What Happened When I Went to a Trump Rally
So I went to a Donald Trump rally, you guys. It’s a funny thing, I didn’t tell anyone I was going to do it, but I secretly booked some tickets for a plane trip (I think that’s what you call it), after some ten years of not flying. I always said I would only get on a plane again if it was really, really important, and in the end the thing which dragged me back into the sky, the really important thing which I could not miss, was not, as expected, an offer from New Zealand to turn my first trilogy of fucking amazing fantasy books into a major BILLION dollar production, or somebody dying, but because (get with it, get back on the trail here) I rrrrreally wanted to go to a Donald Trump rally. Wouldn’t you want to? No matter what happens in the end, wouldn’t you want to be able to say you went to one? To the other survivors in the bunker? And while I was ruminating on whether to go, whenever I had experienced any doubt, Squeakfeather whispered in my ear that I should go ahead and do it. He’s a good familiar, and I’m now very sorry I felt disappointed when I was allocated him. I’m sorry he realised it too (it showed on my face, I’m afraid), but hell, he knows my high regard for him now, silly flying pink mouse that he is. All is well. I love you, Squeakfeather.
Anyway, I went. In US customs or checkins or whatever they call it, they asked me my purpose of business or reason for being or destination of travel, something like that. Oh, the flight was terrifying, by the way, sorry I skipped past that bit, but thanks for wondering – that will be the subject of a different Journalistic Report. ANYWAY, I said to the customs officer, ‘I am only here to speculate’ really loudly in his face, and because he didn’t really know what to make of me, he let me into the building. WHICH WAS AMERICA.
Oh, and I meant to say ‘spectate’, not ‘speculate’, as they have entirely different meanings, but he did not seem to pick up on that. To this day, I wonder if perhaps that moment was a bit of a sliding door, but I went down the fire escape.
After the airport, I made my way to the rally, carrying my briefcase (the only luggage I had thought to bring with me, which would later turn out to be a mistake) (it wasn’t even like there was anything in it). I found myself walking beside an old man who traveled with nothing save a sack and a walking stick, and strangely enough he carried the walking stick on his back while stepping on the sack. He said something wise to me, a sort of portent of things to come, he said ‘aaaargh, please, I am not going to make it, will you carry me, I hate to ask but please,’ or something like that, I wasn’t really listening because AHEAD were the pillars – standing at the top of a hill on either side of a long winding road peppered with other pilgrims, tall and proud, so majestic they almost made me weep … and upon them fires burning bright, flames leaping up to the sky, like the mightiest candles I have ever seen, and I’ve seen some pretty amazing candles let me tell you. And between the pillars, great open double doors of solid steel, coated with gold, topped with cheerleaders and … well, you had to be there, I guess. I don’t want to bang on about it.
Inside, at the rally, people stood around waving flags made from old rags with pieces of skulls nailed to them. I made the mistake of asking one person (an older lady, I don’t mean to be impolite, but her second-to-right tooth seemed to be about 5 degrees off) if the fragments of head matter they waved about were the skulls of their conquered enemies, and she looked at me like I was insane. I started to feel like I had better be more careful about how I asked my questions if I was going to fit in here. I didn’t want to wind up on a flag!
‘Is that Steve?’ I asked, gesturing at the skull flag, and was rewarded with a smile.
‘Yes,’ she said, ‘that’s Steve.’
I should probably mention that Squeakfeather had been doing a bit of reconnaissance, and discovered by eavesdropping on the woman’s comrades that the name of the skull on her flag was Steve, which is how I knew it was Steve. It’s not because I have some weird power.
On stage, an act was trying to warm up the crowd. A comedian, but nobody could hear him properly because a troop of little people (it was nice they were referred to so respectfully) dressed as monkeys was dancing around him, intermittently snatching the microphone and screaming ‘Eee! Eee! Ooo! Ooo!’. I think the comic was trying to do a bit about how clams are different from light bulbs, but he didn’t really get his point across.
Finally Trump walked on, swinging a broom to scatter the monkeys. There was a slow one, old I think, maybe sick, and Trump stepped on its tail to pin it in place. It screeched horribly, but thankfully he set about it quickly with the broom – and, as it took its last gasp, everyone seemed to remember it was not just some monkey, but actually a person dressed as a monkey, and it’s quite amazing that he stayed in character so convincingly as Donald Trump beat him to death. The crowd was impressed when they thought he only beating a monkey to death, but as they remembered it was actually a human, they were really blown away. It would be fair to suggest that Donald might now have gathered some of their peripheral attention somewhat.
‘All women are niggers!’ a guy shouts, and people around him cheer.
I couldn’t believe it! I was switching to present tense. Also, somehow, I realise I have left my briefcase back at the fairyfloss stand. I go back, and thankfully it is still there. I tell myself to be more careful in the future – you never know what type of people are going to be around, even though everyone here seems pretty nice.
It’s time for Donald’s speech, and a hush falls over the fighting.
‘My fellow Americans,’ he says. He takes a pickle out of his breast pocket and tries to light it, then looks at it in disgust and flicks it away. ‘I came here today.’
Everyone erupts into whooping and hollering. I look over and see that the old man with the walking stick and sack has finally made it, and he’s looking at me with joy in his eyes.
‘Is this my daughter’s house?’
I laugh at his joke and clap him on the back (with a great deal of force, as I don’t want to patronise him just because he’s so old). ‘I’ll tell you a secret, old man,’ I say, as people around me jump up and down. ‘I don’t even work here.’
The old man staggers away and falls down.
‘Encore!’ screams a guy.
On stage, Donald waves dismissively. ‘I wasn’t finished,’ he says. ‘So it’s not really the right timing for an encore yet.’
‘What I was going to say,’ says Donald, ‘is that in my new world, which I am going to create, you will all be given free cream puffs whenever you wake up. Yeah, you heard me. Every time you wake up, WHENEVER YOU WAKE UP, do you hear me? EVERY TIME YOU WAKE UP, FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIVES, you will be given a cream puff. Someone will be there to look into your sleepy, blinking, confused eyes and hand you an HONEST TO GOD AMERICAN CREAM PUFF. I am NOT KIDDING. Now …’
He pauses, for everyone’s heart is thrumming so fast that he can feel it in his balls, and by god he is going to enjoy it for a moment.
‘THAT’S,’ he says, ‘WHAT I AM GOING TO DO.’
Holy crow, the crowd went wild. I have never seen such speculate. Back to past tense now. It was like he put electricity into their souls. It was like everything they had ever felt and not been able to express had finally been put into words, words branded into their very beings. They were validated. They were real, alive. They were with their own people – people who thought like them, who were like them. Standing there amongst them, I had never felt anything like it. I had never experienced that kind of comradery, the mass scale of it was emotionally overwhelming. I would be lying if I claimed it did not sweep me up and carry me, while I ate my fairyfloss.
I realised that everything I had done until that point was nothing but an illusion. I had not been honest with myself. I had not come here as some distant observer. I had come here to find something. To fit missing pieces into the puzzle of my soul. I took off my hat (I had been wearing a hat all this time, by the way) and threw it up in the air. I tore open my briefcase, tore it apart like a business-cave-man and hurled it away. I took out my return plane tickets and folded them into paper planes, but then thought about how much they cost and put them back into my pocket. All around me, everything was being set on fire, smoke was fast filling the air. I breathed it in, thick and poisonous, sucking it in deep, right down into myself. Hungry for it, I felt like I was myself at becoming last, as I filled up with blackened soot.
On the plane trip home, I reflected on what a strange experience it had been. The steward asked if I would like a small bag of nuts to help pass the hours, but I just laughed quietly to myself. That made him think I was mad so he went away, which had been my plan all along. He didn’t know what I had seen. He could not tell, looking upon my outside bits, what it was I now carried inside me. A message, a promise, a kind of a glow, something totally unexpected and yet for which I was incredibly thankful. But what was it? The answer is very simple, my friends. It was the tale of my journey, that very thing I have now shared with you all, and the light it shines upon all things, and the many great lessons learned, the beautiful truth – and, I think you will agree, we are all better people for having heard it.
Squeakfeather tells me, in fact, that you are.
Oh, and CREAMPUFFS! That was the other thing.