Cartoon by Bruno Garel, copyright 2016, The Trump Antidote
MR. TRUMP & MR. CREOSOTE
by JAKE LAMAR
It was in October, during the third and final debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, that the memory came to me. Watching Trump spew a wild and often incoherent stream of invective on Clinton---culminating in his interjection "Such a nasty woman"---I suddenly had a flashback to the 1980s, when I saw, for the first time, the Monty Python film The Meaning of Life.
In a classic sketch toward the end of the film, a gigantic, grotesquely obese man in a tuxedo enters a restaurant where other well-dressed aristocrats are dining. Mr. Creosote---played by Terry Jones---proceeds to order everything on the menu while occasionally pausing to spew streams of projectile vomit over everything: the carpet, the table, the cleaning woman.
Watching Trump in debate, I felt as if I'd been hosed down in the vomit of his insane rants. I could only imagine how disgusting it must have felt for Hillary Clinton. I was certain that such a vulgar monster could never be elected President of the United States.
Throughout the Python sketch, an excruciatingly obsequious French waiter, played by John Cleese, encourages Mr. Creosote to consume more and more, even as he continues to puke. Like Mr. Creosote, Donald Trump is a man of uncontrollable appetite. In Trump's case, it's not fine food and liquor he desires: it's an appetite for money, for fame, for women, for power.
Watching the sketch today, after Trump's victory, I see all of the American establishment---the Republicans, the media, the policy experts who wish to "normalize" Trump---as versions of the waiter who continues to feed him, or the well-dressed customers who politely try to continue their meals, or flee apologetically.
Finally, after consuming one wafer-thin chocolate after dessert, Mr. Creosote explodes in a shower of vomit. He is still alive. He looks bewildered as his heart continues to beat in his exposed carcass and the other diners retch and wail.
I think that someday, Mr. Trump, the ultimate monster of consumption, will, like Mr. Creosote, go a wafer too far. But, as President of the United States, his explosion could leave us all in a critical state.
-------- JAKE LAMAR is the author of a memoir, six novels, numerous essays, reviews and short stories and, most recently, a play. He is a recipient of the Lyndhurst Prize (for his first book, Bourgeois Blues), a prestigious Centre National du Livre grant (for his upcoming novel Posthumous), France's Grand Prix for best foreign thriller (for Nous Avions un Rêve, the French translation of his novel The Last Integrationist), and a Beaumarchais grant for his play Brothers in Exile. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, he graduated from Harvard and spent six years writing for Time magazine.