Award-winning left-wing humorist and former National Lampoon editor, Steve Brykman, has infiltrated the Republican Party, working as a UX Designer & Strategist at Mitt Romney's Boston headquarters. For the hilarious inside story on one of the most insane, error-prone presidential campaigns in recent history, keep reading I'm with Mitt: Adventures in Amercia! Coming soon to a bookstore or eBook reader near you, assuming someone out there possesses the gumption to publish it.
Disclaimer: this blog will not be dictated by fact-checkers.
IX. Not to blame
Tuesday -- May 29
This morning I ran into one of my bosses on the way into the office, and while she's always pretty dour, she was clearly disturbed about something significant. I made it up to my floor, brewed myself a K-cup, sat down at my desk and suddenly remembered the new "With Mitt" iPhone app -- the one I practically begged them not to release yet -- was scheduled to come out today.
I downloaded it from iTunes, and immediately realized why my boss was so bummed out. And with good reason. With really good reason. We're talking a lose-your-job-good reason.
For starters, the app had already gone viral. Not because it was an amazing app that utilized the latest mobile technologies to transform American politics yadda yadda, but because there was a HUGE, GLARING typo in it. We're not talking just any typo. This was about as big as a typo can get. A mammoth typo. A game-changing typo. For those that somehow missed the story, or have forgotten about in all the subsuming hubbub, allow me to refresh your memory. When you open the app, the very first image overlay that appears, staring you right in the face, reads, "A Better Amercia." Like so:
It's so great, I'm planning on using it for the cover of my book. Anyhow, people have naturally already started posting the image on their Facebook and Twitter and emailing it around ironically, as if to illustrate what a bumbling campaign the Romney camp is running; the Gov so out of touch with everything that he can't even get the name of his own country right. And really, who can blame them?
I Googled "Mitt Romney iPhone app" and holy shit. This typo was making big news. CNN, USA Today, Fox News, Washington Post. They all picked up the story.
Right about now you're probably thinking, 'But Steve, you looked at the app before it went out. Wasn't it your job to catch that typo along with all the UI problems?' Ordinarily, yes. But here's the thing. When I looked at the app, it didn't contain the final art, so no, I couldn't have found the typo because it wasn't there.
The weird thing (some might say the best thing) is that none of our developers caught the mistake, none of our designers caught it, none of our project managers caught it, none of our QA people caught it, and most interestingly, Apple -- with all their talk of examining apps before they let them go -- didn't catch it. Or then again, maybe they did. The more I think about it, the more I'm guessing Apple did see the typo after all. Maybe that's why they released the app so fast. Quick! Get that app up on iTunes before somebody catches the typo!
One of my colleagues here bitterly pointed out that while "Amercia" made national headlines, Obama's "Polish Death Camp" gaffe barely merited a mention. And I guess she has a point. But then again, most things are funnier than death camps, and "Amercia" is a whole heck of a lot funnier. As a story, there's so much more juice to it. How do you pronounce it? Are we still supposed to believe in it? Not to mention the fact it ends with "CIA."
Thursday -- May 31
Today I got chewed-out by my boss for wearing shorts to work. She said it would "reflect poorly on the Governor." So for future reference everybody: spelling the name of the country wrong, workable. Visible male-gendered knees: right-out.
Maybe I should expand upon her list. Because in my mind, there are quite a number of things one might assume would outrank short pants in terms of poor reflectors. Here's three just off the top of my head:
1. Beating up a kid in high school for being perceived as gay.
2. Being cool with the fact black preachers weren't allowed in your Church until 1978.
3. Getting arrested for harassing a cop.
Another manager chimed in, saying if the Gov showed up right now and I was wearing a cannabis t-shirt and the Gov wanted to take a picture with the digital team, that might not look so good.
Fine. Only I'm not wearing a cannabis t-shirt. That would be stupid. The shorts aren't even made of hemp. They're linen, in fact, and I've paired them with a nice plaid button-down. Also, this dude clearly forgot that the last time the Gov was here he didn't so much as look at the digital team. Walked right by us without batting an eye, whatever that's supposed to mean. And this was like a week before the typo.
Also: does it seem odd to anyone else that it's okay to bring your dog to the office but you can't wear a pair of shorts? For Christ's sake, the dog is naked! My knees may be exposed but at least I'm evolved enough to use a bathroom!
Speaking of not being so evolved (and/or additional things that may wind up reflecting poorly on the Gov), a few of the guys just returned from a theoretically impromptu press conference held by Obama strategist, David Axelrod. It happened just down the street. Our guys are all bragging about how well they drowned-out Axelrod with their shouting, to the point where no one could make out what he was trying to say. "An old Asian lady kept hitting me," one of the interns said, laughing, "She was screaming at me, 'You're acting like a jerk! You should be ashamed!'" In their defense, isn't this what they call Chicago-style politics? If you can't beat 'em, try yelling louder. If you think they're gay, knock them down and cut off their hair. If they're a different color, keep them the hell out of your Church. God didn't just make everybody, you know!
Kind of a major let-down uttered by the Head of Digital:
"It was a great day. Maybe Axelrod won't come back for a while."
The Boston Globe's Glen Johnson just tweeted, "Reporters had to kneel at podium to ask questions over Romney team's chants."
Other news outlets reported the presence of "Romney supporters." But make no mistake. There were no Romney supporters there. You'd be hard-pressed to find that many Romney supporters in Boston. Those were all our very own staffers.
In other news, daddy finally got paid!
Friday -- June 1
Overheard (between two women -- not that that matters -- though in this case it really does):
"Hey, what's going on?"
"Speeches, speeches, speeches..."
"I know, right?"
Another big fundraiser happened today, which meant a lot of overweight Caucasians in dark suits followed by an endless procession of incredibly hot, presumably self-hating Southern women, with the infrequent African-American female (two so far) thrown in.
I get to hear a lot, perched where I am, just across the hall from the bathrooms. One form of address I hear particularly often is "y'all." As in, "y'all need to go find some Hispanics willing to vote for us." Seriously. I've never been y'alled this much in my entire life. It's wicked awesome.
Overheard fundraiser chatter:
"They're putting all these state reps, these liberal lunatics up in New Hampshire..."
And, hey, here's a first! An overweight man in a dark suit, probably a Congressman, more congenial than most -- red-cheeked, smiling -- stopped at my desk and stared at me for a minute. I assumed he was going to ask me for the way to the bathroom, or the stairs, or inquire as to what floor we were on, or if I knew where so and so's office was. Or maybe he was going to try to make good with the Jews and wish me a Shabbat Shalom. But he didn't do any of that. Instead he just leaned in and said, "Thank you for everything you're doing."
So that's nice. I guess. At least somebody around here cares about us little guys. But it's weird when somebody thanks you for doing something you don't believe in, y'all. Hey, Steve, thanks for adjusting the pressure on those Zyklon B nozzles! Working like a champ, now! Not knowing what else to say, I responded, "No problemo."
The jobs report is not looking good. Unemployment is up to 8.2 percent. If the economy is really what this is all about, I suppose Romney might actually win this thing. This is not good. But hey, in brighter economic news: Romney fundraiser means free bagels for Brykman!
Stay tuned for the next extra-nerdy installment of Steve Brykman's 'I'm with Mitt: Adventures in Amercia!' Coming soon!
Editor's note: This blog post is satirical.