The scene: In a small Tampa Bay town, a bar owner quietly opens so his regulars can drink against tyranny.
The cast: Dick, a part-time school bus driver and frequent complainant at City Council meetings. Jerry, a former roofer on disability who fears America’s creeping slide toward socialism.
We join our heroes in mid-conversation:
Dick: “Get a load of Ronnie with the mask over there. [nods toward a nearby table] What a candy-ass.”
Jerry: “If Donald Trump was here, he’d knock that mask right off his face.”
Dick: “Naah. Trump’s old school. He don’t go for that face-to-face, poser bullshit. He’d slink out the back, then sic his lawyers on Ronnie. Back when this country was great, real men only fought from a safe distance.”
Jerry: “You’re absolutely right. Then he’d open up a can of Twitter on Ronnie. Nothing says ‘go-time’ like Twittering a guy at 3 a.m. from a heavily guarded fortress.”
Dick: [with admiration] “Trump’s gotta be the best safe-distance fighter this country has seen since Dick Cheney.”
Jerry: “To Dick Cheney.” [toasting with their Busch Lights]
Dick: “Whatta you expect from Ronnie? The guy’s a welder, for chrissakes. Plays with 15,000 degrees of fire all day, like some goddamned Polish ballerina. Now real estate developer, that’s a man’s job. You write a check, and other guys build you stuff.”
Jerry: “Except Trump don’t send the check. Back when America was great, a real man never paid his debts. Stiffed friend or foe alike. It’s called being a great businessman.”
Dick: “Will you look at Ronnie’s crew cut? Looks like some kinda prissy Marine.”
Jerry: “While Ronnie was prancing around ‘Nam, Trump paid a doctor to say he had a sore foot. Real men only talk a good fight. They don’t actually do it.”
Dick: “Nobody could expect Trump to fight in that humidity. Vietnam was hell on a man’s comb-over.”
Jerry: “Damn straight. Back when America was great, a man never went to war without first getting the okay from his hairdresser.”
Dick: “The golf course, now that’s where a man shows how big of balls he’s got.”
Jerry: “Abso-friggin’-lutely. It’s not some chickenshit sport like baseball, where some showboatin’ Dominican fires a 97-mph heater past your face. Golf’s got a tinier ball, and you hit it with a little stick. Then you chase it in a plastic go-cart that can reach – what? – like 14 mph? You’re taking your life in your hands when you play that golf.”
Dick: “And golf don’t let no Dominicanias take the job of a more-qualified white man.”
Jerry: “Trump’s gotta be a beast at the driving range. Whattaya think the guy benches? 110? 120? I’d hate to be the servant who’s gotta spot him in the weight room.”
Dick: “But the servants probably get his leftover babes.”
Jerry: “The man’s got a way with the ladies, no doubt about that. Forty-three sexual harassment complaints and counting. Back when this country was great, you could never leave a real man alone with your daughters.”
Dick: “What I wouldn’t give to be Trump’s wingman.”
Jerry: “No way you could afford it, pal. Trump only buys the top-dollar broads. Not like them ones we buy at the truck stop. All them artificial parts cost extra. Maybe you could be Pence’s wingman.”
Dick: [laughing] “Way too dangerous. Pence is a friggin’ madman. He don’t even let hisself alone with the ladies. If there ain’t no witnesses, he knows he’ll paw ‘em like a grizzly during the salmon run.”
Jerry: [laughing too] “That Trump administration, I bet they spend a shitload on Viagra. It’s like a man’s man factory.”
Dick: “Get a load of Stephen Miller. You meet him in a dark alley, and a lawyer’d be biting your shin before you knew what hit you.”
Jerry: “What I like is they ain’t no stoic, poser assholes. Trump, he knows real men ain’t afraid to be thin-skinned and needy. If he don’t get all the attention, he pouts like a man. Probably bawls hisself to sleep every time Rachel Maddow Twitters about him.”
Dick: “Christ, can you imagine the dry-cleaning bills for his pillows?”
Jerry: “Trump don’t worry about that. Started out with just a $400 million inheritance, then picked hisself up by the bootstraps. Probably worth at least $320 mil now.”
Dick: “The man’s got a hellacious work ethic, that’s for sure. Shows up at noon, sometimes stays as late as 3. Nobody outworks that sonuvabitch.”
Jerry: “Real men know that if you wanna do a job right, you need a good six hours of TV in beforehand. Maybe do some Twittering to let people know your feelings is hurt.”
Dick: “And if something goes wrong, the buck stops with that guy. He’ll tell you exactly who to blame.”
Jerry: [raising his Busch Light] To Donald Trump, a true man’s man.”
Dick: [raising his] “To Donald Trump.”
This post originally appeared in our sibling paper, Cleveland Scene.
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