A Trump win? Like hav­ing an Airbnb neigh­bour, night­mare

Toronto Star - - FRONT PAGE - Heather Mal­lick

What will Tues­day bring? Canada’s great­est jour­nal­ists at The Beaver­ton did the sci­ence and re­port that 9 out of 10 Cana­di­ans will spend the day “rock­ing back and forth while moan­ing softly.”

If Don­ald Trump wins, Canada’s new next-door neigh­bour will sud­denly be­come very much like the ones the Star re­ported on last Thurs­day. A newly ren­o­vated Up­per Beach home was posted on Airbnb by the own­ers, Madi­son Dalzell and Jarred Hoo, and guess who showed up?

A bunch of Trump vot­ers, more or less. After neigh­bours re­ported a loud, late and vi­o­lent party, an ar­moured po­lice ve­hi­cle and tac­ti­cal of­fi­cers with ri­fles and bull­horns emp­tied the house on Mer­rill Ave., ar­rest­ing six men and a young girl and seiz­ing three loaded hand­guns, a pel­let gun and crack co­caine.

“It was chaotic, it was scary, it was dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand what was hap­pen­ing,” a fright­ened neigh­bour told re­porter Betsy Pow­ell. That is how many Cana­di­ans feel after this painfully pro­longed U.S. elec­tion cam­paign.

In Toronto, we are what now looks like one very thin lake away from Trumpland. Back­ground: in my al­most ex­ces­sively sleepy Toronto neigh­bour­hood, a neo-Nazi news­pa­per be­gan pub­lish­ing. Canada Post de­liv­ered it to our home. We had to hide the foul thing. But in the U.S., there was no hid­ing from it. “Jew-S-A! Jew-S-A!” one Trump voter screamed at a Jewish re­porter at a rally, though thank­fully not a Nurem­berg rally. Yet.

Trumpland will be the world’s new pariah, the neigh­bour from hell, the loud peo­ple who shoot guns into the night sky and say, “Nice coun­try you have there, Canada. Shame if any­thing hap­pened to it.” They will in­vade your Airbnb and make the bath­room un­in­hab­it­able in their own spe­cial way.

They’re the kind of neigh­bour who owns long, thick snakes.

They’ll throw their garbage over the bor­der, pour Moun­tain Dew in Lake On­tario, sell killer green Fen­tanyl to our young and our trou­bled, and oh yes, steal our water. As drought turns the rich Amer­i­can plains a cloudy beige, Trump will nuke us for our rivers. He’ll feed Mid­west­ern corn­fields for the high­fruc­tose syrup that Trumpland likes to have on tap.

Oh, how the Trumpland dogs will howl. They’ll eat what the rac­coons ex­crete, then eat the rac­coons, and start eye­ing your cats. The fences of Trum­p­lan­ders will be chain link, the win­dows boarded up. You’ll smell roast­ing meat and hear caw­ing laugh­ter next door. “Where’s Miss Kitty?” you’ll say.

If you value your in­tact spine, you will not visit Trumpland as a tourist, even a white tourist — no other kind, “you betcha,” as Sarah Palin used to say — you will fly di­rectly to air­ports in nor­mal cities: New York, Los An­ge­les, maybe Bos­ton.

Then you will do your hasty business and hus­tle right back out on the red-eye lest your flight be redi­rected to the orig­i­nal­ists: Alabama, West Vir­ginia, FBI head­quar­ters.

Con­sider the metaphor. If you had an Airbnb night­mare neigh­bour, a house of de­plorables rather than a na­tion, what would you do?

Here’s the Neigh­bour­hood plan vs. the Canada plan.

Locally, keep 911 on speed dial and give po­lice a crisp update. Ask them to send big trucks, not those lit­tle grey stealth cars. Stock up on canned goods, pow­dered or­ange juice and board games. Buy fire­wood. Burn your fur­ni­ture last.

Na­tion­ally, call the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to which, trust me, the U.S. will no longer be­long. Call NATO al­lies. Maybe call the Chi­nese be­cause the en­emy of our en­emy is pos­si­bly our friend or will pre­tend to be for their own pur­poses.

And where are you per­son­ally? In the fe­tal po­si­tion and mak­ing whim­per­ing noises? Look, Hil­lary Clin­ton might win. She will like Canada as we were a bea­con of ra­tio­nal­ism dur­ing her long, dark cam­paign years.

I will spend Tues­day evening — elec­tion night — in my fam­ily’s lov­ing arms. We’ll have a candy bowl of seda­tives, Kleenex, and mu­sic to en­no­ble: the hymn Jerusalem and Ru­fus Wain­wright singing Hal­lelu­jah.

Should Trump win, I shall play Queen’s Death on Two Legs. Sam­ple lyrics: “You talk like a big business ty­coon, you’re just a hot-air bal­loon. Kill joy. Bad guy. Big talk­ing. Small fry.”

Should Clin­ton win, I’ll just go to bed, you know, like a nor­mal per­son and sleep the sleep of the good­hearted.

Fin­gers crossed, my dear read­ers.

Trumpland will be the world’s new pariah, the neigh­bour from hell, the loud peo­ple who shoot guns into the night sky and say, “Nice coun­try you have there, Canada. Shame if any­thing hap­pened to it.”

LISA MASCARO/LOS AN­GE­LES TIMES

In Toronto, we are what now looks like one very thin lake away from Trumpland, Heather Mal­lick writes.

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