Oh, the woes of an unwanted Democratic donkey.
Imagine being abandoned by New York, of all places. More understandable might be rejection by Guam, American Samoa, or even Connecticut, but the Empire State? The bluest of blues, birthplace of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and home to Hillary Clinton?
In the end, it is all the same for four spurned fiberglass burros that were part of the herd of 57 scattered about Philadelphia to promote last week's Democratic National Convention.
They won't be going home, their delegations unwilling to pay their shipping costs. Their fates now will be determined by an online auction.
That dismal outcome for the four neddies, as the Brits might say, was glossed over Wednesday by former Gov. Ed Rendell, who understandably crowed instead of the 53 that were claimed by Democratic delegates and can be expected to leave town by Aug. 23. For the record, Puerto Rico reached out for its donkey Wednesday, only after reading an earlier version of this story online.
The adoption rate was only further evidence of how "incredibly popular" the donkeys were, according to Rendell, who took credit for the marketing ploy that did seem well-received by visitors and residents alike.
Rendell, who chaired the convention's local host committee, spoke in front of the Kansas donkey at One Logan Square, 18th and Cherry Streets. The donkey, with its portrait of Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz, is Rendell's favorite, the former governor and mayor particularly taken with its ruby hooves.
Rendell acknowledged that others were not as enthusiastic when he raised the idea of planting life-size painted jackasses all around town. All manner of unseemly abuse - followed by unwanted media coverage - was imagined.
"When you think about what happened to hitchBOT," said host committee spokeswoman Anna Adams-Sarthou, recalling the "hitchhiking robot" that managed to trek Europe and Canada before being decapitated in Philadelphia. "But everybody really respected the donkeys."
Oh, sure, some suffered scratches, cracks, and paint loss from mishandling and unwelcomed mounting by the overly enthusiastic. And one, Guam, was briefly kidnapped.
But all of that was only evidence of their attraction.
"The donkeys were beloved," said Jane Golden, executive director of the Mural Arts Program, which helped find the 28 artists who painted the beasts. "I saw families all over the city, going from donkey to donkey. They had charts, they had maps. Everybody had donkey fever."
Yes, donkey fever. Let's just leave it at that.