Tag Archives: us congress

US Congressman Paul Ryans Awful Giraffe 4 11

US Congressman Paul Ryan (Wisconsin)

As much as it pains me to admit I did not get this giraffe myself. I wish I would have been there so that I could have had the opportunity to point out that whether one calls themselves a Democrat or Republican, they still suck at drawing. Frankly, it may be the one thing that can unite us as a country.

US Congressman Paul Ryan (WI-R)

Or something like that.

Anyway, the following has been relayed to me by a friend of mine named Joe Hartmann (Facebook) who, coincidentally, ran into the congressman in a DC airport. For those who may not be familiar with U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan, he is the chairman of the House Budget Committee who has been in the news lately because of his proposed federal budget and its ensuing controversy. I’ll try to keep my opinions to myself.

Packed up and at the airport ready to return to the state after spending a weekend in the capitol city for an environmental conference, I can only presume Joe was not aware that he was on the cusp of history. Note even knowing the name of the congressman until the deed was done, turning to another bystander and asking “Who was that?” I can only presume that Joe had any clue that he would be interacting with one of the most powerful men in Washington.

As Joe is waiting for his plane to arrive a great commotion breaks out in the distance. Suddenly lights begins to flash and the chattering of the crowd fills the terminal – Joe doesn’t recognize the person but surely someone must. As Ryan signs autographs and takes pictures with fans, the only clear fact is that he’s a celebrity. So what is one to do?

Approaching the congressman, my friend is blunt: “Can you draw me a giraffe?”

Ryan is equally so: “No.”

Though Ryan continues to excite the crowd, Joe continues, “My friend has a blog where he collects giraffes drawn by people who should not be drawing giraffes. It’s gaining some steam and he already has some drawings from other politicians ….” Even though I can only extrapolate and piece together the exchange through my conversations with Joe, the fact that it worked implies that it must have been divinely inspired. There really is no other rational explanation for it.

Pulling out a piece of paper,  Ryan practices his art. Unsatisfied with his first attempt he tears the sheet out of the notebook, crumples it up and puts it into his back pocket. Trying again he creates what can only be described as a masterpiece that may or may not be better than Congressman Tim Walz’s giraffe.

A Pretty Awful Paul Ryan Giraffe

Though I’m not sure why it has black, soulless eyes ….

Our Apologies for Missing Friday’s Post

Normally we like to try our best to post a new giraffe every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but unfortunately we dropped the ball yesterday. Instead of scheduling a new giraffe I found myself bumming around the Twin Cities visiting friends, writing, walking DinkyTown and giving Michio Kaku‘s powerpoint presentation to a crowd of 500+ at the University of Minnesota Bookstore as he calmly stood beside me with laryngitis (podcast and giraffe to come).

Needless to say: I was busy.

Also, I made my way over to see the always funny Sam Lipsyte at Magers and Quinn booksellers. Lipsyte is a satirist/black humorist/terrible artist whose latest book The Ask (2010) is a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (Slate did a nice review here).

Though your Friday was likely an empty one filled simply with decisions of whether or not you should kick it in the front seat or sit in the back seat, I will make it up to you by making this Monday (4/11/11) extra awful with a double post – I just have to decide which giraffes to use.

In other news:

  • Many thanks to Dillon McBrady for not only obtaining a giraffe from U.S. Senator Al Franken, which will make its way online in the near future. Also, thank you Dillon for bringing to light U.S. Congressman Collin Peterson‘s refusal to help his constituents in their entrepreneurial undertakings.
  • PrettyAwfulGiraffes.com would like to publicly apologize to U.S. Congressman Tim Walz for causing a recent controversy that has the potential to overshadow Nixon’s Watergate. Our bad, dude.
  • A friend of a friend was able to get a giraffe drawn by Philip Glass, who according to Wikipedia is “considered to be one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century and is widely acknowledged as a composer who has brought art music to the public.” Pretty sweet, huh?
  • It’s very likely that we’ll have buttons and stickers ready in the next two weeks. Be sure to join the Street Team and tell all of your friends to do the same.
  • I’m not sure what to do with the giraffes that have been finding their way to my inbox lately. Should I just throw them up online and let the people decide? Help!
U.S. Congressman Tim Walz's giraffe

U.S. Congressman Tim Walz (Minnesota)

I made my way to the 2011 DFL Business Conference in Cokato, MN, in February because I am the the associate chair of the Chippewa County DFL, and for those not familiar with the workings of a political party this is where activists from across the state elect the chairman, secretary, affirmative action officer, and so on, who will be leading the party for the next two years. While there, as I was doing some campaign work for newly-elected Secretary Vanessa Blomgren, I ran into U.S. Congressman Tim Walz (office page). Pulling him close, I watched his arms fold up to listen to the hardball question he was likely expecting me to throw his way, but instead I made the typical pitch:

Congressman Tim Walz of Minnesota

MPR Photo/Derek Montgomery

“Hello Tim, I know you’re really busy, but there’s something I would like to ask you. I’m working on a website called (blah blah blah) and while I think you are an amazing gentleman, you seem like someone who should not be drawing giraffes. Could you do me the honor of drawing a giraffe?”

The congressman then burst into laughter, saying he would give it a try and that the idea was overall “pretty damn funny.” While I expected him to simply scribble a drawing out so he could move onto other business, he seemed legitimately interested in contributing it, being invested enough to say “I have no idea what the hell that is” when he made the awkward neck-bubble (goitre?) on the giraffe.

Of everyone the editorial board has talked to so far, Tim has been the most receptive and for that we thank him.U.S. Congressman Tim Walz's giraffe