VICTORIA - Don't be surprised if, in the coming days, you happen to spot White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer peeking out from behind a bush near you. What began as a bit of whimsy on the part of a Victoria, B.C., woman to poke a little lighthearted fun at Spicer's occasionally comedic foibles is now trending on social media.
Spicer has, of late, been uproariously lampooned by actress Melissa McCarthy on "Saturday Night Live" over his frequently combative discourse with journalists. And when reports surfaced last week of Spicer meeting with reporters, at night, in the shadows among the bushes outside the White House, inspiration struck Lisa Kadonaga.
The reports spawned many humorous memes on Facebook, and Kadonaga, 49 who teaches geography at the University of Victoria, says that with her hometown being world renowned for its greenery, she decided that one of its bushes would make the perfect place for Spicer to hang out — so to speak.
She found a headshot of Spicer that she liked, had it blown up and printed off, placed it strategically in some lush shrubbery at a local bank, photographed the comically surreal scene, and then shared the picture with her approximately 200 Facebook friends.
Kadonaga says she figured a few people might get a laugh out of it and was "shocked" to soon find her Spicer in the bush cutout trending on sites such as Twitter as well as appearing in mainstream media across North America and beyond. She says that after fielding a veritable tsunami of requests for the picture she decided to upload it to Dropbox.com, where interest was so great that it temporarily crashed the Internet sharing site.
Her Spicer cutout has since appeared in a variety of locales.
"I guess the L.A Times said that somebody had seen one alongside the highway down by Santa Monica, and some other guy went over in Washington D.C. and got his picture outside the Watergate hotel," Kadonaga told The Canadian Press Sunday night.
She said she also knew of a woman in New Zealand who put one in her garden.
"It's been really odd because I just never expected to get quite this much in the way of attention, but I'm just really happy people seem to be enjoying it," she said.
"As long as they're having fun, they're getting exercise, they're enjoying themselves, and you know, that's what this is all about."
As for Spicer the man, Kadonaga says he has her heartfelt sympathy after being cast in the arduous, and usually thankless role, of trying to put the best public face on the often erratic pronouncements of President Donald Trump.
"I do feel sorry for the guy, and I think a lot of people have picked up on that. I mean a lot of people have been in that situation themselves, maybe at work or in school, and people sympathize," she said.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. Melissa McCarthy's name was misspelled in a previous version.