Everyone loves bloopers, especially when it comes to protecting the President of the United States, so PlanetPOV is developing a reality series for TV entitled, “The Top Secret Service Bloopers!” and we wanted to give our fellow Planeteers a little advance preview.
Most people are familiar with the more recent bloopers of those little dickens in the dark sunglasses and in-ear receivers but we plumbed the depths to find more Secret Service bloopers from the past. Here are our top five:
1. “Sorry About That, President Lincoln!”
In this episode, clumsy SS Agent, Dick Butterfinger was guarding President Lincoln at Ford’s Theater but when John Wilkes Booth came towards the door, he accidentally tackled himself. Booth easily stepped over him to enter Lincoln’s box and assassinate him. This agent’s name soon became synonymous with clumsiness which is why, today, we refer to someone who acts in such a way as “A Dick”.
2. “Better Off Ted!”
SS Agent John Dutton was undercover, pushing a cart as a fruit vendor while on duty to protect Teddy Roosevelt during his attempt to run for a third term. Unfortunately, when he spotted assassin John Schrank pull out a gun to shoot at Roosevelt, Dutton accidentally pulled out and pointed a banana at him and discovered his mistake too late to stop Schrank from shooting. In the ranks of the SS, this incident is referred to as “The Banana Slipt.”
3. “What’s a Book Suppository?”
On that terrible day in Dallas, SS Agent Steven Wilder was told to secure the book depository building which turned out to be the one that Lee Harvey Oswald was waiting in to shoot at President Kennedy. Agent Wilder, who was said to be easily distracted and got into the SS due to family connections, misunderstood what he was told and thought he had been ordered to secure a book suppository. Instead of inspecting the building and discovering Oswald, preventing the assassination, Wilder went to a newsstand and browsed for the thinnest paperback that could be rolled up. No one knows how Wilder’s superiors disciplined him nor whatever happened to that rolled up paperback.
4. “The Ford Escape”
The year was 1975, the place was Sacramento, California and Gerald Ford was President without being elected by the people…a Republican tradition carried on years later by George W. Bush. Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a Manson family follower, set out to assassinate Ford on behalf of the environment (Mother Nature was held for questioning but later released). SS Agent Larry Figg was heading up the detail in charge of protecting President Ford but had grown a bit peckish and couldn’t resist the prospect of a homemade brownie offered by an attractive hippy girl. It turned out that the brownie was laced with both pot and LSD. Fortunately for Ford, Fromme didn’t have a bullet in the chamber when she pulled the trigger. Unfortunately for Figg, he wasn’t actually a cloud, couldn’t float in the air and sustained severe injuries when he leapt naked out of a tree.
5. “It’s Moaning in America”
SS Agent Luke Canton was known to be a people person, he was great with crowds and took pride in it. When President Ronald Reagan was headed out of the Washington Hilton Hotel, Canton saw a group of people with assorted bulges in their pockets, kept away from the already screened crowd standing near the door. At first he told them that if they would go through screening, they could come closer. John Hinckley, Jr. replied, “Aw, come on…” and Canton just couldn’t disagree with that, allowing them to come over and stand close to the door without being searched. After Hinckley shot at Reagan and was wrestled to the ground, Canton bent down to him angrily and said, “Come on, indeed!” Shortly after, Canton was fired from the SS (his only defense in his job hearing was, “Come on…” but it was of no avail) though he later served in the George W. Bush Administration, as an SEC official in charge of keeping Wall Street back from endangering the economy.
We’re hoping to get interest in our new series from the networks, cable or Homeland Security, we think that last possibility is a natural for us as long as we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot…as Agent Watkins did when Pres. McKinley was assassinated.