If Hamburgers Were Words...

 

 

 

His call was inevitable. Barney from New Jersey is both my friend and my nemesis. He thinks little of New Mexico or my journalistic efforts. He is a big fan of Donald Trump.

“Hi, Barney, how’s the kiddos?” I chirped.

“The kiddos left the house 30 years ago,” he growled. “You know why I am calling. You have written off Donald Trump as a passing fancy.

“You have said he is the author of a tax plan no economist thinks will work.

“You have said he has no chance to be elected president, but definitely has a shot at the next open spot on Dancing with the Stars.

“You have called him a freak show.

“What are you calling him now?”

“Mr. President,” I said meekly. The blowhard billionaire has been a wild fire in a parched political forest. His followers care little Trump cannot explain how he will fulfill his bold promises, or that he avoids specific discussion of policy. They want change. Period. It is disconcerting at best.

I had said, repeatedly, Trump was a momentary diversion, an entertainer who would exit stage left. I was wrong. If words were hamburgers I would have gained 20 pounds.

“Finally some humility from backwards New Mexico,” Barney chortled. He somehow sees New Jersey as superior to the Land of Enchantment. Go figure.

“Guess who helped put Trump over the top?” Barney chortled. “While your governor sits on the fence, our governor has taken a firm grip on his political future by endorsing the next president of the United States!”

“Whoa, Barney,” I said, the tone calm. “I want you to listen to the words of a buddy of mine, a guy who is respected for both his public service achievements and political acumen. Here is his take on your Chris Christie:

‘That fat turd. I liked him for awhile. But he is just a petty fat turd.’ ”

The conversation was about to get out of hand.

“Stop!” Barney yelled. “Stop right there! Are you telling me a friend of yours called my governor a fat turd? What kind of low life would do that? Why in the world would he call him a turd!”

“Well, Barney,” I answered, volume cranked up a notch, “Maybe because the p---y word was all used up. Your man Mr. Trump thought it was cute to publicly announce one of his nutty supporters called Ted Cruz a p---y!”

“All I can say,” Barney sputtered, “is you have big, funny looking ears and no one reads that stupid column and…”

“And by the way,” I interrupted, “and by the way, I have been writing hundreds of columns for 40 years, I don’t know, maybe 70 years, and by the way, thousands of people have read my columns, I heard someone say millions, I don’t know, but a billion readers have followed my columns and they are wonderful. I love readers.”

“The first day Trump is president,” Barney screamed, “he is going to start deporting columnists. All of them! Only the good ones will be allowed to come back. And you are not going to be one of them!”

“I’d like to punch you in the face!” I yelled, slamming down the phone.

Something has happened to polite discourse. Can’t figure it out.

(Retired Carlsbad Current-Argus publisher and Ruidoso resident Ned Cantwell insists he does not have big ears. Nose, yes.)