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The lawn-mowing-in-a-tornado dad photo that inspired a thousand memes

Theunis Wessels mowed his lawn Friday as a tornado touched down nearby. The photo caused a bit of a storm on social media. (Cecilia Wessels/Canadian Press)
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It started as a no-name column of rapidly circulating air from small-town Canada.

It will go down as a breathtaking Internet legend, one that sets a new standard for “This Is Fine” memes everywhere.

Could there be a greater honor for an innocuous tornado in 2017?

We don’t think so.

None of it would’ve been possible without Theunis Wessels, a mysterious, magical Canadian super-dad who insisted on mowing his lawn as said twister crawled across the Alberta countryside Friday, just beyond his suburban fence — becoming an instant metaphor for suppressed anxiety, the year 2017, the plight of the married man, the importance of good lawn care and probably much, much more.

Even more credit goes to his wife, Cecilia, who had the presence of mind to snap a picture of her spouse, giving birth to a visual juxtaposition so epic the Internet nearly wet its pants.

“It looks much closer if you look in the photo, but it was really far away,” Theunis told the Canadian Press. “Well, not really far, far away, but it was far away from us.”

“I was keeping an eye on it,” he added.

Stunning photo shows a man casually mowing his lawn as tornado looms

In honor of the Internet’s current favorite lawn-mowing dad, we assembled a few of the memes left in the viral photo’s wake.


A tornado touched down in Three Hills, Canada, on June 2. The tornado was clocked moving east at 50 mph. (Video: Taylor Turner/The Washington Post)


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