“Here at the San Diego Padres,” says the team’s Executive Chairfellow Ron Fouler, "we’ve always believed in the healing power of humor. I mean, can you think of another Major League Baseball outfit that’s had a mascot, official or otherwise, as funny as the San Diego Chicken? Laughter has helped us get through many a disappointing season, and after that whole fiasco with the gays, we definitely needed some healing.”
Fouler is referring to the recent kerfuffle involving the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, which took the field at Petco Park to perform the pregame National Anthem on May 22. But the freelance DJ working the sound system accidentally pressed the wrong button, and instead of the Gay Men’s Chorus's prerecorded track, fans heard a female soloist perform the song. The crowd catcalled, the Chorus protested, the media frothed, DJ Fartstorm was fired (though later rehired), and the League conducted a formal investigation before deciding that human error and not human hate was the culprit.
“So when Musical Fruit got in touch with us about performing the National Anthem with pitch-perfect pooters,”continues Fouler, "we thought it might be just what the doctor ordered. Trust me, these guys are good; they’re not just whistling Dixie out of their backsides, they’re doing it in three-part harmony. I saw them perform "La Donna È Mobile” from Rigoletto at Caesar’s Palace last year, and I thought I would bust a gut — if you take my meaning. Their appearance at Petco was supposed to help everyone move on after an emotionally difficult episode.”
Instead, the now-infamous events before the June 1 game against the Arizona Rattlers have only created further controversy. Some have suggested that the rehired DJ, perhaps guilt-ridden about his previous failure, simply became fixated on the folks he had offended. But whatever the cause, after the Padres announcer informed the crowd that “Musical Fruit will now fart the National Anthem,” fans were treated to sweet croonings of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus. “The darnedest thing is, we usually work live,” says lead Fruit Silent Buttdeadly. “If we’d just been allowed to bend over and cut loose, this all could have been avoided. But the Padres insisted we turn in a prerecorded crack, er, track."
“It was so hurtful,” said one of the clowns, who asked not to be identified. “For many years, people called me gay because I liked to put on makeup and wear these brightly colored, flamboyant outfits. But, of course, I’m not gay. I’m a clown. And that night, as I walked off the field, I heard someone shout, ‘You sounded totally gay out there.’”
The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus has demanded that DJ Fartstorm be refired, then rehired and refired again, and also that the Padres wear rainbow-stripe uniforms for the rest of the season as a show of solidarity with the gay community. The National Clown Alliance has asked that DJ Fartstorm be hit in the face with no less than a dozen cream pies, and that the Padres wear rainbow wigs to go along with the uniforms. Fouler says that the organization is eager to make amends, and that the requests will be carefully considered, “especially since they’re already playing like a bunch of sissified clowns this season. Wait, don’t print that."