Watching the recent Republican Party debates, and especially the knock-down drag out fight between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, makes me think of two kids fighting in a schoolyard. This all happened after the election campaign was already getting ugly, when a Super Pac for Ted put a picture of Melenia Trump, a former model, from a 15 year-old photo shoot looking very sexy with the words: “Meet Your New First Lady.” Then, Trump returned fire with a photos of Cruz’s wife, Heidi, a Harvard MBA and economist, looking like a disheveled drunk on a bender next to a photo of his glamorous wife.
Things got even scummier with an article in the National Enquirer, apparently placed by one of Trump’s operatives, which claimed that Cruz had five secret mistresses. After Cruz quickly claimed the story was garbage, Trump said he had nothing to do with the article. When Trump complained to one newscaster, Anderson Cooper, that: “He started it,” Cooper said this sounded like something a 5 year old would say.”
Meanwhile, the Republican Party and many national leaders around the world were appalled that these personal attacks were not befitting a Presidential candidate, much less a President. And I kept thinking of the continuing battles of Trump and Cruz as much like two little boys in kindergarten fighting. They hurl insults, call each other names, and try to humiliate one another and their family members.
So I turned these battles into a series of illustrated children’s books for adults, The Battles of Donnie and Teddy, http://www.amazon.com/Battles-Donnie-Teddy-Childrens-Illustrations/dp/0692681612 and there’s one in full color. My other books on the election feature the fairy tales and myths I previously wrote for Huffington Post: 2016 Election Fairy Tales and 2016 Election Monster Myths.
Following is the first of these battles — in the sandbox. The others are at a birthday party, at the lake, and at the playground.
Donnie was building castles in the sandbox, when Mrs. Marple came over with Teddy, who was carrying a pail with a shovel.
“Donnie,” she said, “Teddy just moved here with his mother and sister, and he would like to join you.”
“No,” Donnie said. “I don’t want him to play here.” He glared at Teddy and Mrs. Marple.
Teddy looked scared, but Mrs. Marple pushed him forward.
“That’s not very nice, Donnie,” Mrs. Marple said. “You have to learn to play with the other children.”
Donnie stood up very tall. He pushed out his chest. “I don’t want to,” he said.
“But you have to do this,” Mrs. Marple said. “Otherwise the other children won’t like you.”
“I don’t care,” Donnie said. “I don’t like them very much either.”
“You have to learn to get along with others,” Mrs. Marple replied. “So I’m going to leave Teddy here with you. You have to learn to play together.”
Mrs. Marple guided Teddy into the sandbox. As she did, Teddy stuck out his tongue at Donnie. “So there,” he said.
Donnie glared back Teddy as hard as he could. But Teddy didn’t flinch. Instead, he sat down in the far corner of the sandbox. He started building a castle, too.
But before he could finish his castle, Donnie stood up and kicked it over. The sand went flying.
“You can’t build another castle here,” Donnie said. “I won’t let you. “
“Who says,” said Teddy. “I’ll tell Mrs. Marple on you, and she’ll come back and help me. She likes me better.”
“So what?” said Donnie. “I’m stronger than you.”
Donnie reached out and punched Teddy. Teddy fell back for a moment. Then, he tried to punch Donnie again, but Donnie punched him back.
“Ha, ha!” Donnie laughed. “You see. You’re not up to it. I’m the only one who can build castles here.”
“No, I can, too,” Teddy yelled. “Besides, if you don’t let me play, I know some things about you, and I’ll tell.”
“Oh, yeah,” Donnie yelled back. “You’re the new kid on the block, and I bet no one likes you either.”
“Well, once they know what you’re really like, no one will like you either.”
“So you think you’re a know it all. But you’re lying. You’re Lying Crying Teddy,” Donnie jeered.
“No, I’m not,” Teddy screamed back. “Because I heard a lot of other kids say this. Your mother’s an alien from another planet, and your sister has cooties.”
“What? That’s not fair,” Donnie said. “You can’t insult my mother and sister.”
“But I can. I can,” Teddy laughed. “Maybe you’re better at throwing punches. But I’m better at insults.”
“Oh, no, you’re not. Because if you’re going to get in the mud, I will, too.”
Donnie grabbed a pile of dirt at the side of the sandbox and threw it at Teddy. It splattered all over his face and dripped down his shirt.
“So, there,” said Donnie. “And you know what? I heard about your own mother and sister, too. Your mother’s like a dog, an ugly stupid mutt. And your sister’s a crazy little runt who was in the pound after her owner threw her in the gutter.”
Teddy got up, holding his shovel like a knife.
“Oh, no you don’t,” he yelled and charged at Donnie.
But Donnie quickly blew himself up to twice his size. He picked up a baseball bat and swung at Teddy.
But Teddy ducked. He picked up a pail of sand and threw it at Donnie.
Donnie stepped back away from the spray of sand and blew himself up even more. He began breathing out flames like a dragon.
Teddy ducked again, but Donnie kicked him and then kicked him again. He began to laugh and point hysterically.
“There! See, I’ve got you. I’m the strongest one of all.” He beat on his chest, like the king of the jungle.
Just then, Mrs. Marple came running out.
“Oh, boys. Boys. You mustn’t fight. That’s against school rules. The principal and all the teachers will be furious.”
Donnie and Teddy backed away from each other and sat down opposite ends of the sandbox. Donnie sat beside what was left of his castle; Teddy sat beside his turned-over pail.
Mrs. Marple continued. “I had hoped you could play together. We all had such high hopes for you. But now that’s over. Since you can’t play nicely together and follow the rules, you are both suspended.”
Donnie and Teddy look up, shocked.
“But you can’t throw me out,” Donnie cried.
“Oh, but I can,” Mrs. Marple said. “Now you both have to go home. You can’t play in the sandbox anymore.”
At once Donnie deflated to his original size, and Teddy began sobbing. Mrs. Marple just glared at them.
Then, they both left the sandbox walking in different directions. There was nothing left to be said.