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Bill & Bob: Where Are They Now?

Bill & Bob: Where Are They Now?

So I’m sure you’re all dying to know what’s happened to Bill and Bob since my first article in 2016 and my second in 2019. They ain’t gone away, that’s for sure. I thought they did, but like the cat, they came back. And I still gotta stare at this shit every time I work out.

I can’t remember when it went up but the one that said “Dear Congress, ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL, Sincerely Bill & Bob” returned. I think it originally appeared because of the disagreements over immigration policy (i.e. children in cages), but it became especially appropriate around the impeachment (they don’t change their billboards often). That was up for a long time.

Then someone spraypainted out the second “IL”, making it “ILLEGAL IS LEGAL“. Not the cleverest bit of graffiti. It was probably just some dumb kid, but I want to sing this guy’s praises from Facebook to NextDoor. Thank you for taking a stand against these cowards. Thank you for making some kind of change to the same ugly picture that stands like a blackhead at our tiny intersection.

Then a week later they took the whole thing down and replaced it with some kind of home financing advertisement. And that was even better. I thought “Thank God Bill & Bob ran out of money and I don’t have to see their trite takes anymore.”

But no, they’re back. And now they’ve got both sides of the billboard. I see it on my way to the gym, I see while I’m working out, I see it on my way back home.

The worst one has been “Dear Mayor Walz, IT’S TIME”. This was put up around March, when everything started closing down. You remember all the tension and questions: “what are people going to do about their jobs?” “Or school?” “How will I get my Starbucks?” “How long is this going to last?” “Will any of this work?” “Can the economy afford this?”

“Open Up · Use Common Sense · No Bad Data”? Well, if you are using common sense then you wouldn’t open up. And Minnesota doesn’t have bad data. We’re not like Florida where they fire people who don’t fudge the numbers to make their state look good. Walz isn’t the mayor of Amity Island.

So what do you think, Bill & Bob? Do you think people are lying about the virus? Do you think the 4,000+ dead every day are faking it? Do you think we should just go back to normal and if you get sick, you get sick? Sure’d like to see how long you last with that attitude. I can’t believe I’m wearing a mask to save you.

The irony is that this has been up since March and hasn’t come down. Through the Spring scare, the Summer valley, the back-to-school nail-biting, the steady increase through the holidays, and now this surge where we’re breaking records left and right. And these Bill and Bob assholes still think everything should reopen, if leaving their billboard unchanged is an indication. This is assuming they’re not so old and demented they’ve forgotten they’ve got a billboard up.

Okay, what does the other side say? Is that as full of vitriol and passive-aggressive ignorance as the other?

Well, that’s a lovely fortune cookie. Granted, this is the most positive message Bill and Bob have given us peasants as they sit in their wizard’s tower of anonymity. Too bad it’s so abstract I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean. Is this referring to some event I don’t have knowledge of?

Are they saying Walz should rule from a position of hope instead of fear? Okay, I didn’t know he was doing that. I haven’t felt very afraid. In fact, I’d like him to invoke more fear. Get mad. Start handing out fines.

I’m really curious. What are they’re trying to communicate with this message? Advancing humanity? We’re just trying to stay above water here. Are you talking about “moving on”? I’m twiddling my thumbs every day, hoping that my parents don’t die, hoping that the government doesn’t collapse, hoping that cops start shaking hands with Black people and shooting white supremacists instead of the other way around, hoping that lawmakers can complete some actions instead of being blockaded just because they’re members of a certain party.

It’s always remarkable how out of touch Bill and Bob are. Just when I think they can’t get more ignorant, they prove me wrong. I know there’s only so much that can go on a billboard, but jeez man. Someone had to design this. They thought this was a good idea. And I still have no idea what call to action it’s meant to convey. Except breed contempt in my soul.

Edit: Special thanks to all the readers who sent me leads on the identity of Bill and Bob. Nothing panned out, but I appreciate that we’re all commiserating in misery on this.

Eric J. Juneau

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at http://www.ericjuneaubooks.com where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.


Reader Comments

  1. Man, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who’s found this billboard pretentious and self-aggrandizing.

    I drove through St. Boni this morning and was absolutely delighted to see that Bill & Bob’s messages had been replaced with a lovely billboard for the town itself. It half makes me wonder if they succumbed to being statistics in “bad data.” 🥴

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