In my last days at Bridge, the site was producing a documentary to go with our Divided Michigan project, which many might call a high-minded Cletus safari. The doc didn’t turn out well, but that’s another story. Along the way, though, our filmmaker became enamored of the Trump Unity Bridge. He spent many hours with the guy who came up with this…what’s the word? Attraction, maybe.
A Facebook friend referred to it as a “float,” and that’s probably the best description of it — a towed thing suitable for slow cruises in parades, or parking at rallies. It’s not a scam, because the people who over the years have donated $67,000 to its upkeep and fuel fund know exactly what they’re doing and getting.
Anyway, the bridge is a trailer with a bridge-kinda thing built on top, festooned with signs, which change from time to time. It was parked at the We Build the Wall event, the Bannon/Kolfage grift, and many selfies were taken in front of it.
And he drove it around downtown during the Democratic debates of…god, was it only last summer? Yeah. He plays music, too, really loud, and as it passed my editor and I on the street, he had Aretha’s “Think” cranked up to 11. (Like so many dummies, I’m sure what he liked about it was the FREEDOM chorus.)
“The next sound you hear,” I told my editor, “will be Aretha, rolling in her grave.”
Anyway, in a story that I tried to frown at but actually couldn’t stop laughing over, someone in Oklahoma stole it, took it for a joyride and wrecked it:
The vehicle was running so people could continue to take pictures in front of the bridge, which includes lights, a Statue of Liberty and large letters that spell out “TRUMP.”
At about midnight on Friday night, a man jumped in the vehicle and drove away.
“Rob, somebody’s stealing the Unity Bridge,” Cortis said he was told as he was at the counter in the hotel. He left his wallet at the counter as he rushed out to determine what was happening, he said.
Boy, that’s a totally believable quote, isn’t it? Someone’s stealing the Unity Bridge!
I asked several of my colleagues, when this thing first appeared, where’s the unity? What’s it a bridge to, or between? No one knew. The guy supposedly said it’s about Trump unifying the country. I guess we know how that worked out. Probably time for it to crash, although he already has a repair estimate and I’m sure wallets are being opened as we speak. But the moral of the story? Never leave your keys in your vehicle.
OK, then. Another week awaits. Here’s a story I wrote, about a local Instagram celebrity. I find it fitting that as my career draws to a close, I find myself out-earned by a young man who, after our first interview, informed me he was no longer giving his time away free and asked to be paid to answer follow-up questions. And he wasn’t even towing a bridge.
A good one to all.