Thumbs Down Guy needs your help

I'm Gary Dunaier, better known as "Thumbs Down Guy" of baseball and meme fame.

I'm the Mets fan who, when a Yankee player hit a home run in my team's ballpark, expressed my disapproval with a stone face expression and a thumbs down gesture.

(In September 2017, the Yankees were supposed to play a series against the Rays in Florida, but due to Hurricane Irma the games were relocated to Citi Field, home of the Mets. Needless to say, most of the fans who went to the games were Yankee fans.)

My gesture immediately became a meme, which is still used all over the world to this day.  The Yankees saw it and adopted my thumbs-down as a rally cry, running with it all the way to within one game of the World Series.

Fans still come up to me at ballgames and ask for selfies. They tell me I'm a legend; they thank me for what I did, they're thrilled to see me, and so on. I see all sorts of comments on Twitter and elsewhere about how someone met the famous Thumbs Down Guy as if they had met a genuine Hollywood star.  One recent tweet that stands out is from a lady who thanked me for making her daughter's night by posing for a selfie.

You might be surprised to learn that to this day, I've never been able to grasp how big Thumbs Down is and what it means to people.  Maybe it's because I'm in the center of the whirlwind; I don't know.  And, perhaps, it's better that I don't worry about "why;" that I should just keep riding the wave, enjoy it, and leave it at that, because maybe finding out would be like cutting open the goose that laid the golden eggs.

What's important is that, no matter who you root for, going to a ballgame is supposed to be fun.  And if someone feels that seeing me and getting a photo with me adds to their fun, I'm glad to be of service.

But now I need your help.

I recently had a medical emergency that required a visit to the emergency room. One of my varicose veins opened up and I started bleeding spontaneously.  I had to be brought to the hospital in an ambulance, sirens wailing, and I was immediately taken to the intensive care unit. The doctors later told me I lost so much blood that I almost died; at my lowest point I only had one liter of blood, compared  to the normal 5-6 liters a body needs.

I was in the hospital for five days, but even after being discharged I still need to recuperate and see doctors for follow-up visits. I've missed over a week of work because of this. Before this emergency, I've had medical problems that have required regular visits to doctors. And it's come to a point where I've taken so much time off from work that I've used up all of my sick leave AND all of my vacation leave. So now when I need to be absent from work in order to go see a doctor, the time off is deducted from my paycheck.

For my most recent paycheck, my take-home amount was $734. And because of my hospital stay and time off to recuperate, I anticipate that my next check will be even less. As a result, I don't have enough money to pay my bills. I currently have less than $1,000 in my savings account. Within the next 30 days I'm going to have bills exceeding $1,400 for rent and credit card minimum payments. That's in addition to my day-to-day expenses like food, transportation and other essentials.  My total debts are in excess of $30,000, but right now I'm just concerned about making it through the month.

It's been said that I’m one of the few things fans of both New York baseball teams can agree on.  The Met fans like Thumbs Down Guy because I stood alone in a sea of Yankee fans and showed my loyalty to the orange and blue; the Yankee fans like Thumbs Down Guy because I inadvertently gave them a new rally cry, and because I've been a good sport about being made their unofficial mascot.

Now, I'm down on my thumbs-- er, I mean, knees - hoping Met fans and Yankee fans will unite and help me in my hour of need.

I thank you so very much for your support.

Your pal, Thumbs Down Guy (Gary Dunaier)
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Gary Dunaier
Fresh Meadows, NY

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