So, the other day, I’m lying in bed on Wednesday morning just minding my own business in my own perfectly pleasant little dream world, and then, suddenly, I’m woken very harshly by the sound of helicopters passing by right over my bedroom like I was in a war zone or something.
WA-KA, WA-KA, WAKA! WA-KA, WA-KA, WA-KA! WA-KA, WA-KA, WA-KA!
I mean, the whole house was shaking.
At first I thought it might be part of a dream where I was heroically saving fellow soldiers and taking out an enemy machine-gun nest or something, but I wasn’t having any such dream. I realized the sound was coming from the real world rather than from any dream world in my head.
And I was, like: Well, that’s certainly an extremely unpleasant way to wake up early in the morning. (Early for me anyway.)
So I rolled over and went back to sleep.
Or, at least, that was my plan. But there was no way I could go back to sleep because the helicopters weren’t just passing by overhead – they were flying back and forth right above me, over and over again.
And, while I was still in bed, amazed and irritated, I shouted, out loud: “Why are there helicopters flying over my house!? What in the world is going on here? Why am I waking up to the sound of military aircraft?”
WA-KA, WA-KA,-WA-KA! WA-KA, WA-KA, WA-KA! WA-KA, WA-KA, WA-KA!
It sounded like the scene in Apocalypse Now when the fleet of helicopters is coming in hot over the Mekong Delta or wherever when he said, “I love the smell of Napalm in the morning.”
I grabbed my pillow and held the sides of it over my ears and that helped a little but not much really, and I figured they would go away but they did not. It was like they were filming Blackhawk Down 2 or something and had to do multiple takes. I felt confident they were the black helicopters the government uses to abduct citizens at random for black ops rendition purposes, but they left that morning before I could get outside and see. I saw when they returned the next day that they were in fact white.
I wondered about it that morning and afternoon and a few hours later that day I saw a News & Observer article and I was like: “Oh, OK – that explains it.”
Here’s what I read …
Donald Trump to return to NC for first time as president
President Donald Trump will visit North Carolina for the first time since his January inauguration for a fundraiser in Greensboro on Saturday, Oct. 7.
The fundraiser will be at the home of Louis DeJoy, the former CEO of New Breed Logistics and a Republican mega donor …
And I read that and slapped my forehead and I was like, “Noooooooo!”
Three Doors Down isn’t just a rock group: It’s also the distance from my house to the house where the president’s fundraiser was going to be held Saturday night. They often have large fundraisers there with big political names so I knew what to expect – blocked off streets, gawking crowds, protesters with big signs, news vans lining the street. But this would be all of that times 10 because this was the president, and, not only the president – it was Trump. That meant the whole neighborhood would be a zoo.
The event was also somewhat baffling because the president was coming to town, three doors down, but, somehow, either I’d been inadvertently left off the list or my invitation had been lost in the mail.
There was a big price tag on tickets. Here’s what I heard:
- $2,700 gets you in the door and gets you a square meal.
- $15,000 gets you plus one “preferential seating” at the dinner and a VIP reception with Trump.
- There were also, according to the News & Observer, donation levels of $35,000, $50,000 and $100,000.
Interestingly, if you gave $100,000 you could have access to the president’s phone for one tweet and could tweet out anything you wanted to the entire nation as the president. Which explains a lot.
Also, I think, at that donation level the president will give you a backrub, but don’t quote me on that one because I’m not positive.
Anyway, that’s why there were helicopters up above.
And, all week, there were other strange sites all around: serious looking men with short haircuts “walking their dogs” – dogs that looked more like police dogs than ordinary pets; suspicious looking “joggers” you’ve never seen before; slow-moving marked and unmarked cop cars driving around the neighborhood that meant you had to stop speeding when you got near home each day; men with sunglasses pushing baby carriages mysteriously cupping their hand around their ear and talking to thin air.
Sometimes you don’t even know that there’s a big fundraiser there until it happens: You’ll just be working in the front yard and three giant black buses will drive by with “Palin” written on the sides.
At other times, you know ahead of time because federal agents will come by and ask you to move a car or something.
And I’ll be like, “Oh, do you want to give me a number to call if I see anything suspicious?” and then they are usually like, “Uh, no, but we are asking that the riff raff please stay indoors while the dinner is going on.”
One time I was planting grass and spreading Black Kow and I had like a three-day beard. I needed some more bags of dirt and manure so I took my second car – an old beat up Camry – and went to Lowe’s on Battleground. I returned with a carload of Black Kow and tried to come down Cleburne, but they had set up the security perimeter and blocked the street off.
I had a beat up car full of cow manure and a scraggly beard and I was covered in dirt and grime. I was like, “I live right down there and need to get through” and they were like, “Uh, nice try sir, but I don’t think so. If you would just turn around, we’ll have no legal reason to detain you.”
I’m writing this column right now on Saturday evening – while Trump is just a stone’s throw away. My neighbor just told me he was jogging this morning and, when he returned, they asked him for ID and he had to tell them, “I’m jogging – I don’t have any ID on me.”
Right now it’s driving me crazy because there are about a bajillion police officers outside my front door and the flashing lights are pulsing through the windows. Frankly, I’d like to be there right now hob-nobbing with the president and tweeting from his phone. But members of the press are rarely allowed at those fundraisers, and I didn’t feel like shelling out $100,000 for a ticket, backrub or not. (And, also, as I said, my invitation had been lost in the mail).
But it would be nice to get some pictures of the president. There’s a barricade of cars set up on the street keeping me from doing that, but I just realized that if I go through my back yard, and then through my neighbor’s’ back yard, I can get pretty close. I’m going to take the Nikon with the telephoto lens and try to get a few good shots of Trump leaving the party.
I don’t want to disturb anything or get in the way, so I’m going to dress in all black and just quietly make my way over there and find a spot behind some bushes where hopefully I can keep low and get some good pictures.
I’ll be back in a little while to finish the column and let you know how it goes …
US Federal Law, regulation NOTICE 3:45a. This computer [2013 MacBook Air, Serial number 4227P8OIRS4] is hereby confiscated per authority granted the US government under Homeland Security statutes 4731s63 and 5342ia, pursuant to said law. The US Government also hereby transports SCOTT DAYVAULT YOST for said good of Homeland Security and protection of the presidential asset. Said computer is now in US Federal custody, as is YOST. Day of Saturday, Oct. 7. GREENSBORO. County of GUILFORD. NC.