In what has to be one of the most incredible “when we say we mean business, we mean business” stands on principles ever, the people of Graz, Austria—Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hometown—have taken his name off the soccer stadium they renamed in his honor in 1997.
This thing is hilarious. Seriously. It’s like a bad breakup. The kind that takes place on the street in the midst of a bunch of passing people. The kind where you throw your cellphone at your ex and it bops him upside the head and he responds with some bitch-ass gesture like spitting on you and calling you the c-word. It’s The War of the Roses…
…and neither Graz nor Arnie intends to go out like a punk.
It all started when Gubnah Ahnold refused to give recently-executed death row inmate Stanley “Tookie” Williams a stay of execution. Capital punishment, as it turns out, is illegal in Austria, and Graz’s official slogan is “City of Human Rights.” Hmmm. Maybe that’s why Arnold left. Anyway, Arnold said ‘no’ to Tookie, and after that, it was on.
After Williams’ Dec. 13 execution triggered a firestorm in Europe and reignited calls for Graz’s stadium to be stripped of Schwarzenegger’s name, the governor opted for a pre-emptive strike: A week ago, he dashed off a letter to local officials ordering his name to be removed and said he was returning an ornate ring of honor that Graz officials gave him in 1999.
Once Arnold jumped bad, the Grazians, Grazielas, Gracias (f*ck, I don’t know what to call them) jumped bad in return. And they were slick with it too…
Late Sunday night or early Monday, authorities in the southern Austrian city unbolted the 20 letters spelling out the action star-turned-politician’s name from Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium. They timed the work to take advantage of the Christmas lull to avoid attracting attention “and keep the media from taking photos,” a local city hall official who declined to be named told Austrian television.
Bitch-ass cities and the bitch-ass dignitaries they honor (then dishonor). What I want to know is what are they going to do with all those giant letters they took off the stadium? Expect the world’s largest Scrabble game—held in Graz, natch—to be announced some time this spring.