Illustration depicting a stylized Beau Hebert in a blue collared shirt holding out a crystal ball with his eye and scenes of park/nature. Behind Beau are illustrations of Columbia City along with musical instruments and gears.

Dear the Beauster: Why Can’t Our Commander-in-Chief Take COVID Seriously?

by Beau Hebert

Dear The Beauster,

My 7-year old daughter asked me why Donald Trump ignored warnings about the Coronavirus until it was too late. No matter how I try, I cannot think of a suitable answer. Can you help me?


Tongue-Tied Columbia City Mom

Dear TT-CC Mom,

Now that we’ve topped 200,000 American deaths due to COVID-19, an answer to your daughter’s precocious question is long overdue. However, Trump’s refutation of science and disregard for human life have left me just as tongue-tied as you, CC Mom. Sure, I bandied about the idea that his sociopathic lack of empathy stems from a traumatic bout of toilet training; and I considered that his greed and morbid narcissism are byproducts of deeply repressed daddy issues; and I explored the concept that perhaps he’s really a tactical genius who creates chaos to provide subterfuge for his financial and political cronyism, decimation of environmental protections, and Fascist agenda; and, yes, it did occur to me that his demeaning attitude toward women is a way to compensate for his own sexual inadequacies. And while all of these explanations make sense, I felt they were still too theoretical. A true understanding of Donald J. Trump’s state of mind, I realized, would require a literal exploration into the heart of darkness that is the actual organ of his brain.

Via Zoom, I assembled the technical team of Dear The Beauster for a viewing of the 1966 sci-fi classic, Fantastic Voyage, in which a submarine is shrunk to microscopic size and injected into the bloodstream of a nearly assassinated scientist with the mission to save his life. I communicated my desire to embark on a similar mission into Donald Trump’s skull cavity, and the team got cracking! Next thing you know, they’d shrunk me to the size of an amoeba and strapped into a tiny rocket-shaped submarine surgically placed on the end of a Q-tip and sent to our operative at the Pentagon. Disguised as a White House butler, he insinuated the Trojan Q-tip into the Presidential medicine cabinet and voila! My craft is soon plunged into the waxy orange depths of Donald Trump’s ear. 

First stop on the tour: the temporal lobe, where the brain processes auditory information, language and emotion. Upon approach, I am struck by the sickly appearance of this chamber of Trump’s brain, which looks like a moldy waffle cone filled with folds of spoiled hummus. Once inside, my craft gets bogged down in a primordial yellow ooze with sticky walls rising up on both sides, like catacombs of soggy flesh. The feeling of decay is oppressive, suffocating, unpleasant –  so I hit the thrusters and get launched to … 

The second stop on the tour: the frontal lobe, the area responsible for managing higher level executive and cognitive skills, including the capacity to plan, organize, initiate, self-monitor and control one’s responses in order to achieve a goal. I am greeted here by blinding flashes of light and the scream of sirens. My submarine begins to vibrate as it gets pelted on all sides by shards of calcified brain tissue that have broken away from the main organ. They whiz around this hollow chamber like asteroids, as the flashing lights get more intense and the sirens grow louder, more shrill, and the lights start flashing faster and faster and everything is breaking apart in a swirl of pure chaos, sending me flying out of control until –  Wham!

The third stop on the tour: the parietal lobe, which involves sensation and perception. My craft has smashed into a soft, dense mass that resembles aged Roquefort cheese. I am so deeply imbedded in this substance that my thrusters have completely burned themselves out in a bid to escape. I will have to abandon the submarine and continue on foot. Not a very interesting lobe, I have to say. One star. Moving on …

Fourth stop on the tour: the occipital lobe, where visual processing, distance and depth perception, color determination, object recognition, and memory formation occur. Eek!!! Bugs! Millions and millions of bugs clumped together in a frenetic ball of clicking shells and pincers! Must leave immediately, must flee to the …

Final stop on the tour: the brain stem, controller of involuntary muscle function, also known as the reptilian brain. Unlike the other parts of Trump’s brain, each of which exhibited some aspect of disturbing ill-health, his reptilian stem is a shiny edifice, jutting upward like a high rise building. In fact, I believe there is some sort of marquee at the top, let me get closer and check. Why yes, the name “TRUMP” is boldly displayed, as if this primitive feature of his brain was one of his hotels. It’s all making sense now! Trump’s narcissism and self-aggrandizement are as automatic to him as breathing or digestion. 

Satisfied with my discoveries, I bee-line back to Trump’s ear, work my way through acrid layers of ear wax, and flop out onto his pillow case. Our operative is set to retrieve linens in the morning so that I may be delivered back to Seattle and restored to my normal state by the Dear The Beauster technical team.

Back to your daughter’s question, TT-CC Mom, maybe break it down like this: Donald Trump is like the worst bully at your school, hated by all the other kids. Coronavirus just moved to town and is the new kid who hasn’t made any friends yet. This new kid reminds Trump of someone he fancies very much – himself of course! The two strike up a friendship and, boy, their similarities are uncanny! Like Trump, Coronavirus has no capacity for compassion. Like Trump, Coronavirus is something you want to stay a good six feet away from. And just like Trump, a minuscule amount of Coronavirus can make you really sick. Trump ignored warnings about Coronavirus because he actually likes this virus because it is a reflection of himself.

Beau Hebert is a humor columnist and owner of Lottie’s Lounge in Columbia City

Featured image by Lou Patnode