I love a good brawl. Throw a couple of screwheads into a sawdust pit and watch them whip each other into aspic. It is as cathartic for the spectators as it is for the fighters. The smell of sweat and blood is good for morale, all around, and with a couple of shrewd bets a man can hit the town afterwards in style.
Not since the rematch of Arturo Gatti and “Irish” Mickey Ward has an event been so eagerly anticipated. One of the main reasons is that billionaires usually don’t go at each other head-to-head. They have teams of lawyers and a hierarchy of minders, lieutenants and public relations lackeys to fight for them. Theirs are proxy battles, impotent gestures from luxury yachts in different oceans with little to no fallout.
So when the Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman “El Chapo” or “Shorty” Loera (the ridiculous amount of names alone commands a certain prestige) busted out of prison and then put a price tag of $100 million dollars on the weird orange head of Donald Trump, it was clear the gloves had come off.
Donald “The Donald” Trump (a bit redundant) was not rattled. In fact he called the powerful leader of the Sinaloan drug cartel a “midget wimp,” and boasted that he himself would’ve broken out of prison in half the time it took “El Chapo” and would’ve done it better, with a gold-plated helicopter and at least ten “Miss America” contestants hanging from the landing rails. He declared himself the best at “prison escape” or any “escape, for that matter,” and that people like “El Chapo,” David Sweat, Richard Matt, D.B. Cooper, Frank Morris, the Anglin brothers, the Rats of Nimh, Dieter Dengler, the guy who wrote that pina colada song, Andy Dufresne, Rambo, that John Voight character from “Runaway Train,” and basically every captive from World War II were just losers that probably didn’t even own any golf courses, “although maybe one or two did, who knows?”
Leave it to Mr. Trump to underscore American excellence; that rich history of talent, intelligence and virtue that has made us Number One for the last century. On the other hand, our Dannemora prison escapees from last month could’ve learned a thing or two from “El Chapo.” Forget tinkering around the ventilation system for ten years. “El Chapo” actually had an underground motorcycle. That is about as cool as it gets. Usually immune to such petty jealousy, I couldn’t help thinking that I wanted an underground motorcycle. I even called my mother and asked why I had never been given an underground motorcycle when I was a kid? Then I told her not to bother answering. I knew why. It was because she didn’t love me. Mom then explained to me in that exasperated way that a parent explains things to a child forty years into his existence that the way it works is a person goes and gets a real job and then they can buy themselves all the underground motorcycles they want. “When you get underground motorcycles handed to you, then you don’t appreciate the underground motorcycle and it just becomes another thing that you neglect when your tiny little attention span moves from underground motorcycles to something equally as empty.” Then she hung up on me.
Anyway, “El Chapo” is now ready to take on his North American nemesis. Trump shows no sign of backing down, openly taunting “El Chapo.” The Donald doesn’t hide from anyone. He doesn’t need to. In fact, the Donald’s hair is an impressive example of aposematism, a brightly colored defense mechanism designed to repel predators. Something that fluorescent occurring in nature is usually highly poisonous, so watch out. No need to camouflage.
The feud between the two continental heavyweights began when Trump started bad-mouthing Mexicans. “Shorty” was highly offended when Trump accused most Mexicans of bringing drugs into America, which is a little unfair, except that El Chapo is the most powerful drug lord in Mexico and maybe, the world. That’s like Mickey Mouse going up to New York to protest the city’s war against rodents.
I was relieved to see that the pictures of “El Chapo” after his prison escape showed him sporting his dense broom of a mustache. It levels the playing field. I could think of the billionaires’ conflict only in terms of flamboyant choices in hair grooming. The Woolly Black Lip versus the Pumpkin Tsunami. One plagues the world with drugs. The other plagues the world with bad reality television and garish real estate. One wants to build a wall across the border. The other will cruise beneath it in his underground motorcycle. One is adored by his country’s citizens. The other one is Trump.
More Alembics to come