By Jeff Morris
(From the Other Side column, page 6 Jan. 29 Manotick Messenger)
I had this dream.
It was 20 minutes into the future.
I was back in Denver, sitting at the big bar at the Red Lion Hotel near Stapleton Airport. Rocky Mountain Joe and Postal Kevin were sitting there, in their usual spots. They were each nursing a 20 oz. Coors. I was working on a bowl of Corn Flakes and a Diet Coke, which is what I ate at night if we had gone out for a big lunch during the day.
A little more than 20 years ago, I worked in Denver every other week for more than a year. The Red Lion became home away from home, and I got to know all the regulars. Rocky Mountain Joe and Postal Kevin both worked for the United States Postal Service and always came in for a pint or two to unwind and watch sports after their shift. Ultimately, we would end up in a great discussion about the Broncos or the Avalanche. There were always United Airlines pilots in there, too, and if we could get them drunk enough, they would start nervously telling us stories about UFO sightings and other weird things they had seen in the sky.
“We’re not allowed to talk about it, because the airline doesn’t want people thinking the pilots are crazy,” they would always say before spilling out the secrets of what they had seen.
But in this dream, there was no talk of UFOs. The conversation I was wrapped up in was with my old friends, whom I haven’t seen in 20 years, as they tried to comprehend how the landscape was changing in January. There was no sports on the big screen. We were watching the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
“I can’t believe it’s finally over and we got to the end of it,” Rocky Mountain Joe said.
“No kidding,” Postal Kevin replied. “I’m looking forward to turning on the TV every day and not having to see his goofy face all over the screen.”
I looked over and smiled, laughing a bit to myself.
“What about you?” Rocky Mountain Joe said. “You’re Canadian. What does everyone in Canada think of him?”
“Nobody can stand him,” I said. “Everyone back home thinks he’s an idiot.”
“Well, he’s finally gone,” Postal Kevin said. “The world can relax that we’re rid of him. Every family can just take a deep breath and relax.”
They took a sip of their beer and I had a spoonful of cereal.
“I think the most dangerous thing about him is the influence he had on our children,” Rocky Mountain Joe said. “Not just our children, but all of the children – in the United States and I guess even in Canada, too.”
“Well we get as much of him on TV as you guys,” I replied. “We just cringe every time he’s on.”
Postal Kevin looked down at his change on the bar and shook his head.
“The thing that I can’t stand is the constant whining and complaining,” he said. “Don’t you just wish someone would punch him in the mouth and shut him up? I mean, he should be setting an example for everyone, especially kids. But he just acts like a big suck every time he’s on TV.”
Rocky Mountain Joe piped in.
“And it’s not even how he acts,” he said. “I just can’t stand looking at his head. I mean, come on, get a wig and just try even a little bit to look like a normal person.”
They reflect over another sip of Coors.
“You know, you talk about the influence he has had on our society,” Postal Kevin reflected. “I can’t believe the way he treats the members of his own family. Like, he has no respect for anyone. He has no concept of treating people properly. He is always having these tantrums.”
I threw in my two cents in agreement.
“You nailed it,” I said. “The tantrums and the denial and treating everyone the way he does when things aren’t going his way – it’s all just inexcusable for someone who lives under a microscope in the public eye and is someone we look on to set an example.”
Postal Kevin started laughing.
“I wonder how many moms there are out there who have started to drink – I mean drink heavily – just because of him?” he said. “I mean, imagine if you are at home with a couple of little ones, and they’re playing or relaxing, and you turn on the TV, and there he is.”
“Well, who knows,” I said. “Maybe we haven’t seen the end of him. Maybe in four years he will run again.”
Rocky Mountain Joe and Postal Kevin looked over at me, wearing an expression of confusion.
“What are you talking about?” Postal Kevin said.
“The next election,” I said. “Maybe Trump will run again.”
They looked at each other, even more confused.
“What does that have to do with what we’re talking about?” Rocky Mountain Joe asked.
“Weren’t you guys talking about Donald Trump?” I asked.
They laughed. Hard. From their toes to their bellies.
“No,” Postal Kevin chortled. “We were talking about Caillou being cancelled.”
At that moment, I woke up.
‘I need a bowl of cereal,’ I thought.