U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris' historic inauguration ceremony made headlines around the world on Wednesday (Jan. 20), but it was a picture of Bernie Sanders wearing practical winter gear that broke the internet.
The Vermont senator was photographed sitting comfortably on a folding chair at yesterday's do, with legs and thick mittens crossed, wearing a bulky putty-coloured coat and blue face mask.
As temperatures in Washington, D.C., reportedly dipped to the low 40s that day (and acknowledging that Lady Gaga didn’t even wear a coat) you could say Sanders dressed appropriately for the weather.
But it didn’t take long for the internet to “feel the Bern” as social media users quickly scooped up the image to insert their own text and photoshop a grumpy-looking Sanders into other scenarios.
In what’s being called the first mega-viral meme of the Biden era, the trend has exploded online, with winter-ready Sanders appearing everywhere in doctored images, from subway trains to baseball games to even sitting next to Marvel Comics’ Deadpool.
Travel takes aim
Naturally, the travel industry is taking its turn as Sanders is now appearing in airports around the world.
Halifax Stanfield in Atlantic Canada was quick to get in on the joke, posting a photo on Twitter depicting Sanders sitting in the airport terminal, accompanied by the text: “When you find out the Timmie’s after security isn’t open.”
Vancouver International Airport played along also. Here's Sanders waiting between aircraft while plane spotting.
London Gatwick posted a picture, presenting Sanders at a gate sitting beside Gary Gatwick, the airport's resident teddy bear.
Dublin Airport couldn’t resist either, posting an image of Sanders sitting in the thicket of it all.
Stuttgart Airport in Germany is advising passengers to not leave their Bernie unattended at any time.
Auckland Airport is also feeling the Bern.
Here’s Sanders at Srinagar Airport in India, apparently.
This person decided to make Bernie a flight attendant.
Seeing a grumpy old man sit in the freezing cold is perhaps the most relatable thing to come out of 2021 so far.
The coronavirus crisis has stopped a lot of things, but it’s a comfort to know that not even a global pandemic can stop a good ole' meme from lightening the mood.
Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!