Jay Meehan: Trumps on cleaning detail
“It was like lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hand of man.”
– President Theodore Roosevelt (after camping with John Muir in Yosemite)
As with most dreams, the surreal prevailed. Normally sequential events assumed the non-linear. Colors, no matter where aligned along the visual spectrum, attached themselves to the unfamiliar. Except, of course, orange. Its mothership, the current presidential wig, had cameos in most every scene.
Once, flying over the Sierras on a flight from Salt Lake to Oakland while searching out the plane’s window for Hetch Hetchy but instead capturing Yosemite Valley from 36,000 feet, I easily picked out the usual suspects.
There they were, all in a row and pretty much aligned with the flight path: Half Dome, Glacier Point, Yosemite Falls (dry in the fall), Sentinel Rock, El Cap, etc. Which, of course, made the recognition of the dreamscape that much more instantaneous.
As I mentioned, even with the color scheme totally removed from my accustomed vividness scale, I deduced the plotline. The ex-first family, in bright orange jumpsuits, were individually serving out their sentences in Yosemite National Park cleaning up human waste accrued during the government shutdown.
Once a gander at Dad availed itself, identifying the rest of the clan, especially those of the female persuasion, came without a hitch. Ivanka’s involvement with the Russians gained her entrée but why Melania also ended up in an orange one-piece never made itself clear. Dreams don’t always come with a program.
The sons of anarchy exhibited troubles even negotiating the footpaths from their campsite to the shuttle stop. Rumor had it that they even had to dress themselves, cruel and unusual punishment to say the least.
As near as I could make out (deep slumber comes with a heavy fog your understand), they shuffled chain-gang-like from one crap-rich environment to the next singing Woody Guthrie’s nod to Donald’s father Fred, “Old Man Trump.” An anti-racism ditty (go figure!), their gospel-like chants echoed off the valley’s granite cliffs.
Not unlike Emile Zola’s famous “J’Accuse” open letter to the President of France in defense of Alfred Dreyfus during the late 19th-Century, Guthrie’s “Old Man Trump” accused ol’ Fred of blatant racism in his latest housing project, “Beach Haven.”
The repetitive singing of that particular song had been part of the original sentence, and even survived the avalanche of appeals that followed. Not surprisingly, Woody Guthrie fans also joined in the brief as a friend of the court after hearing the Trump family version. Blasphemy, they called it.
Now if the Trumps had been required to remove all the bull excrement they left in the general vicinity of the White House, next-generation hazardous waste protection no doubt would have been required.
But as it was, their backpack loads of Lysol, scrub brushes, telescopic-extension mops, gas masks, latex gloves, vacuum pumps, and schnoz-guards (to protect from having their noses rubbed in it), helped keep the family scowl firmly in place.
When others on the clean-up crew volunteered to build an adobe-like wall around the Trump family compound utilizing the refuse in question, many among the returning park employees also raised their hand to join what they thought of as a community service. They figured the real “stink” of the place could be corralled.
And, wouldn’t you know, the gift shop couldn’t keep enough “Russia Will Pay For It” paraphernalia in stock to meet the constant demand.
Of course, with Californians harboring the love they do for the Trumps, additional lookouts with spotting scopes had to be installed. Not to mention location sensors implanted along with their individual lip-augmentation procedures so as to aid the visitors in detection. Yellowstone wolf collars seemed a bit over the top.
As is most often the case when exiting the dream world, not all of the empty squares get filled in. Many questions remain. Many rumors unconfirmed. Now if only they were serialized and you could have friends over for a weekend of “binging.”
But as we have learned, the images that occur during one’s REM sleep phase are involuntary in nature. Of course, that’s just “science” talking. And if the Trumps taught us anything, it’s that science is fake news. If only Donald could have spent the weekend with Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir.
Jay Meehan is a culture junkie and has been an observer, participant, and chronicler of the Park City and Wasatch County social and political scenes for more than 40 years.
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