Commentary

Mr. Potato Head ruminates on Trump, coup tourists and Sasquatch

July 27, 2021 11:42 am

Photo by Steven Miller | Flickr/CC BY 2.0

It’s been awhile since Arizona Mirror columnist, playwright and sometimes satirist James E. Garcia has checked in with Mr. Potato Head, America’s favorite gender-neutral tuber turned high-dollar consultant for Republican politicos.

Garcia recently caught up with Head backstage at the Arizona Federal Theatre, where thousands had gathered for a weekend rally in Phoenix by former president Donald Trump. The following is a transcript of Garcia’s exclusive interview with Head.

GARCIA: First, thank you for taking the time, Mr. Head. 

HEAD: My pleasure.

GARCIA: Frankly, I was a bit surprised you agreed to a follow-up interview, after what your boss said about me on Fox News after our last interview. (Reading from his notebook.) Let’s see, Mr. Trump called me a “lowlife, liberal scum, piece-of-crap son of a bitch that I wouldn’t scrape off my shoe if I stepped on him.”

HEAD: Oh, that. Donald doesn’t mean anything by that. That’s just his way of letting off steam. 

GARCIA: You mean like when he directed a crazed, right-wing mob of thousands to attack the Capitol on January 6?

HEAD: Now, there you go again. Anyone who’s seen the video of what happened knows it was just another day in Congress. That wasn’t a mob. They were just tourists spreading the love.

GARCIA: They were chanting, “Hang Mike Pence” and beating police officers with flagpoles and fire extinguishers.

HEAD: Ex-actly! When was the last time you took your family to Disneyland on the Fourth of July? Compared to that, the insurect-, er, I mean tourists at the Capitol were about as threatening as a gaggle of preschoolers hyped up on Juicy Juice. They were just foolin’.

GARCIA: O-kay. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that. One man’s act of domestic terrorism is another man’s Juicy Juice convention. How about we switch gears? The former president came to Phoenix Saturday and hosted what he called a “Rally to Protect Our Elections.” Was that some kind of a joke? Every ballot recount and every judge who’s dealt with Trump’s claims that he, and not Joe Biden, won the election have turned up absolutely no evidence of massive voter fraud. The president can’t be serious.

HEAD: Nope, no joke. This time he’s serious. Not that the president isn’t a very funny guy. Remember that time he told people to stick an ultraviolet lamp where the sun don’t shine and inject themselves with bleach to cure themselves of COVID? Hi-larious! I about peed my pants when I heard him say that. Or how about that time when he told folks at a rally that we should stop testing people for the coronavirus because — wait for it, wait for it — you’re just gonna find more cases. OMG! I was rolling on the floor. “Slow the testing down,” he said, “Slow the testing down, please!” He’s like Henny Youngman, but instead of a riffing on his wife, he’s got this fricking virus. That guy kills me. 

GARCIA: And lots of other people. Are you hearing yourself?

HEAD: Wait, wait. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. This is a classic. “Russia, if you’re listening?!” Bwahahaha!!! “If you’re listening!” he said, “I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” You can’t make this sh** up!

GARCIA: I’m with you there. Can we get back to the interview?

HEAD: Okay, okay. But let me catch my breath. Okay, okay. Go ahead. I’m ready.

GARCIA: In our last email exchange, you said Cyber Ninjas, the company doing the recount of the  2020 ballots from Maricopa County, was almost done. But now I’m hearing there’s been another delay.

HEAD: Garcia, look at me. Look at me. Look-at-me!

GARCIA: Are you doing Travolta from “Get Shorty”?

HEAD: I might be, but that’s not important right now. All I’m saying is I want you to look me in the eyes and tell me to my face — this face, my real face — that you actually believe in your heart that Joe Biden won the 2020 election.

GARCIA: Joe Biden won the 2020 election.

HEAD: I’M NOT SCREWING AROUND HERE!

GARCIA: Calm down, Potato Head. You asked me a question and —

HEAD: Shush! (Pressing his index finger to Garcia’s lips.) Shush now. I’m trying to help you here. Don’t you know how this is gonna end?

GARCIA: Now you’re channeling Chris Rock?

HEAD: Yes! Yes, I am! Because I love Black people. And so does Donald. And we also love Latino people. Which is why I love you. Isn’t it time you joined the flock.

GARCIA: I can’t do it, Mr. Head. I’m just here to do my job and sort our facts from fiction.

HEAD: You realize you’re talking to a big plastic toy potato.

GARCIA: There is that. Last question: Is Donald Trump planning to run for president in 2024?

HEAD: Mr. Garcia, I’m gonna answer that oft-repeated query with a few of my own.

GARCIA: A simple yes or no would do. But go ahead.

HEAD: IS GOV. DOUG DUCEY spineless!

GARCIA: It’s really not my role to-

HEAD: Doesn’t he look exactly like Potsy Weber on Happy Days?! 

GARCIA: I’m not sure what-

HEAD: Is Sasquatch real?!

GARCIA: I think we’d better end this?

HEAD: Is “Q” Sasquatch?

GARCIA: (As he starts to leave.) Thank you, Mr. Head. I’ll just let myself out.

HEAD: (Yelling now as Garcia goes) What are you so afraid of, Mr. Garcia?! Join us! Join us! Don’t you see! Only Trump can fix it! He and he alone! 

GARCIA: (As he goes…) Thank you, Mr. Head. Have a safe flight back to La La Land. 

HEAD: But we’re not done. 

GARCIA: No, I think you’re pretty well baked. I’m outta here.

After Garcia exits, a long pause.

HEAD: Potatoes scare people.

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James E. Garcia
James E. Garcia

James E. Garcia is a Phoenix-based journalist, playwright and communications consultant. He is the editor and publisher of Vanguardia Arizona, which covers Latino news statewide, and the weekly newsletter Vanguardia America. As a journalist, he has worked as a reporter, columnist, editor and foreign correspondent. He was the first Latino Affairs correspondent for KJZZ, and the first Latino editor of major progressive news weekly in the U.S., The San Antonio Current. James has taught writing, ethnic studies, theater and Latino politics at ASU. He is the producing artistic director of New Carpa Theater Co. and the author of more than 30 plays.

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