A few months ago, Sal suggested writing a fiction novel about an older Canadian couple down in the southern US on a snowbird vacation. The story line would revolve around what happens to them when Donald Trump takes over the presidency. The ‘third act’ of the novel would be a cheap B action-filled escape to the Canadian border with militiamen, bigots and ordinary-but-fearful-and-armed Americans at every turn.
I dismissed it. “Sal…..it can’t work. First, you have to have Trump win and that doesn’t seem likely. And then you have to have old, fat white people the target of old, fat white bigots…such a couple would likely get a pass from the all-but-insane of the camo-wearing hate-mongers. Too crazy to work.”
We’re scheduled to go to Phoenix for a getaway in January- just before the Donald takes office. We’ll be there when he does.
I am having second thoughts.
Seems hate crimes are up by 67% since Trump won. To be fair, most of them are against Muslim women and amount to hijab-snatching and insults but more than just a few include people of colour attacking old, fat white people. In the first instance, I am assuming the Muslim women were innocent and said nothing to provoke the snatch and dis attack but, in the second, there may have been some provocation from the white guy. Or not. I suppose, it is entirely possible that some poor old white guy encountered some mean Bloods, Crips or even Muslims.
But, the point is: hate crimes are up already.
And, it seems, a lot of loud-mouthed bigots are giving voice to their joy over Trump’s victory. That’s provocative. Even Robert DeNiro wanted to punch Trump. I can’t imagine what a testosterone driven, young Mexican who just wet-backed across the border to work cheap for rich people must feel like.
Summary: bad feelings abound.
So, here’s the scene: old, white, Canadian, vacationing couple decide to drive a few hundred miles to visit another city. It’s not late but it’s late dusk as they crest a small hill nearing their destination. Five hundred yards ahead is a cluster of cars and pick-up trucks. A group of ten or so men in camouflage are standing around. A few guns are visible. The couple stops their vehicle a few hundred yards short of the ominous scene. Reports of volunteer border militia come to mind.
But….everyone in this scene is white.
Do they continue on, confident in their white-ness? Or do they think that ‘being Canadian’ might be as bad as ‘being black’ or Muslim or Mexican? Do they consider that it might NOT be an illegal border patrol but simply a band of highway robbers? Do they take the chance?
In my imagined scene, the old guy decides that discretion is the better part of valor and executes a quick u-turn and puts his foot down heading back to where they came from.
But there’s a problem.
The cluster of road-blocking vigilantes anticipated this and had three or more vehicles parked back in that direction. They were in the shadows as the old couple passed a minute or so ago. And they are now blocking the return route. As the old guy’s truck hits close to a hundred miles per hour, he sees the trucks parked across the road up ahead and decides, on impulse, that hitting the desert (he has a 4×4) is the better route. He slows, picks his spot and then veers off the road and heads out into the darkening wasteland hopeful that the nut-bars don’t follow.
Problem #2 is that, after traveling for a few hours to get to that nasty roadside attraction, his truck’s fuel level is relatively low. There is not enough gas to get back especially doing it cross country.
Plus, it is now almost dark and he has no idea where he is. Not really.
In his rear view mirror, he sees a set of lights coming. It seems that one of the bad guys is willing to give chase.
……………and so………….it begins.