The Square Peg - It’s the Great Trumpkin, Charlie Brown
© S. Bradley Stoner
It was a pretty quiet week here at the old homestead... until Friday that is. Well, it might not have been, but I’ve was sequestered from the outside world until then. I was working on books. First off, I put Images and Dreams into print book format. Thanks to DL Keur for doing the cover on that one. I did it in full color, which made it a little pricey, but what the heck, somebody might want it in full color. Then I converted all of the pictures to gray scale and published a black and white version that is going to be much more reasonable... and it still looks pretty good. Moving on, I began formatting The Square Peg Book for paperback... I’m still working on that, but I had to take a break. My eyes were going bogwolly. I couldn’t focus anymore, so I emerged from my self-imposed exile and went out into the stark daylight of a world gone mad.
Yep, the election is drawing nigh and Halloween is just around the corner, which seems appropriate when you consider a clown and a witch are running for office... or so I’m told. Normally, I keep up with politics, but this year... and frankly the past eight years, I’ve lost interest. Social media has a lot to do with that, I suppose. Hey, I’m all for free speech, but I fear the stupids have taken over. It used to be folks had to have some level of civility in the political debate, but then the candidates also used to have some positive attributes. I’m not so sure anymore. In any case, I opted to quit looking at social media and stopped watching the news when election times roll around. The vitriol gives me heartburn.
At least there was humor when Dubya was in office... remember “Gilligan’s down?” And before him, we had the most appropriately named “Slick Willie,” whom Colin Powell recently noted still doesn’t know how to keep his in his pants. This, of course, gives hope to every man age seventy and up. Before Willie, we had George H.W. who made the words “Read my lips” almost as famous as “Go ahead, make my day.” Before George, we had Ronald Reagan, who at least knew how to act presidential and still keep his sense of humor. Of course there was that Jimmy Carter interlude... and his brother, Billy, kept America entertained while Jimmy micromanaged everything he could. Carter was preceded by Gerald Ford, who was a slapstick hero, especially on the stairs when that bit about “playing football without a helmet” kind of manifested itself. Of course we had Nixon before Gerald. Dick screwed himself with the Watergate, “I am not a crook” thing and the Vietnam debacle. Anybody else remember “Dick Nixon before Nixon dicks you?” I could go on, but you get the idea.
Of course, we have no one to blame but ourselves... and the media... never forget the media. They were the ones who invented the five-second sound bite, and with that, substance became secondary... and then seemed to fade altogether. Silly us. By hanging on those soundbites and tuning in every evening at six, nine, and eleven (depending on the channel) we boosted their ratings, which of course drives the most important thing... advertising, the only truly “green” industry out there. I mean, who else turns thin air into money without polluting anything but weak minds?
Ah well, enough of the rant, but what sparked it? You probably might have guessed it already. Yep, Duncan Donutz and Bingo Bob are at it again. Friday they were going at it. From what I could gather from my front yard, Bob was up in arms over some incident where the cops assigned to safeguard the Donald while he visited out fair city were filmed wearing red baseball caps bearing Trump’s name or catch phrase on them. Bob was irate. Duncan was caustic. I was indifferent. I mean, I’ll take all the free ball caps I can get. I have a whole collection of them from all the conventions I had to attend in my career. You never know when your favorite cap might be lost at sea fighting that monster fish you haven’t caught yet. It’s always good to have a spare. Besides, a Trump cap would be great to wear at a bridge party, especially if you happen to bid ‘no trump!’
“At least they have enough sense to know where their bread is buttered,” Duncan asserted. “As far as cops are concerned, Hillary sucks.”
“No she doesn’t,” I responded from the wings. “Just ask Bill and that woman he didn’t have sex with.”
Duncan busted out laughing and Bob turned red and literally started jumping up and down, sputtering, “Yer an ass, Stoner!”
“Maybe, but I’m just sayin’...”
“Trump’s the biggest liar out there,” Bob shouted.
“If this is a lyin’ contest,” Duncan shot back, “Billary would take first prize... at least Trump doesn’t lie about important stuff like those emails.”
“Oh sure,” Bob countered, “the emails... the emails... that’s all you right-wingers can hang your hat on.”
“That and her whopper about Benghazi and the doozy about being in New York on 9/11. Need I go on?”
“That’s just a smear campaign,” Bob faltered.
“Billary invented the smear campaign,” Duncan huffed. “Besides, Trump understands the Second Amendment... that woman doesn’t know a handgun from a howitzer and will try to take ‘em all away.”
“Hey guys!” I hollered, “Are you going to do the Halloween party again this year?”
That stopped them both in mid-argument.
Bob looked at Duncan. “If you do the pizza, I’ll do the burgers.”
“Who’s gettin’ the beer?” Duncan asked.
They both looked at me.
“I don’t drink,” I said, wishing that just this once I’d kept my mouth shut.
“That don’t stop you from buyin’.” Bob noted.
“I’ll bring a sense of humor and the Trumpkin,” I offered. “Between the two of you, there’s enough beer to flood the neighborhood.”