The murmur of idle chatter and the scooting of restless foldout chairs filled the auditorium. Thousands of people, clad in torn up wife beaters and Marlboro light jackets, sat densely packed under the blaring stadium lights. A small man in a white and black striped shirt walked unnoticed from a side entrance and made his way up to the center of the ring, where a microphone dangled from the ceiling. He tapped on the microphone three times with his knuckled and the crowd silenced themselves, their eyes drawn to the man.
“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls. People of all age, color, and creed are gathered under this roof for one thing and one thing only…” the man said into the microphone, holding onto the syllables for dramatic effect. “To celebrate our fine nation’s democratic system…. with a good ol’ fashioned smackdown!”
The crowd erupted into cheers. Faces all around the stadium were drowned by a sea of flimsy posterboard with the names of candidates sharpied on them, among them 23 unique spellings of John Kasich.
“This is no ordinary debate, ladies and gentlemen! Oh no! For this round, we’ve cooked up something extra special for your viewing pleasure.” The announcer turned away from the microphone and up into the rafters. “Lower it down already!”
A large metal cage descended from the ceiling, locking in place around the ring.
“That’s right, folks! We’ve built ourselves a cage, made of cold, hard steel and empty like the heart of Commissioner Hillgazi, holder of the world heavyweight championship belt. Two candidates will enter. One will leave. This is the fight of the century, and you’re lucky enough to be witnessing it first hand!”
The crowd cheered again. A man jumped from the audience and ran around spinning his shirt above his head before being tackled by security, causing the crowd to cheer yet again. This spectacle only got them more riled up for the carnage that was about to take place.
“In this corner we have the Lunatic from Warwick. You’ll be quakin’ in your boots until your feet chafe. Bringing you that violence from Rhode Island… give it up for Liiiiiiincooooooooooooooooooooooln Chaaafeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”
Strobe lights went off and confetti cannons shot out from over the entrance. Lincoln’s Gremlin face flashed on and off on a giant monitor, but nobody came out. Half of the crowd chanted, “Linc! Linc! Linc!” while the rest booed and hissed. Still, nobody came out. The announce walked back on the stage.
“Uh, I’m sorry, folks. It appears that Lincoln Chafee has dropped out of the presidential race.” The cheerers and booers swapped sides. “But, on the bright side, we have a new competitor who just announced his candidacy!” Both sides were reinvigorated by the prospect of more carnage.
“He’s coming at you straight from Harvard and he is laying down the law. He may have beady eyes, but he can see that his opponents are about to get smacked down. Bringing you that rapid fire action from Rapid City… Lawrence Lesiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig!”
No confetti cannons or strobe lights went off. A couple of people wooped and hollered, but everyone else was silent. A female intern walked on stage and whispered something in the announcer’s ear. He swatted her off.
“Well, change of plans. Mr. Lessig has already dropped out of the race. I… I don’t know what to say…”
“Bring out Ramblin’ Rick Perry!” Shouted a man in the crowd, seconded by a chorus of yesses.
“No, he dropped out last month. Hmm….”
“Dynamite Joe’s gonna grind Scott Walker into dust and smoke him!”
“No, neither of them are running.”
“Mittbot the Destroyer?”
“That was last time.”
“Hillghazi! Bring out the commissioner!”
“The commissioner is occupied with royal duties and needn’t be bothered by this petty peasant squabble.” The same intern came out and whispered something else in the announcer’s ear. “What about Jim Webb and Bobby Jindal? Do you like those guys?”
Someone coughed in the back row. A woman in the front raised her elbow above her head.
“Were you raising your hand for those guys?”
“Nah, I was just scratching my back.”
“Oh. Well, here they are I guess.”
A boring white guy in a suit and a boring Indian guy in a suit walked toward the ring from opposite entrances. One guy with “Jindnihilator” hastily scribbled over his “Graham’s Our Mahand” cheered out but quickly became disinterested. Jim Webb hastened his pace and got to the center of the ring before Bobby. He tapped the announcer on the shoulder and grabbed the mic.
“I regret to inform you all that I am no longer running for the Democratic presidential nomination.” Jim Webb walked out of the rink and exited the auditorium. Bobby Jindal walked past the fleeing Webb. The announcer grabbed him by the wrist and held his arm in the air.
“And here is our victor. Bobby Jindal wins. Give a big round of applause for good ol’ Bobby over here.”
A single tear rolled down the face of the young Jindal. Maybe now his parents would finally be proud.