If Bernie Sanders thought he was going to blend in at United States President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony in Washington D.C on Wednesday, he was mistaken.
Wearing oversized hand-knit mittens, a casual winter coat, and a baby-blue medical mask, the American politician took his seat, where a photo was snapped of him with his arms crossed and his eyes half-closed.
The image has since gone viral and has been Photoshopped into various scenes and settings across North America – including Maple Ridge.
Online images of Sanders show him sitting at the back of the library in the 1980’s flick The Breakfast Club, in the famous chocolate scene with Tom Hanks in the 1994 movie in Forrest Gump, alongside Big Bird, on the throne from the TV show Game of Thrones, dipping his feet in the ocean with David Suzuki, on ski lifts, in restaurants, on park benches, selling girl guide cookies and in family photos.
After seeing the memes go crazy online, Brenda Norrie with the Maple Ridge Community Foundation decided she was going to do her own.
So, Norrie put Sanders, sitting in his now infamous pose, along the dikes in Maple Ridge, by the “Welcome to Maple Ridge” sign along Lougheed Highway at Dewdney Trunk Road, and even on top of the horse clock.
Norrie said she was “howling” Thursday night looking at all of the Sanders mittens memes online.
“I just thought it would be fun because I know that with my past marketing experience, that all of this silly stuff is what people enjoy and what people like and share,” said Norrie.
At the Community Foundation her job is to promote the foundation and the good work they are doing in the community, including their fundraising initiatives.
But when Norrie saw what others were posting with Sander’s photo, she thought, what the heck, it’s fun.
Now more than 9,000 people have seen her post and it’s been shared 153 times.
“It’s just gone crazy,” said Norrie, adding that the community needs that little bit of “silly”.
The Maple Ridge group Moms Gone Wild also jumped in on the action creating their own memes, along with other residents of the city.
“The political climate is so tense and our health climate is so tense that people just want a break from that,” noted Norrie.
“The Community Foundation is here to support our community and if that means we need to be silly, if that’s what our community needs, then that’s what we are going to give them.”
If people suggest new locations, Norrie is up for it with her cutout of Sanders.
Suggestions can be made on the Maple Ridge Community Foundation Facebook page.