Memes of Spicer hiding in — or among — bushes quickly spread on social media, and late-night talk show hosts such as Stephen Colbert and Seth Myers latched on. Melissa McCarthy’s Spicer character even appeared on “Saturday Night Live” crouching in shrubbery while peering into a White House news conference.
Meanwhile, a professor in British Columbia had an idea. Lisa Kadonaga, who teaches geography at the University of Victoria, noticed the photos circulating on social media featuring images Spicer’s face poking out of hedges.
So she found a headshot of Spicer — taken by photographer Chip Somodevilla for Getty Images — and had it blown up and printed. She placed it in shrubbery at a bank in Victoria, and shared a photo of the display with her Facebook friends.
Kadonaga posted the photo “as a chuckle for a few people,” she told CBC News. “I was really stunned as the picture of the preparation and the installation in the bushes kinda took off.”
“Presenting the ‘Garden Spicer,’ ” Kadonaga said in her Facebook post Thursday. “Now you too can have the White House press secretary in — or rather, “among”* — the bushes in your yard. And hey, if you’re concerned that when exposed to the outdoors, the image will run … no worries, that’s exactly what Sean Spicer does, so it’s totally authentic!”
As of Tuesday, the post had been shared more than 110,000 times on Facebook and has been picked up by news outlets worldwide. After receiving hundreds of requests for the Spicer image, Kadonaga uploaded it to the file hosting service Dropbox.com, spurring so much traffic that the overwhelmed site temporarily shut down her account, CBC News reported.
Since then, Spicer’s face has been popping up in gardens worldwide — in the District of Columbia, California, even New Zealand. Spicer has been spotted hiding in household planters, in shrubs outside the Watergate Hotel, and even in Mother’s Day bouquets.
Kadonaga thinks many people might be sharing the photos out of sympathy for Spicer. She told Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News that everyone has been in Spicer’s situation at least once — times in which they’ve been told to go out and do a job without the right tools or information.
“I think it really struck a chord with people, realizing, ‘Gee, that could be me up there,’ ” she said.
“I do feel sorry for the guy,” she added to the Canadian Press.