“Fuck you George—this one’s for my brother!” The war cry came from a stocky gentleman in a leprechaun suit whose uplifted elbow was headed straight for the president’s eye. Bush and the leprechaun toppled over into a messy heap on the asphalt. We helped the two of them up and the leprechaun stumbled away. I had just barely gotten the Commander in Chief of the US military dusted off when another brutal blow, this time a crushing uppercut, came out of nowhere and sent the president’s rubber face sailing out over the crowd. The megaphone squealed and Larry’s voice boomed out, “Ooooooooo that one had to hurt ladies and gentlemen! Now whooooo’s next?” Meanwhile, Sarah had run off into a little cluster of sumo wrestlers to fetch the weary face of the 43rd president of the United States of America. It was the fight of the decade! It’s always a shame to have such a top billing performance to offer but not know how to gather the crowd of thousands it deserves. But never fear! As luck would have it Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s famous Halloween carnival handled all the logistics for us. Viola, there they were, 75,000 excited people ready for a wild night. And hell, we’ve all been to enough of these things to know how predictable they really are: supermans by the dozen, way too many cross-dressing frat boys, fairies, fairies, fairies, and that guy who just runs around screaming “wooooo!” The scene was set for something, anything to go down.
That’s where George came in—and he arrived in style, hanging on the end of a rope, attended by a parade of drummers, banner-bearers, stilt walking capitalist puppeteers and their corporate marionettes, and, of course, the “press.” Our effigy had a foam rubber head stuffed into a stretchy Bush mask. He wore a dumpstered business suit (public figures sometimes dress down for the masses) and a pair of red boxing gloves. One of our number came in a tux with a bull horn. He was the ringside announcer: “You, yes you can PUNCH the president!” “He knows you eat tofu you spineless liberal, and he’s here to WHIP YOUR ASS!!!” “Texas, Afghanistan, Iraq, now George Bush is here—Chapel Hill, you’re next!” “It’s your turn to take a swing at the king!” and so on like that.
Actually, to our delight, we found that the crowd needed very little encouragement. With a little coaching, meek liberals would give a chuckle and a symbolic tap on the nose. Other folks, most folks actually, took it to the prez with vicious abandon. The tightly fitting mask was knocked clean off the “dummy” too many times to count. Over and over the “puppet” was ripped from our hands by a hail of fists. When he crumbled on the ground, the crowd would commence kicking and jumping on his body as we are used to seeing cops do to the defenseless and poor. Each individual’s response to the situation seemed to reflect the particular way she felt she suffered at the hands of the regime: those who belong to the demoralized and depressed middle classes tended to smack point and laugh; those most likely to face imprisonment and state violence were themselves ultra-violent.
On the way to the event a taxi driver with limited English pulled over just to give the commander and chief a tidy thumping. The finale of the night was a flying elbow from an imaginary third ring. It remains unclear to me how either the dummy or the gleeful challenger walked away from that blow. After three hours of continuous assaults our doll was almost completely demolished. Hundreds had dealt blows. Thousands, ourselves included, watched in astonishment at the anger he inspired.
My favorite aspect of the event was the humor and good cheer. Watching the antics of the crowd, I hardly stopped laughing for three hours straight. This atmosphere left little opportunity for the few pro-Bush folks to try to do anything about the ruckus. A couple troubled Republicans came up to the prez and told him he was a “good man,” that they were “big supporters.” Appropriately, Bush would respond by socking them in the face! Such realism!
Now let’s get something straight for the record: we do not suggest or condone engaging in fisticuffs with the president. When dealing with the president, we strongly advise against uppercuts, crushing rights, jabs, roundhouse kicks, knuckle sandwiches, resounding smacks, boots in the ass or crotch area, blows to the ribs or face, haymakers, hooks (left or right), boxing of ears, or any combination of bonks, jabs, thwacks, swats, or pokes. If you are concerned about the world and want to secure power and effect change petty roughhousing is simply unacceptable, not to mention illegal. We recommend going through the established channels: for example, being ultra-rich, or rigging elections, or allowing airplanes to fly into buildings. However, as keen observers, we feel that it is our patriotic duty to report that we have witnessed in an overwhelming majority of our fellow public holiday event-goers what could be construed as latent feelings of violence, resentment, and readiness to brawl directed at the president of the United States of America.