Forget the Harvard Law Review, the Noble Peace Prize, or the Presidency. You know you’ve made it big when you get your own Chia Pet. A few years back, Barack Obama joined the likes of George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and Scooby Doo as one of the elite few to ever be immortalized in clay and chia sprouts.
The Barack Obama Chia Pet remains one of the most interesting political gag gifts of all time. Is it a pro-Obama tribute, or an anti-Obama totem? Is it offensive or merely tasteless? Some folks have even complained that this tacky little piece of Americana is racist, leading some brick and mortar stores to pull it from their shelves (fortunately, you can still buy it online – yay internet).
One thing’s for sure – this is the most controversial Chia Pet since Chia Saddam (don’t Google it, I’m joking). The furor over this died down a long time ago, and with all the other bonafide racially insensitive attacks that have come since, it almost seems quaint. Still, if you give Chia Obama as a gift, you can expect to get some sort of strong reaction – whether it’s outrage or amusement.
Personally, I think the face looks nothing like Barack Obama. If not for the verdant ‘fro and the name engraved on the front, I might guess this was a bust of Gerald Ford. Unfortunately, the hair apparently doesn’t always look as nice as it does in this picture. Some owners of Chia Obama have complained that plant grows a lot more rapidly on the sides than on top, ultimately making the leader of the free world look like Krusty the Clown or Moe from the Three Stooges.
Of course, how well it grows is less important than the fact that it’s Chia Freaking Obama. Just being able to say you own a Barack Obama Chia Pet – or giving it as a gift to your Obama-hating/Obama-loving uncle – is 99% of the fun.