Throwing Shade

Thomas Genin, owner of The Blind Tiger, is a level of petty I aspire to be

Thomas Genin, owner of The Blind Tiger restaurants, is opening a second RAW Oyster Bar in Ocean Springs.
Thomas Genin, owner of The Blind Tiger restaurants, is opening a second RAW Oyster Bar in Ocean Springs. Sun Herald file

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. A lot of businesses and agencies on the Coast need a fixer — an Olivia Pope, if you will.

Sometimes the Sun Herald breaks stories, and I read the official response and I think to myself, “Did this professional person who makes way more money than me really say that to the media?”

Need an example of what I’m talking about? Three words: Great Americans Day.

Every now and then, though, I see a stroke of public relations genius when something bad or unfortunate happens. For this, I’m awarding Thomas Genin of The Blind Tiger Throwing Shade’s Olivia Pope Gold Star Honor for giving critics the boot by giving to charity.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Let me give you a rundown of what I’ve found on Facebook:

Someone named Susan Ladner started the Boycott The Blind Tiger event over booted cars in Old Town Bay St. Louis. Some people think Susan Ladner is not a real person. It would take me about 15 years to validate that claim. I’m from the Kiln. I know how many Susan Ladners are in the phone book.

Genin apparently leases fewer than a dozen spaces in the Main Harbor Offices parking lot about a block from his restaurant. There are rules posted on the spots regarding parking regulations. Genin decided to start putting boots on vehicles.

According to some people on Facebook who were booted, he charges $80 to have the boot removed.

Social media was mad. Real mad.

People were vowing not to go to Genin’s popular eatery, although the parking lot was not associated with The Blind Tiger.

But Genin, that genius, turned his bad luck into a pot of gold. He took his earnings from the boots and cut a check to CASA of Hancock County.

But he didn’t stop there.

For the next two weeks, you can order The Boot Burger at the Bay St. Louis location. For $10, you get the famous cheddar burger, a side of French fries and a shrimp boot full of beer for $10. And guess what? All proceeds go to CASA.

Checkmate, Thomas Genin. You’ve reached Rihanna’s level of pettiness. You are a chess piece in a world full of checkers players. I aspire to be as petty and giving as you one day.

Spoiler alert: It doesn’t stop there.

Genin is upset with whoever Susan Ladner is and apparently thinks the Bay St. Louis mayor knows Susan or who the real Susan is. No, I’m not making this up. This is real life.

Genin emailed Mayor Les Fillingame and copied the media, including reporters at the Sun Herald, and told the mayor if he and Susan had lunch at the restaurant with Thomas Genin and his wife, then Genin would donate $5,000 to various organizations in Hancock County, plus $5 to the re-elect Les Fillingame fund.

And he’s promising to post videos on social media later, too. Genin does not take kindly to having his business smeared, he said in the email.

I think Shonda Rimes should consider hiring Genin to join OPA’s team in the next season of “Scandal.”

If you go have The Boot Burger, please take a shot of Fireball for me.

Justin Mitchell: 228-604-0705, @JustinMitchell_

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