Thursday, November 1, 2018

An Honduran Caravan Fairy Tale

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The Mango Monstrosity had no idea what had hit him. One minute — who knew how long ago? — he’d been in his silk pyjamas with iridescent dollar-signs all over them, typing on his little magic lie machine. The next minute — or, for all he knew, 12 hours later — he was apparently in an airplane, blindfolded, with his wrists secured behind his back. It was much louder than the airplane to which he was accustomed, with its plush extra-wide seats for such friends as Newt Gingrich. As best he could make out, no just-turned-18 beauty contestants personally procured by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos were playing with his little mushroom, as he customarily enjoyed.
He called out in the darkness, but no one seemed to hear him over the roar of the plane’s engines. Where were his loyal witches at a time like this — the pointy-chinned alternative-facts blonde one, and the surly lying brunette, the one with unilateral ptosis, or whatever her problem was? “Help!” the Monstrosity roared, though it pained him to seem weak. “Help!” He heard nasal whimpering of a sort he’d heard often back in his palace. Dare he hope that it was Little Puke, as he’d come, with the utmost affection — or at least as much affection as he had it in him to feel for another — to call his balding young policy advisor Steven?
Rough hands suddenly yanked off the Monstrosity’s hood. It was indeed Little Puke with him, standing in a little puddle of his own urine, and with his own hands secured behind his back. There was no ascertaining the identity of their kidnappers, who wore their red End the Nightmare caps — cruel parodies of those the Monstrosity’s adoring minions wore to his deafening orgies of prevarication and provocation — down low to hide their eyes. They were fastening the Monstrosity and Little Puke together now, and snickering at the Monstrosity’s pointing out that they weren’t going to get away with their mistreatment of him. “Oh, yeah?” one of them snickered. “What are you going to do, Tubby, sic one of the intelligence agencies on us? Are you forgetting how much you’ve made them hate you?”
As his tormentors slid a door open, the Monstrosity could feel his ridiculous hair freeze solid in the frigid air. He realised that he and Little Puke had been attached to each other in one of those tandem parachutes designed for the joint use of nervous skydivers and their mentors. Would they grant him the opportunity to berate his kidnappers for not attaching him to someone of comparable stature — Putin, maybe, or at the very least that new guy down in Brazil or wherever — or had they left no sense of decency? The next thing he knew, he and Little Puke were hurtling toward the ground together. “Do something!” The Monstrosity screamed, but he needn’t have, as their parachute suddenly snapped open, making them feel jerked skyward.
The Monstrosity, who weighed what three Little Pukes would have weighed, managed to position himself so that it was his young advisors legs that were broken when they hit the ground. A group of dark-complected men in not-MAGA baseball caps rushed toward them. The Monstrosity thought of trying to run away, but decades of doing nothing more strenuous than typing lies on his little lie machine and being driven from hole to hole on his various golf courses hadn’t prepared him for exertion, and there were the painful bone spurs that had kept him out of Vietnam to think of. He fell to his knees gasping after half a dozen steps. In a moment, the swarthy not-MAGAts, surrounded him.
“On behalf of the whole migrant caravan,” said their apparent leader, a jockey-sized fellow in glasses, a pencil moustache, small teeth, and an Honduran National Baseball Team acetate satin warm-up jacket that had seen better days, “I’d like to welcome you to Tapachula.” He offered the Monstrosity his hand, but the Monstrosity wouldn’t shake it. Germs!
“Listen, Pedro or whatever,” the Monstrosity said in the manly tyrannical voice the pointy-chinned blonde witch had told him was sexy, “You get me home in time for tomorrow’s Fox and Friends and I’ll see to it that you and all your little friends here get cushy grounds-keeping jobs at one of my golf courses.”
As he spoke, he realised his little lie machine was in the front left pocket of his khaki trousers. A couple of text messages and his nightmare would be over! “So what’s it going to be, Pedro?” he said, pulling the little machine out of his pocket. “You going to do the smart thing, or am I going to get Whatshisface — Pence, is it? — to send the army down here to body slam the crap out of you losers?”
“Vice President Pence can’t send the army, jefe,” the one he’d called Pedro said sadly. “He’s got them rounding up gays and lesbians and others whose erotic inclinations differ from his own and sending them in cattle cars to conversion centres.”
“You think you can fuck with me, you fucking little wetback fuck,” the Monstrosity demanded. “Well, guess again!” As he said that, though, it occurred to him that the battery on his little lie machine was exhausted. “You think Mike — is that his name? — is my only ally, Pedro? Well, when Turtleman hears about this, what Brave Sheriff Joe did to his wetbacks in Arizona is going to look like a week at Mar-a-Lago.”
A couple of the refugees snickered, and even the one not really named Pedro had to smile. “Turtleman is on a plane to Argentina or Paraguay with a forged passport,” he laughed. “He had it on good authority the people of your country would cut off his head and display it on a pike outside the Capitol if they got their hands on him.”
“I’m hungry,” the Monstrosity pouted, having decided to play to his tormentors’ humanity. “I’m hungry and cold and scared, and I want to go home to play with my little boy — Forbes, I think we named him, right?”
“Barron,” not-Pedro said. “Tell you what we’re going to do. We’re going to offer you a deal. You love a deal, right?”
“I wrote the book on deals!” the Monstrosity affirmed, brightening. “Well, actually some third-rate, very overrated magazine writer who tried to get people not to vote for me in 2016 wrote it, but whose name do you think is in big letters on the cover — his or mine? You get three guesses, and the first two don’t count.”
The Monstrosity thought that might make his tormentors laugh, but they didn’t have the wonderful sense of humour that the red capped tens of thousands who attended his rallies did. “OK,” said not-Pedro, “we’re going to give you two choices. You can turn Trump Towers into a homeless shelter, and re-brand Mar-a-Lago as the Centre for Central American and Other Refugees From Violence, or we can drown you in a big tub of chorro de perros.” The Monstrosity thought drowning someone in chorro de perros might be something like killing him with kindness, and the idea made him smile, but only until not-Pedro translated for him.
The Monstrosity was dumbstruck. “Maybe you’d like to weigh your two choices overnight,” not-Pedro suggested. “We’ll find you in the morning.”
“But where am I supposed to sleep?” The Monstrosity demanded. “Where am I supposed to pee?”
“Where the rest of us do, jefe. Wherever you can.”
Not daring to be seen by others of the refugees, The Monstrosity found a dry spot behind a bush in a nearby public square, hoped the irate howling of his empty stomach wouldn’t attract the attention of anyone who might wish to drown him in anything at all, let alone canine diarrhoea, and tried to cry himself to sleep. But his crying did indeed attract attention — that of a woman who looked like a lot of the maids at Mar-a-Lago whose names he’d never thought to ask. “Maybe some of us do bring crime,” she said in an accent so thick he was barely able to understand it, “and maybe some of us bring drugs. But to you, seƱor, I bring this.” She gave him a little cloth napkin in which were wrapped an apple and three warm — recently made! — tortillas. If he’d been a better man, her gift might have moved him to tears. But he was the worst man in the world, and what he thought as he wolfed the little meal down was that it wasn’t exactly a Big Mac and double fries.
Back in the country that The Silver-Tipped Hypocrite apparently now ruled, those in red caps remained enchanted, and to believe the Monstrosity had ever truly been on their side.