I was slumped over sitting on one of the benches overlooking the Tidal Basin. Work recently had taken quite a toll on me, being as I had finally been forced into appearing in person in my office. For too much time during the pandemic, I silently was grateful for being able to sleep until just before my scheduled work hours, and commute into the spare bedroom where my desktop was stationed. Having to physically go down to an office in dress attire took far too much out of me, considering how reasonable that request really was.
Anyway, I was lost in thought as I sat on the bench, letting the occasional tourist pass by me as they surveyed the murk of the true Washington swamp. As I allowed myself to be distracted, I suddenly was aware of the approach of my old friend, Slimey. Now Slimey is one of the most unforgettable creatures you will ever see. Eight foot plus, a reptile with razor sharp claws but who managed to walk on his rear legs, he kind of grabbed your attention and never let it go. Since I was so familiar with him, my eyes were drawn towards his new belt, with dual AR-15’s stuck in his holsters. I can’t imagine who the leather worker was who created this for Slimey, nor could I imagine what the source of the leather was, knowing Slimey’s propensity for taking out anything within reach of his claws. But I had to know why he felt it necessary to open carry such weaponry.
“Slimey, it’s been too long since I’ve seen you,” I greeted him as he approached.
“My friend, it has been a long time. Good to see you.” Slimey sidled up alongside me, then suddenly turned and tilted one of his long guns, pointing it at seemingly no one. Fortunately, he didn’t fire, but his sudden move alarmed me.
I thought long about how to broach this subject, since I did not want to become the object he decided was a threat. “Slimey, why is it you find it necessary to carry such a wondrous arsenal?” I finally said. I figured a bit of flattery might disarm my friend, so to speak.
“My friend, you just cannot count on anyone in this town. So many people want to stab you in the back, I finally found it necessary to go armed.” Slimey reached down to caress his left rifle, while giving his right rifle an affirming pat. “Now I feel naked if I go out without my trusty friends.” And he swung around, scaring a tourist couple who were strolling along the basin. He withdrew his clawed hands, and the rifles swung back to their neutral position.
“You’ll have to excuse my friend” I said to the still shell-shocked couple. “He’s still getting used to open carry.” They turned around and walked rapidly away.
“Slimey, I would never have thought you would need to carry heat. You’ve always seemed like someone capable of defending yourself.” I was really wondering what caused my reptilian friend to change so suddenly.
He reverted to the low growl I had heard before. I engaged my own senses, knowing his lightning fast reflexes could overwhelm me before I even knew what hit me. And now he had two weapons to extend his reach! Things were definitely not looking good for me.
The moment seemed to pass for Slimey, and he actually lowered his girth onto the other end of the bench. I was glad for the sturdy construction, and I relaxed just a bit.
Slimey inclined his head towards me. “You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve already had to use these things.” Here he patted his side arms. “Of course, so far I haven’t had to hit anything, people tend to take off as soon as I fire off a clip.” He gave off a low rumble I recognized as his laughter. “I’ve even seen their rear ends turn brown as they try to get away.”
Only Slimey could laugh about human defecation. Probably since his kind did that always in the water, where it was not normally visible. But I let his joke pass.
Slimey still seemed agitated. I had to ask. “Has someone threatened you? Why did you suddenly decide you needed protection?”
Slimey stood up, and I understood our interaction was near its end. “It’s just everywhere in this town. It’s gotten so much worse since the last President left. I knew he had a soft spot in his heart for me. But now, I’m not so sure.”
I knew I was not going to get much more out of him. I’d had enough interactions with Slimey to know he was a reptile of few words. And armed as he was, I didn’t want to see any more of his actions. As he prepared to leave, I said, “Don’t be a stranger. You know where I live.” It was only after I said that, I realized it might not have been the wisest thing to say to an 8’ reptile armed with dual AR-15’s. But it was already too late, and Slimey was already striding down the path, heading towards the Memorial, ready to take on the next interloper on his path.
The Scene: Local office of the Republican Party in Useless County, WV
The Players: Secretary of the local party Hugh Jim Becile; Applicant Seeking Office E. Ger Beaver
Secretary: So you’d like to run under our party label, right? Which position are you seeking?
Applicant: I want to run to be the dogcatcher for Big Ugly West Virginia.
Secretary: Is that so? Well, there are a few questions I have for you before we can allow you to share our label. You ready to hear them?
Applicant: Sure. I’m willing to do anything within reason.
Secretary: Ok. First, are you now or have you ever been associated with the Communist Party.
Applicant: Of course not. Boy, I hope the rest of the questions are as easy.
Secretary: Do you believe that the Presidential Election was stolen in 2020? Do you pledge fealty to Donald Trump’s position?
Applicant: Uhm, I’m not sure. Didn’t Trump win this state by about 40%?
Secretary: We’re not going to get very far if you reject the core principles of the Republican Party. Let me ask you again, do you believe the Presidential election of 2020 was stolen?
Applicant: Sure, I guess so. If you say so, it must have been.
Secretary: Good. We can proceed with the rest of the questions. Do you think the inflation we are currently seeing is solely the responsibility of Joe Biden?
Applicant: Yeah, I can see that. Put me down as yes.
Secretary: Correct answer. Now, do you agree that LGBT is bad, and anyone who supports any aspect of LGBT is just another groomer preparing our precious children to violate their covenant with God by choosing to become homosexual?
Applicant: Now wait a minute. I’ve got a nephew who you could tell way back when he was 4 he was going to want to be a girl. Do you mean I have to denounce him or her to get your approval?
Secretary: Yes, that is exactly what I mean. Someone must have put that idea in that little boy’s head and turned him away from God way back then.
Applicant: Boy, I don’t know about that. Seems to me he was always that way. But if I have to in order to get approval, then yes, I agree.
Secretary: I’m not so sure I like your attitude. We’ve got a lot of folks who don’t hesitate at all in order to get our sign-off. Let’s see if you can show me how much you really believe in Republican principles now.
Applicant: Ok, go ahead and ask the rest of your questions.
Secretary: Do you agree that the media is attacking God-fearing Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, and Madison Cawthorn, and because of that bias, they should be banned from covering any Republican events?
Applicant: I’m not sure I even know all of those folks. Are they Republicans?
Secretary: I’m losing patience with you. Of course they are Republicans, they are the up and coming stars of the Republicans in the years to come. You can’t bear our flag if you don’t recognize our leaders.
Applicant: Oh, yeah, sure. I’ve heard of them. Yeah, those media folks are real meddlers. Keep ‘em out.
Secretary: Almost done. Do you believe that Donald Trump was divinely selected to be our leader, and anything he has done in the past doesn’t matter, because he only has our best interests at heart?
Applicant: Well, he doesn’t fit in with some of the folks I learned about in church. Seems to me he has a lot to be forgiven for. But yeah, I do agree with you.
Secretary: Great. It gives me great pleasure to give you the endorsement of our Republican party to run for, uh, which office was it again?
Applicant: Dogcatcher of Big Ugly.
Secretary: Yes, our endorsement for this office. You can have it as soon as you write us a check for $2500 so we know you are serious.
Applicant: I ain’t got any money. I wanted to be elected dogcatcher so I could get a pay check.
Secretary: So let me understand, you refuse to donate to the Republican party? I’m sorry, this discussion is over. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
Applicant: I wonder if there still is a Democrat party in this county so I can get on a ballot. I need a job.
Poor widdle Donald. No one understands him. All he sees is hatred out there. That’s why he has to reinforce his ego through regular injections of rallies. Even those, though, are somehow failing to satisfy the black hole of an ego. Not even the false accolade of being the person who brought Osama Bin Laden to justice could make him feel better. No, we need to schedule another rally in North Carolina.
Let us peek into the inside of his damaged mind to discern his thoughts.
No one can understand how math works. Why can’t they see that 74 million votes is so much more than 81 million? Why, 74 million is so much more than the 63 million who voted for me back in 2016. If I got 11 million more than before when I won, it was impossible for Sleepy Joe to beat me in a fair fight. Yet there are still folks who are not convinced of the massive, massive fraud that took place in 2020. What more do we need to show people? They actually believe other media? What idiots they are.
They call me a liar. The wicked technology companies actually kicked me off after my perfect calls on January 6. No, you can’t see those logs. They are important for national security. But trust me, they were all perfect calls. Well, I’ll show them. I’ll come up with my own social media company. You say it’s been up since February? I’ll bet all of those who have bought into this are just waiting for my words of wisdom. I do have words of wisdom. They show how it is possible to self-deceive so completely that I actually believe what I say. Believe me, that takes some doing when the entire rest of the world is so deceived. Except for those who watch me when I’m on TV. And there are so many ways I can express myself nowadays. I really limited myself when I used that Twitter thing. One thing I have to remember, though. Never book another interview on NPR. Just wait till I’ve gone through my next coronation. NPR will find themselves so far out from public funding it’ll make their head spin. Imagine the audacity of trying to ask me real questions. Better I stay where I can direct the talk.
Just wait till my power shows itself. All those candidates I endorsed, marching to victory in their primary races. Of course, that’s the only race that matters. No way the loser Democrats can compare with my wonderful record, best President ever. I’ve got to check with those folks in South Dakota, see whether they have enough room for my glorious face up there. But why fool around with those other losers. There’s a blank slate up there in Yosemite, you know, that blank canvas made of granite? How much better it’ll look when it is filled with my glorious face. I deserve my own place, not sharing one with others.
South Dakota. They’ve got a pretty good governor up there. Sooner or later I’ll need to think about who I want up there with me when I’m coronated again. Don’t know, it may even be possible to get a larger crowd than my first coronation. I’ll have to look up that Spicer fellow, he may be able to convince those stupid media folks. Have you ever seen such hatred? They don’t believe me when I say I am the greatest. What did Cassius Clay have that I don’t have? They all loved him. Why can’t they show me that same love? I oughta send Mike Tyson out to bite off their ears. Then they might believe me.
Don’t you love hearing Herschel talking about his grades? I haven’t heard so much talk about grades since I was talking about all of my academic awards in college. What? You want to see them. Nope, can’t release them. Matter of national security, after all. Those grades are still under audit and I’ve been told (I have the best advisors – I always do what they tell me once I’ve let them know what’s right) to not ever release anything under audit.
But everything is unfair. They won’t even say anything good about my hole-in-one. I know the best places to play golf. So good to get out there in the sunlight and drive my cart the length of my golf drives. No one can drive it as good as me. So much better for me to golf than for that loser to ride a bike. Who’s he trying to impress, anyway? I just bet that they’ve got the double out there riding the bike, while Sleepy Joe is taking another nap. Look at me. You never hear me talk about taking naps. I’m the one who knows what’s coming next. You want to know what Putin will do next? You’d better hope I’m back there and am the one talking to Putin. See, he just doesn’t respect Sleepy Joe. Putin would never have tried to invade Ukraine if I was in charge. I know just the way to talk to those guys. Look at Kim Jong Un. Firing those huge missiles up in the air. He never did that when I was talking to him. And he wrote such lovely letters to me. Of course I wanted to take them with me. Wouldn’t you?
No, I’ll still be around. Since I’m back on my old diet, I’ll be around for a long time to come. You’ve got a lot to look forward to.
I was surprised to see my old friend, Slimey, sitting on a park bench apparently deep in thought over the piece of paper he held in one of his clawed hands. Slimey, as you may remember, is the 8-foot tall reptilian life form I encountered first coming out of the Tidal Basin early on in Trump’s administration.
I walked over to him, clearing my throat so as to alert him to my presence. It was a smart thing to do, since his reflexes were so much faster than mine, and he is capable of evisceration when startled. Those claws are sharp!
“Friend” he called out. “Come over here. Maybe you can help me with a marketing problem.”
I came over and sat at the opposite end of the park bench. I could see that the piece of paper Slimey held had several proposed names on it for some sort of pharmaceutical. Slimey pointed to the paper.
“I’m trying to come up with a name for my new COVID medicine. I’ve narrowed it down to two: PLAY-SEE-BOW, or Bug-Be-Gone. Which one do you think will be better?”
I must have looked dumbstruck. “You have a COVID medicine? How did you develop that?”
Slimey looked up, and though his jaws were fixed as always (only when he was going after food would those jaws move), it appeared he was wearing the expression of a smile. “I tried to think of the one thing those people who refuse the vaccination would lap up. And I came up with this.” Slimey held gently in his clawed hand a small vial, similar in size to one of those energizer drinks.
“What’s in it” I asked.
Slimey answered in a bit of a round-about way. “I saw a report that the virus couldn’t survive in water. So I got myself a bit of the water from down my way.” Here he turned his head towards the Tidal Basin and to the swampy expanse of the Potomac. “I added a little bit of hydrogen ions, and some chloride ions, bottled it, and here it is.”
“So let me get this straight. You bottled some Washington swamp water, and added hydrochloric acid to it?”
Slimey nodded in agreement. “The little bit of acid killed anything bad in the water, and gives it a bit of a kick. I just know it’ll give COVID a knock-out”
I shook my head, unable to believe the scam about to be perpetrated on the American public. “When do you go live with this?”
Slimey turned his massive forearm till he could see the watch. “Supposed to have our first ads go on Tucker’s show tonight. That’s why I need a name, and soon.”
I pondered for a bit, then said “I think PLAY-SEE-BOW is your best shot. I think that describes your product perfectly. How are you planning to sell it?”
Slimey said, “A four pack of bottles will sell for $15.99. I can see us putting it up at the cash registers of feed stores, and at your corner bodegas, and of course we will sell it direct. I’ve been trying to work a co-marketing strategy with Mike Lindell, but I’m afraid that’s fallen through. Seems he thought we weren’t supportive enough of his position. Well, it’s his loss.”
I tried to take this all in. Seems we were just about to undergo a massive advertising campaign for this new product. I could see it now, the TV and Facebook ads where a beautiful person begins to cough. Up comes their savior, with a bottle of PLAY-SEE-BOW, and says to the cougher, “Try this.” The cougher unscrews the cap, then takes the whole dose in.
“Wow. That’s got a kick. What is it?”
“That’s PLAY-SEE-BOW. We can’t get the FDA to approve it, so you know it works.”
The cougher smiles, and says, “I can tell it’s working. COVID doesn’t have a chance.”
Voiceover says, “PLAY-SEE-BOW. For when you get that first inkling something might be wrong.” And of course the usual list of side effects has to be enunciated, only in this case the side effects would be unusual sexual attractiveness, excessive muscular development, and reversal of all aches and pains. If ever there were a can’t-miss product, this was going to be it.
I asked Slimey, “Do you need anybody to invest in this? I think you’ve got a winner here.”
Slimey shook his head, no. He said, “We’ve got the seed money for this from Fox and the RNC. They wanted to take a piece of this real quick. We might even get the Cyber Ninja’s to go out and sell this for us when they do their next audit.
I got up from the bench, and made my adieus from Slimey. For once, he had something that just couldn’t miss. Knowing his audience as well as he did, all I could think about was what was he going to do with all of the money he was about to get. After all, there was a huge untapped market for PLAY-SEE-BOW, and I could feel proud to have been there at the beginning of it all.
Slimey turned towards me, eyes pleading. “What should I do?” he exclaimed.
Slimey, as you may know, is a 9′ tall reptile with typical claws and sharp teeth as you might expect from a creature of the swamp around DC. Yet somehow he is capable of blending in with others, and indeed, had served in lobbying firms dealing with this past administration, now in exile.
I let him in through my door and he ducked his head as he entered. “Slimey, I wasn’t expecting you. Last time I saw you, you were working for QAnon. What happened with that?”
Slimey carefully maneuvered his tail around so as to not knock over anything found on low surfaces in the room. “Q? The market for that kinda petered out after the election. I could see the writing on the wall. So I had a good offer, one that I really would like to accept. I’ve been offered a position with the Secret Service!”
“Why, that’s great,” I said. “I figure you would snap up an opportunity like that quickly” You know, it’s amazing how many times my words around Slimey focused on one of his overwhelming physical characteristics.
“It is great. It would involve working security for an ex-President. But it is contingent on something.” Slimey swung his ponderous head from side to side, seemingly indicating his conflict concerning this offer.
“What’s the contingency?” I asked.
Slimey set his bulk down upon a sofa before replying. “It’s contingent upon my being willing to relocate to the town of Ossining, NY. And it is contingent upon the New York court system acting first so that there will be someone to guard there.”
Slowly I realized the central part of Slimey’s dilemma. “You’ve been offered the job to guard President Trump in Sing-Sing.”
Slimey looked up at me. I could see a tear forming in one of his eyes. I thought about crocodile tears, but quickly put that thought away before it escaped my mouth. “Yeah, that’s it. I could be one of the guards who would keep him safe while he’s in prison. You just don’t know what that would be like. I’d have to be kept there myself in order to prevent someone from taking him out.”
I thought for a minute, then I said “I’ll bet there’s some times when you wished you never left the swamp.”
“You don’t know the half of it. The problem is I’ve gotten addicted to having this stuff called money around. I can exchange it for things I never knew existed when I was down there. But the more I keep trying to get it, the worse it is for me. I mean, I have my standards. I just don’t know if trying to keep the ex-President from being shived is worth it. I mean, if the word got out, nobody respectable will want to talk to me.”
Part of learning how to relate to all kinds was knowing when it was best to just listen, and not offer any guidance. So I sat down myself, and just made a little noise of affirmation.
Slimey thought for a long moment, which seemed like a really long time when you are dealing with something as large as he is. You hope that the reptile portion of his brain wouldn’t grow active and take over, and slash out with his deadly claws and massive tail. Even if I didn’t lie in a pool of blood with my entrails scattered, he could make a real mess of the upholstery if he tried.
Finally, he stirred, and gathered his limbs to stand. “I know what I have to do. I have to go back to the swamp. I just can’t deal with this human world any more.”
I realized that our time together was near an end. Not just this meeting, but probably any meeting in the future. Once Slimey had re-acclimated himself into the murky waters, I couldn’t see any chance of him re-emerging and trying another round at taking part in human society. And I certainly had learned my lesson, and would steer clear of the Tidal Basin so as to avoid any accidental contact. I counted myself fortunate that I had managed my relationship with Slimey and still had all of my organs intact.
Slimey went towards the door. “Friend, I don’t know if I’ll see you again. Thanks for listening to me and helping me decide what to do.”
I held the door open as he once again ducked his head on the way out. I said to him “I’ll miss you.” And then he was gone.
One of the advantages of having had a blog for several years, it allows you to revisit past posts. Here is one originally put up in September 2018 that has maintained its relevance in the world today. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.
Donald lay in bed, waiting for the gastric discomfort caused by the double cheeseburger and fries to settle down a bit. He had his comforter in his hand, and was just about to send out a tweet denouncing all NFL players who ever spoke out about any social issue ever, when his comforter buzzed. On the screen popped up an image of Richard Nixon, and his words were spelled out in the form of a text.
“Donald, I have come to warn you of the path you are on.”
“Donald, if you do not change, you will wear the chains of disgrace that I bear.” With this text, the image on the comforter drew back to show the entire body of Richard Nixon, shrouded in chains binding his arms and legs.
“Donald, I am sending you three messengers, to show you how you have come to this point in life, and to offer you a chance to repent. If you ignore these, your fate is sealed.” And with this last text, the image of Richard Nixon faded from the screen and only the unsent tweet remained.
“That was strange,” thought Donald. He looked up and Hannity was still on the television. Nothing around him seemed to show that he had just had a virtual visitor on his comforter. He put it down and reached for the television remote control. Better to try to sleep than to have to think about what had just happened.
Sleep was hard to come by, but eventually his mind calmed, and he was able to doze off. That is, until about midnight when his comforter suddenly began buzzing uncontrollably. Donald shuddered, then groggily reached over to the nightstand to pick it up. When he did, the visage of his old mentor, Roy Cohn, appeared on the screen. Donald sat up and looked dumbfounded at the screen, and as he looked, Roy began to speak. He was clad in his trademark robe, seated in his old apartment, and he said “Donald. Remember those days we spent together in the ’70’s? What is it that I taught you then?”
Donald replied to the image. “You taught me to never settle, never surrender. To counter-attack and counter-sue immediately. And no matter what happens, claim victory and never admit defeat. I’ve tried to follow your advice. Look where it’s got me!”
Roy’s cadaverous face nodded in agreement. The image was of Roy just before he died of AIDS, and he was hollowing out what was already a slender body. “Let me show you what you missed while we were together.” Roy’s face dissolved, and a pier on the waterfront appeared. A huge car was parked on the pier, and two men were approaching the trunk, which they opened. They hauled out a bundle shaped like a human, totally concealed by cloth wrapped tightly around it. They took chains and wrapped them around the bundle, securing the chains with a padlock. Then they lifted the bundle up and tossed it into the dark water. After the loud splash, the bundle sank beneath the surface without hesitation. The scene dissolved again, and Roy’s face appeared once more. “You see what happened there? I got Fat Tony off on that charge. We used my technique and it worked. It’ll work for you too. Keep that in mind. These times are tough and you need to be strong.” And Roy’s face disappeared from the screen, and the comforter went silent.
Donald turned the light on, then pulled up twitter. He wiped out the post he had intended to send about the NFL, and instead wrote yet another condemnation of his attorney general. He ended it with “Where’s my Roy Cohn!” and sent. Many would wonder about the tweet sent at 12:45 in the morning.
Donald turned the light back off, and tried to resume his sleep. He was just entering REM sleep when …. his comforter began buzzing uncontrollably again. He picked it up, and this time he was face to face with one of his nemesis MSNBC commentators, Rachel Maddow. She spoke not a word, but pointed with her long fingers at a monitor to her side, and his attention was drawn to it. He recognized the Oval Office, and saw himself seated at the desk, with papers cluttering the surface. He got up, and left the office for a state function, the meeting with the Emir of Losewhatchakan. Not five minutes after he left, he saw a hooded figure enter the room, and that figure crept over to the desk and pilfered two pieces of paper. Looking around to see if he had been observed, he crept cautiously away. When Donald saw himself returning to the office, he never noticed that the papers were missing. Rachel’s face reappeared as the scene dissolved, only this time he heard her say in that annoying way she had, “And to think that all of your staff is laughing at you behind your back. Never has a President been treated with so little respect that his own staff would sabotage him – and never has there been a President who would not notice that he was being thwarted. Now, watch this.”
She indicated the monitor beside her. On the screen appeared an image of an immigrant detention center. The chain link partitions indicated this was a serious place. He saw his agents approach one woman who was surrounded by three children. The agents took possession of the children, actually pulling one from the mother’s arms. Though there was no sound, the anguish of the mother and the children were apparent as unheard wails could be seen coming from each of the family members. The mother was escorted away to yet another place of confinement as her children disappeared down a corridor. The scene dissolved again, and Rachel pointed up once more with her long, long fingers. Longer than Donald’s, that’s for sure. Rachel said, “Your program was more successful than you could have imagined. But there were people who didn’t like what they saw in this scene. They actually thought this was cruel to separate the family in this way. But you know better, don’t you?”
Donald was confused. He could not force a coherent word out of his mouth, but did manage to shake his head in assent. His mop of comb-over flopped back and forth, deprived as it were of its binding chemicals.
Rachel had one more thing to say. “If you don’t crack down harder on those who disagree with you, your reign is in peril. Remember what Roy said,” and then her visage faded away.
Unable to truly focus, the only thing he could think of tweeting was “The FAILING NBC network keeps showing FAKE NEWS.” The tweet appeared at 2:30 on the time stream. Soon Donald was back snoring peacefully amidst the soft pillows.
But there was one more interruption on this endless night. His comforter began buzzing louder than ever, and he again reached over to grab it. When he did, what appeared was a stylish blonde covered totally in white fabric. Her body appeared to be similar to his daughter’s, but he could not tell because only her eyes and a wisp of hair protruded from the eye slot that showed flesh. She spoke not a word, but held her finger up to where her mouth would have been, and extended her other arm in an open invitation to follow. Donald did watch as the scene changed to that of a crowd of white-clad people marching along a street. Slowly the camera panned back to reveal that the crowd of people extended as far as the eye could see, an endless mass of pilgrims walking, walking, walking. The crowd was even bigger than at his inaugural. Who were these people? Then the camera pulled back further, and he realized there were tall spires around the crowd, and that all of these people were MUSLIMS! So! Many! MUSLIMS! If he didn’t act soon, they would be all over our country, flooding our streets, turning our daughters into abaya-clad disciples of Allah! Something must be done! But as he felt resolve entering his limbs, the scene dissolved into yet another scene. Now he could see a camp of some sort, with thousands and thousands of tents, and even more people milling about, aimless, idle. He recognized that this was some sort of refugee camp, the people looked like they were Asian, and there were just so many of them. He could see them storming our border as an unending horde. He must do something to prevent these hordes from overrunning our civilization. Then the scene changed once more, and he saw a dreadful looking ship, in danger of foundering on the ocean, crammed to the brim with dark-skinned people. He saw the ship list, and saw people fall or jump off into the ocean without any survival gear, hundreds and hundreds of people. He knew then that this was a vision of the future, that all of these people were intent on invading our shores. He tried to stir himself, but found his muscles frozen.
He awoke from this last vision at his normal hour. He was determined to share his lessons from the visits of the evening. He would be ruthless in his pursuit of those who denigrate him. He would be unceasing in the efforts to keep the nation pure by banning all immigrants other than those who had enough money to buy citizenship. He would keep the faith of Roy by striking out through the legal system at all who had wronged him. He turned to his comforter to begin to share his lessons of the night with his many followers.
What? You believed that the visits of the spirits to Donald would result in a transformation? That he would grow a conscience and his heart would grow three sizes? That he would show charity towards all, and malice towards none? You don’t know him very well, do you?
I sat down on the ledge near the metro station just a couple of blocks away from Ben’s Chili Bowl. I was deep into the pleasure of a spicy half-smoke when I noticed someone (or something) plopping down beside me. Once more, my old friend Slimey appeared out of nowhere. For a 7′ tall reptile, he was able to move unbelievably silently and without drawing the attention you normally would expect from someone of his size.
“Greetings, friend” he hissed through his snout.
“Slimey, it has been far too long. What have you been doing with yourself?” The last time I had seen Slimey, he had taken a position with a lobbying firm where he was trying to promote a fully-automated abattoir, aimed at eliminating the human interaction with the meat supply. I marveled to myself at how prescient that proposal was in light of the coronavirus outbreaks at meat packing facilities. I asked Slimey, “Are you still with your lobbying firm?”
Slimey slowly shook his ponderous head. “No, I was unable to sell the idea about an automated slaughterhouse to the agencies. Imagine. The deep state actually thought humans were needed.” He closed his eyes for a moment. “But in my new position, this idea has become really valuable”.
I took a bite of my half-smoke, then asked. “What is your new position?”
Slimey’s face assumed an air of supreme satisfaction. “I’m working for Q now. I’m in charge of their next big assault into the public sphere.”
I shuddered. Q-Anon had grown in popularity by leaps and bounds, especially during the pandemic when so many folks had far too much time and far too good access to the internet where they could descend into innumerable rabbit holes. Finally, I could avoid the question no further and I asked, “What is the new Q theory?”
Slimey smacked his mouth a couple of times, then began. “There’s a new thing that Q will be reporting on. That thing with abducting the children and the elite distilling their blood to come up with their youth elixir? It just wasn’t revolting enough to draw in enough people. But this one, this one is a doozy.” Slimey settled back onto the ledge, one enormous paw holding up his prodigious girth.
As often happened in my encounters with Slimey, I became aware of how vulnerable I was to a sudden swipe of his razor-sharp claws. Still, I summoned the courage to not be a species-intolerant person and continued the conversation. “What could you imagine that is worse than child abduction and harvesting?”
Slimey chuckled for a good half-minute before replying. Finally, he said “Imagine this. Instead of children being abducted, it is those who are wearing MAGA hats that are swept off of the streets. Once they disappeared, they are transported to one of my automated slaughterhouses, where they are stripped down to the bone. The meat? It goes to make certain sausage products.” He nodded towards the remains of my own half-smoke. “I’m not gonna say one way or another, but you may be surprised by where we will claim this meat is going.”
I took one more look at my half-smoke, shuddered a bit, then laid it down on the ledge between us. I had to satisfy my curiosity, though. “Why do this? Why go onto such ridiculous extremes in order to keep the Q thing going?”
Slimey was glad to fill me in. “Of course, it’s the money. Do you know how much we are raking in with the social media posts? And then there’s the merchandise. Those Q posters and foam Q’s are just money plants, plants we keep on harvesting. None of this has to be true, it just has to be plausible enough to keep the clicks coming.”
For the first time in my encounters with Slimey, I found my anger and revulsion rising. “Do you mean to tell me that this entire Q thing is nothing more than an effort to make those at the top rich?”
“Why certainly. What else would it be? You don’t think any of us believe any of this crap, do you?” Slimey looked offended, tensed his limbs, and once again I took stock of the vulnerability of my position.
“I had hoped that was the case. I can’t believe that anyone with a lick of rationality would believe any of the stuff being posted in Q’s name, but after the events of the last few years, I have come to doubt my own sense of right and wrong.”
Slimey looked satisfied with my answer. He seemed to relax back into leaning against the concrete ledge. He said, “It’s only been a few years since I moved out of the swamp, but it is amazing how much of a swamp I still find around me.
All I could do was nod in agreement.
He looked over at the remains of my half-smoke. “Are you going to eat that?” he asked.
“No. It’s yours if you want it.”
The remains of the half smoke were inhaled in that enormous snout with the reptilian teeth, paper wrapper and all.
The last episode with Slimey may be found here: evenabrokenclock.blog/2019/04/08/if-you-cant-beat-the-swamp-join-the-swamp/