At the end of the night, the El Monte lifeguards who were fired for making a video spoof of a South Korean pop phenomenon did not win their jobs back. But they did make a splash that continues to be felt in the San Gabriel Valley city.
"The city is the laughingstock of the nation," observed political consultant Xavier Hermosillo during a lengthy council meeting Tuesday that ended with city officials ordering a review of the mass firing.
He suggested the city "do the right thing" and hire back the guards.
Angela Rodriguez, who owns a printing firm in town, offered a similar sentiment.
"I have lived in El Monte my whole life, and for the first time ever, I'm ashamed of my city," she said.
Jane Myring, a 70-year-old El Monte native, said the punishment the lifeguards received didn't fit the crime.
"We do dumb things, and we don't think about it.... I'm concerned for their professional life," she said, adding that she hated to see their chances for future employment jeopardized by the city's decision to fire them.