This article is from the archive of our partner .

A high school kid in Australia was suspended for two weeks for an attempted assault on Prime Minister Julia Gillard with a Vegemite sandwich. But the kid says he's just a patsy set up to take the fall the second sandwich thrower.

The whole thing started Wednesday when Gillard paid a visit to a Brisbane high school for a routine photo op. But the day became anything but routine as she made her way through the excited crowd of pupils, and her security detail let down its guard just enough to allow the half-eaten lunch to be hurled in her direction.

Here's the video that shocked a nation:

School offiicals immediately named 16-year-old Kyle Thomson as the lone hurler and suspended him for 15 days. But in a shocking turn of events, Thomson denies that he did anything wrong, and in fact claims that he threw himself in front of the real sandwich thrower in order to protect the PM from near-certain breading.

Listen to Kyle explain to an incredulous reporter how he knocked one sandwich out of the real assailant's hand and then reveals another shocking twist ... there was a second sandwich. 

Naturally, the conflicting stories got conspiracy theorists roiling online, with Aussies posting their own thoughts, hypotheses, and jokes to the riveting #sandwichgate hashtag.

Adding to the intriguing puzzle, some are now claiming the sandwich was not even Vegemite! (Perhaps suggesting a foreign agent?)

It's not the first time Gillard or other Australian PMs have been targeted either. 

Obviously, there are worse things that can be thrown at you, like shoes. As Gillard's predecessor, John Howard, once found out. And apparently it was an egg toss at then-PM Billy Hughes back in 1917 that led to the formation of Australia's Federal Police force. Gillard, however, took the sandwich assault in stride showing a brave face as she laughed off the incident. Though there are obviously still many unanswered questions that only a special parliamentary commission can uncover. (Like "Is this is all a massive inside joke that Australians are pulling on the rest of us?)

In the end, we think the assessment by Kyle Thomson, of the leader he bravely swore to defend, kind of sums up the whole matter:

"She doesn't have a big nose like everyone's saying. She's small and ... yeah, famous."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to