The president of the United States of America is afraid of snowmen.
This somewhat perturbing revelation stood out for me, even at the end of a year of perturbing revelations.
Barack Obama, leader of the free world, living embodiment of hope for progressive thinkers and a man who has carried himself with grace and dignity even in the face of great evil, is afraid of Frosty and his wintry pals.
This is bitterly hilarious. Even better, his staff in the White House used his apparent phobia to torment him. Last week, media across the world reported that four large snowman decorations were moved overnight from their usual spot in the Rose Garden.
Their new location had them peeking into the windows of the Oval Office to freak out Obama and the president’s official Instagram account gleefully shared a photo of him trying to work while one of the things lurked behind him.
Nobody’s owning up to the prank, perhaps because, however honourable or late in his tenure Obama may be, he can presumably still authorise a black ops team to carry out a festive extraordinary rendition. No jury would ever convict him.
I feel a bit bad for POTUS, who has admitted that he finds snowmen “creepy”. It’s no fun when someone pokes fun at you for being afraid, as I can attest when anyone waggles a rubber spider at me.
For the record, I am also afraid of heights, dogs, crowds, enclosed spaces, the feeling in your hand when you rub the open side of a thick paperback book and accordions. But I’m OK with snowmen.
I’m assuming that Obama’s fear is minor, because otherwise this prank would cruel. But it does raise some national security issues and I’m glad we’re finding out about it at the end of his eight years in office.
What would have happened if this had become public earlier? Just imagine the threat from Scandinavia, Canada, or – worst of all – Russia. I’m glad Vladimir Putin, a man so tough he gets shirtless in all weathers, didn’t know that all he needed was a snowman costume to destroy America.