Barack Obama and Watermelons on the White House Lawn? Oh My God -- Did You Think That Up All By Yourself?

03/29/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

How old do you have to be to be the mayor of Los Alamitos, California?

Because I can't believe that the guy who sent out this stupefying email is more than six -- at least his sense of humor, and that may be doing a disservice to six-year-olds.

The Orange County Register reported that Dean Grose, the Los Alamitos mayor, sent an email from his personal account that shows a picture of the White House. On its lawn are rows of watermelons, and the caption reads, ``No Easter egg hunt this year.``

I'll pause for a moment here while you recover from the gasping guffaws, the belly laughs that are no doubt incapacitating you right now as a consequence of that devastating thigh-slapper from Mayor Grose.

Do people really still tell these so-called jokes? Do people really still find them funny?

One recipient of the email was Los Alamitos council member Keyanus Price, who is black. Grose told the Associated Press that Price is a friend of his, that he didn't send it to offend her or African-Americans, and that he was unaware of the racial stereotype about black people and watermelons.


I'm white as a polar bear's belly and I'm offended.

I'm also not buying it. Mayor Grose, according to voter registration records, is 65 years old. He was a grownup when the Civil Rights Act was signed, an adult during the decade of protests. I hope -- I hope -- that we may just now be bringing up a generation that doesn't recognize these stereotypes. What a breakthrough.

But for Mayor Grose, a man old enough to receive Social Security, to suggest that he didn't know about the stereotype makes me wonder what he was doing during those years of change and assassination and social awakening.

And if he didn't know about the stereotype, what's the point of sending out the email? Is it some insight into the state of American eggculture and agriculture? Why would there be no Easter egg hunt at the White House this year? Does the mayor of Los Alamitos have some inside information about an imminent egg shortage? Or that the watermelon industry needs serious economic propping-up, and that's why watermelons will be used in lieu of eggs, coincidentally in the very year that an African-American president first occupied the White House?

I just don't know whether this whole thing is more sad or offensive. I do know that it's not funny, that it never was funny, and that if there's ever a standup comedy night fundraiser at Los Alamitos City Hall, Mayor Grose better stick to taking tickets at the door.