I Took My Two-Year-Old for a Walk and Ended Up Corresponding With Almost All of the Presidential Candidates

  Photo by Drew Hays, unsplash.com

Photo by Drew Hays, unsplash.com

Before we get started with this story, let me clarify one thing up front. The two-year-old mentioned in the title hasn’t actually turned two yet. So yes, if you were thinking that something in the title seemed a little off, your instincts were correct.

Anyway, however old he is, the important thing to remember is that we went on a walk. It was a sunny spring-like day. A little breezy, but nothing we couldn’t handle. It only took us twenty minutes to get shoes on, so, good start! Then I opened the garage and everything started to go south.

My first mistake was choosing the wrong stroller. I suggested we take “that one,” but my son insisted on “this one.” That was definitely my bad. Recognizing my folly, I hastily deferred to his judgment. But to be fair, as it turned out, my son also chose the wrong stroller. He realized his error when we were halfway down the street. We turned around and came back because I’m a pushover. I switched him into the third stroller (yes, we have three strollers, but it’s not as glamorous as it sounds, they all have considerable flaws) and off we went.

I was striding along with great vigor, guiding the stroller with my right hand and swinging my left arm with authority so my Fitbit would accurately count steps. Because, if you go for a walk and your Fitbit doesn’t count your steps (as can occur when you’re pushing a stroller), the walk didn’t really happen. Everything went swimmingly for the first thirty seconds or so until my passenger decided he wanted to go “this way,” which, as he indicated by a series of imprecise gestures, was from the sidewalk down onto the street. I followed directions and went this way. That kept him happy for about thirty seconds, then he wanted to go “this way,” which was, of course, back onto the sidewalk. I obliged. When we got back on the sidewalk, he started crying and tossing himself around so I just kept walking and thought about calling Ted Cruz to see if he wanted to go have a drink later.

I know what you’re thinking: Why would I call Ted Cruz instead of texting him? Good question. Let’s just say Ted is not tech savvy. I mean, he still has a flip phone that he keeps in a leather holster clipped to his belt. Don’t even bother texting him because he hardly ever responds and when he does he uses words like “L8er.” Great guy though. I think the reason he is starting to gain some traction is that he is the candidate voters feel like they could most easily sit down and have a glass of human blood with. He totally lives up to that image too. We sat down at the bar last week and just shot the breeze over a glass of Type O negative for like three hours. We kicked back and brainstormed ideas for how we could most effectively mansplain the female body to women. Then we talked a bunch of crap about all the other senators, every federal government employee, atheists, scientists, Ted’s mom, puppies, and normal human interaction. Good times!

Ultimately, I decided not to call Ted because I didn’t want to put him off by coming on too strong. In retrospect, that probably wouldn’t have been a problem because it’s not like he has tons of friends, but still, better safe than sorry. By this time we had reached the location in our neighborhood where all the industrial white vans seem to congregate. I usually try to zip by that spot and not make eye contact with the vans or people, but something I had just seen on the internet inspired me. Bernie was going to love this.

I surreptitiously snapped a selfie in front of a couple of the white vans and texted the picture to Senator Sanders. He hit me back almost immediately. Bernie uses a Samsung phone, by the way, because, of course he does.

“Damn Andrew! Back at it again with the white vans!”

Freaking nailed it. I can always count on Bernie to get my jokes.

“Haha,” I replied. “You know it, Bern. I love white vans as much as Wall Street loves Hillary. Am I right?”

“Andrew, you are so right. And let me say. While we are talking about Wall Street. If there is one person that Wall Street does not love, it’s Bernie Sanders. Btw, did you hear I won Michigan?”

“I hear you, Bernie. I hear you. And congrats on that!”

Luckily my son had calmed down at this point, mainly because we were getting close to the lake. I knew this because he kept saying, “going to lake, going to lake?” That and I know a little bit about the basic geography of our neighborhood.

Before we reached the most anticipated destination on our walk, I took a minute to text Marco Rubio. He had messaged me a couple days before and it totally slipped my mind. The great thing about Marco though is that he's that guy who responds to your messages instantly. Almost before you send them. Anytime I pull our iMessage up, those three little dots are there, blinking at me. It’s almost like he’s always just sitting there waiting to type. I texted him at eleven in the morning on a Wednesday once and asked if he wanted to catch a movie. He responded (2 seconds later), “YASSSS!!” Honestly, it’s a little much sometimes, but it’s inspiring that a seemingly unemployed person is running for President. Also, he’s really easy to troll. Last week I texted him out of nowhere, “You know what sucks? Government!” He responded (1 second later), “I know! It makes people so dependent and lazy!” Then I said, “Totally. People don’t show up to work anymore. Just collect those government paychecks and chill.” He loved that. Went completely over his head.

Anyway, this time I snapped a pic of my left pinky and shot it over to him with the caption, “Remind you of anyone?” I considered sending another type of picture, but that would’ve been too crass for a senator.

We reached the lake and started walking on the path around it. I thought this would give me a chance to relax, but my son just got more agitated and started saying, “Go to lake! Go to lake!” At this point, I could only assume he wanted to go in the lake, so I unbuckled him from the stroller and let him have at it. I was, needless to say, pretty perturbed at this point, so I dialed up my parenting advisor, Hillary Clinton. I always ask her about parenting stuff because she’s a woman, obviously. Is that sexist? Nah, the media doesn’t think so.

Unfortunately, my call went to voicemail. However, I got a Snapchat from Hillary like a minute later, which is weird because I don’t even use Snapchat or have a Snapchat account. Anyway, I pulled it up and it was a video of Hillary speaking at a podium in front of four American flags. I was a bit surprised how formal it was.

“Hello Andrew. Thank you for calling me for parenting advice,” she began.

Wait, how did she know?

“As you might know,” she continued, “I am a proud mother and grandmother. In addition, just the other day, I talked to a young mother of six named Jessica who is working three part-time jobs to support her family because her husband died when a piano fell on him from the fourth floor of a tall building. The one thing I can promise is that I will fight for you and for Jessica. Also, you might want to get your stroller out of the lake, because your son just pushed it in.”

Crap! I don’t know how she does it.

I jumped up and grabbed my son right before he was about to tumble head first into the scummy pond. Luckily I was able to fish out the stroller and shake it off enough for the ride home. It had a little slime on it, but it was fine. While we were waiting for it to dry out a bit more, my phone started ringing. It was an unknown number, which could only mean one thing. Ben!

Me: “Ben Carson! Dude, you are impossible to catch up with. Where have you been?”

Ben: “Outer space.”

Me: “Oh right. I forgot that you always seem to be in outer space.”

(That’s not a joke, by the way. He has his own spaceship that he travels to outer space in on the regular. He’s super rich.)

Ben: “Andrew, I’m just trying to slow down and decompress after that campaign. With all the debates and rallies, my mind was going a mile a minute the whole time.”

Me: “It was? Oh, sorry Ben, I’ve got another call coming in. I’ll catch up with you later.”


Me: “Donald!”

Donald: “Andrew. I am very, very excited to talk to you right now. This is very exciting. I have some really exciting news.”

Me: “Oh yeah?”

Donald: “Yes. I wanted you to hear the news first. Because of the massive success of Trump Steaks. And I mean the success was massive. People keep coming up to me and asking, ‘How do you make such amazing steaks and how do you stay so virile and rich?’ And Andrew, all I can tell them is that it’s because I am an amazing person and butcher. And I don’t say that to brag. It’s just the truth. And because Trump Steaks were so massively successful. Bigly successful. I can’t underscore enough how massively successful they were. Because of that, we are rolling out a new product: Trump Snakes. I tell you, Andrew, it’s going to be like nothing you’ve ever seen before. And it’s going to save both me and my supporters a lot of time because from now on we are just going to unleash these nasty little guys on any protestors, black people, or Muslims at my rallies. No more punching people in the face. It will be like dropping a box of highly venomous little Marcos on them. These guys are just going to go to town. Can I put you down for an order? They come in boxes of twenty-five. If you buy three or more boxes you get an autographed picture of my beautiful face and an undocumented migrant worker who will serve as your personal butler and treat any venomous snake bites you might get. The migrant workers are also doctors.”

Me: “Bye, Donald.”

Finally, we made it back. My son was so excited to be home he celebrated by taking off all his clothes and running laps around the driveway. I was so tired that I collapsed into a lawn chair. And then I realized that I was going to have to survive the rest of the day on my own because I had no one left to call. Sure, I hadn’t talked to Governor John Cusack yet, but I lost his number a long time ago. And yeah, I could have called Marco again, but that just felt too sad. So I sat back, closed my eyes for a minute and listened to my offspring running around, shrieking, and yelling repeatedly, “Go this way! Go this way!” Good times.

**For anyone confused by the Bernie reference, click here.**