
...and the welcome table was set up just inside the gate.
By 5 o'clock, the security forces were ready (the cops were actually pretty cool about the whole thing.) Hey, look at that! No videotaping, just like in the state Assembly gallery.
Most of the guests had to park their Lexuseseses on the street and walk past the friendly protesters advising them to have a good time and take in lots of cash for Governor Walker. None of the guests bought a handbag, though.
1,800 invitations sent out, huh? I guess everyone was busy getting ready to watch Simon Cowell's new show and couldn't make it to the croquet party. Poor Tonette. Her gala was a bust. Wait a second...white pants after Labor Day!? What was that guy thinking?
Oh, there we are. I think my favorite chant was "Corporate Whores...What's the Score?"
Ken and Barbie were there. Whoa, watch where you're pointing that mallet, Ken!
Porta-Potties? Really? And is that a fancy make-up table or a vanity next to it with the yellow cover? How embarrassing.
Oh, I almost forgot...