OAK PARK, IL—Though sharply divided on the war on terror and domestic controversies such as abortion, drugs, and gay marriage, Americans are in almost unanimous agreement over one issue: that Oak Park, IL couple Dave Petrun and Julie DeSimone are totally sickening.
"It's like they think they're the first couple to ever fall in love in the history of space and time," said Boston resident Allison Clark, one of millions of people who say they want to shoot themselves in the face after observing the tender relationship between Petrun, 28, and DeSimone, 25, evolve over the last four months.
According to an ABC News–Washington Post poll released Monday, a significant majority of Americans believe the couple's persistent displays of affection, which include almost constant hand-holding, mutual giggling, and insufferably coy little kisses, were "fucking ridiculous." An overwhelming eight out of 10 polled said they wished the couple would die, preferably in a fiery automobile accident.
"If I have to see [Petrun] fiddle with [DeSimone's] fingers as they stroll around window shopping, without a care in the world, I swear to God I'm going to punch something," said Savannah, GA resident Sam Weber, whose reaction has been echoed by a broad cross-section of Americans apparently weary of the couple's brazen public displays. "These two need to face reality, and stop living in this disgusting fantasy world of theirs."
Though their initial May 30 joint outing went largely unnoticed, public opinion toward the couple dramatically shifted after it was revealed that DeSimone spooned frozen yogurt into Petrun's mouth during their second date three days later.
By the second week of June, their approval rating dropped below 40 percent in most national polls, after Petrun and DeSimone were spotted wedging their hands into each other's back pockets as they walked through an Oak Park neighborhood. By July, the rating plummeted even further after DeSimone asked Petrun which of her physical attributes he found cutest, and Petrun responded with a detailed list.
"Who are they kidding?" said Rebecca Hillard, a single mother of two in Anchorage, AK. "Once this little honeymoon is over, he's going to cheat on her with an ex-girlfriend and she'll come running to the American people to pick up the pieces. It's so obvious it's stupid."
According to a Sept. 25 Zogby poll, 36 percent of Americans grimaced when Petrun playfully nudged DeSimone for no evident reason last Thursday, and 45 percent emitted a loud, annoyed sigh after Petrun sent flowers to DeSimone's workplace last Tuesday. One in three Americans characterized the way Petrun touched the small of DeSimone's back as he led her into the backseat of an awaiting taxi on the evening of Sept. 19 as "completely unnecessary."
"The girl knows how to get into a cab without help," said Adam Burkheimer, a Shreveport, LA resident and recent divorcé. "I don't get all the constant pawing."
On Wednesday, support lines across the country were flooded with calls complaining of moderate or intense nausea after DeSimone refused, and then eventually accepted, Petrun's hooded sweatshirt during an evening walk.
Online anti-canoodling blogs, such as the popular davejuliebarf.typepad.com, are buzzing with rumors that Petrun and DeSimone broke into a brief, spontaneous slow dance near a Lake Street fountain on Sept. 20.
"Apparently the pussywhipped douchebag smiles when he sees her name on caller ID, too," blogger Jessie Fox said. "If they love each other so goddamn much, why don't they just get married and live happily ever fucking after?"
In recent weeks, elected officials in Nevada, South Dakota, and Virginia passed largely symbolic "Get A Room" ordinances designed to encourage Petrun and DeSimone to make their affectionate displays more private. Conversely, Ococee, FL banned Petrun and DeSimone from getting a room within its city limits.
While Petrun and DeSimone's behavior does not qualify as a nuisance under any current statutes, the Chicago and San Francisco city councils unanimously passed a joint proclamation encouraging the pair to tone it down.
Read the proclamation in part: "Whereas Dave and Julie are embarking on their first serious relationship, and whereas the odds of it lasting are slim to none, and whereas their ability to make seamless conversation, to instinctively know what the other is thinking, and to relate the story of how the two met when they were randomly seated next to one another on airplane has made nearly 300 million people want to gag, therefore, our cities hereby strongly urge Dave and Julie to really consider breaking up immediately."
Unavailable for comment, Petrun and DeSimone are reportedly making plans to go backpacking across Europe during their six-month anniversary in November, prompting fears that their demonstrativeness could escalate international tensions.