Tuesday, October 16, 2012

If You're Going to Fake Manual Labor... Fake it Right

Thinking back to Good Will Hunting, there's a scene in which Matt Damon is supposedly mopping a floor. He does so by sloshing a huge amount of water onto the floor them moving it around with the mop. You can't blame the actor. Who would have expected Matt Damon to have janitorial experience, after all. But you would think somebody associated with the shooting of that scene would know how to mop a floor, and I find it difficult to believe that a "technical adviser" would have been difficult to find.

Ah, but that was a long time ago. What brings the memory to mind? Paul Ryan's latest bad acting job:

Paul Ryan claims to have spent "a summer washing dishes", using a Hobart dishwasher. Apparently the dishwasher didn't even once break down, lucky for him, or the patrons of the restaurant would have been put at risk. Why do I say that? Because Paul Ryan doesn't know how to wash dishes - even clean ones.

Ryan is presumably referring us back to the summer he spent as a teenager working at a McDonalds Restaurant. That restaurant would have had a three-compartment sink, just like the one in Ryan's staged photo op, just in case the Hobart broke down. And if he was in fact the dishwasher, Ryan should have been trained how to use that sink.

The proper method of washing dishes is not: "Pretend to wash a clean dish, rinse thoroughly and pass it to a small child." Instead you use all three compartments of the sink - the first is for your hot soapy water, the second for clean water for rinsing, the third for your sanitizing solution. You wash, then rinse, then sanitize. Pretty simple, right?

It's a shame that Ryan didn't show up when there were people to feed or dishes to wash. He might have learned something. Instead, oh my, what a lesson he was giving to his children.

Update: Ryan's team is now claiming that the dishes Ryan washed were in fact dirty. Ryan's defenders contend that this means that the photo op was not "faked" - a claim that, under the facts, is unworthy of response. But here's the thing: If the dishes were dirty, it's all the more important that they be cleaned properly. The person who left the dirty dishes for Ryan should either have ensured that Ryan knew how to wash dishes, or should have stayed there to instruct him because what Ryan did on camera was and remains a health code violation.

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