I have a heterodox collection of T-shirts that I buy off the Internet in moments of weakness, celebration, or just plain idiocy. When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, I bought the famous-notorious-blasphemous “Last Supper” T-shirt, which reproduces the legendary Leonardo da Vinci mural with Johnny Damon at the center of the table, surrounded by “disciples” Pedro Martinez, Terry Francona, et al.
That was the same year I purchased a “Kerry Haters for Kerry” T-shirt (it reads, “He’ll Do” on the back), well, you know, because.
This year, when the Mueller Report appeared, I bought a T-shirt stenciled with Donald Trump’s famous “Complete and total EXONERATION” tweet. I was animated by the same dark, comic impulse that prompted me to buy a “Baghdad Bob” T-shirt in 2003. That garment quoted the former Iraqi information minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf’s famous Iraq War prediction: “My feelings, as usual: we will slaughter them all.”
Wearing my Exoneration T-shirt is of course out of the question in the state that hates Trump more than any other. But who knows? Maybe I’ll visit the Aladdin Coal Tipple in fanatically pro-Trump Wyoming soon. The T-shirt may come in handy.
Purchasing the Trump regalia opened a Pandora’s Box of fearsome monsters. Suddenly my name appeared on every Trump mailing list and/or social media platform, and the results haven’t been pretty at all.
The first presidential e-mail arrived in April, “A Message from Donald J. Trump.” It read: “Jacob” — my credit card name is Jacob A. Beam; fraudsters, thank me later — “Let me be clear. Since the day I took my famous escalator ride in 2015 to announce my presidential campaign, the Democrat harassment, fake news attacks, and blatant lies have never been about me. . . . Their target has always been you.”
Okaaaay. I preserved that message, and the 75+ I’ve received since, because, as you see, there are columns to fill. The alerts started coming, fast and furious: “Sign Melania’s Birthday Card,” “Secure the Border Now,” “Let’s Have Dinner.” That last one launched a string of sorry-I’m-washing-my-hair-that-night invitations to gala “VIP access” events “WITH REAL AMERICAN PATRIOTS” [sic] in New York, Wisconsin, and elsewhere.
Soon Eric Trump started messaging me (“The President is Counting On You,” “Your Name is Still Missing”), then Newt Gingrich, who poked his ashy head up from the dustbin of history to invite me to a dinner in Cleveland. It’s as if the Addams Family were throwing a dinner party for Cousin Itt. What collateral relative would pop up next?
Lara Trump , that’s who! Who is Lara Trump? She is a television producer who is married to aforementioned Trump spawn Eric. She’s been trying to sell me an “executive membership card” and has followed up with such e-mails as “Your Name = Missing” and “MISSING: Jacob from Massachusetts.”
This being the 21st century, of course these ghouls have my cellphone number. I receive about one text a day, e.g., “We just checked with our finance team and we’re $125K SHORT! Don’t let President Trump down” blah, blah, blah.
As they say in infomercials: Wait, there’s more. I have started receiving snail mail (“Check enclosed”; um, not really) from Melania Trump. Most recently I received a suitable-for-framing color photo of the happy presidential couple, “signed,” and inscribed: “To Jacob Beam, Thank you for your steadfast support of the Republican National Committee.”
I hope all their support is as steadfast as mine. That will spell early retirement for Mr. and Mrs. T.