April 25, 2012 at 9:13 AM ET
So the president walks out of a bar...
...And gets plastered with fruit. That's what happened on Tuesday, when Obama made an unscheduled visit to Boulder, Colo.
“Oh lookit, you got me. You got me!’’ Obama said as he saw the food flying towards him.
University of Colorado freshman Kolbi Zerbest, the perpetrator of "Yogurtgate," told TODAY in a pre-interview that the product propelled towards the president's pants was not yogurt, as Obama thought, but a "Rush Bowl," which is blended fruit in a cup that's topped with granola.
Zerbest told Matt Lauer and Ann Curry on TODAY Wednesday the real culprits outside the Sink Bar and Restaurant at the time of the spill were photographers, not her.
“Right as I’m shaking his hand, the paparazzi kicks the bowl that I placed on the ground onto the president, and it was mine, so obviously I took the blame for it,’’ Zerbest told TODAY Wednesday. “Technically it was my fault that I placed it there, but I’m not the one who spilled it on him or kicked it on him as some of the stories have been told.’’
Most people aren't able to get close enough to the president and his protectors to splatter them with a smoothie, but Zerbest said the Secret Service had escorted her and her friends to where Obama would be exiting the bar on his way to the car.
Obama did not catch the full force of the granola blast.
“It wasn’t a lot,’’ Zerbest said. “More of it got on me, the ground and on the Secret Service. It got on his trousers a little bit though.’’
The incident turned into an opportunity for Zerbest, 19, to have a rare interaction with the president. Obama asked whose "yogurt" it was, and Zerbest promptly piped up that it was hers.
“You’ve got a good story to tell,’’ Obama said to her. “You can say, ‘Well, I just spilled yogurt all over the president and the Secret Service.’’’
“Well, yeah I’m very embarrassed of that story now, but it’s a pleasure,’’ she responded. “The pleasure is all mine.’’
Zerbest figured Obama would have just shaken it off and kept walking.
“I didn’t really expect that,’’ she told Matt Lauer of the back-and-forth. “I just expected him to shrug it off, try to clean it up a little bit and just get on with walking to his car to leave, so it was pretty exciting being able to talk to him for a minute or two to try to exchange what just happened.”
Zerbest’s chance encounter happened to come only hours before the studio arts major was initiated into the Alpha Phi sorority. Flinging fruit on the leader of the free world was not a final requirement to join.
“Oh my God, no, not at all,’’ Zerbest said. “It was a huge coincidence that this happened the day that I had my initiation. All in all, I would say it was a pretty eventful and pretty memorable day for me.’’
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