I met Toby Dick on a rainy day in February when his chief of staff, Ken Dull, took me down to the campaign office on the south end of Lake Street. Despite his oratory skills, he still looked as much as Keith Richards’ scrotum as I had surmised.
The alt-right podcaster-cum-candidate was leaning back on an office chair to the point of lying down and had his tiny cowboy-boot-clad feet up on an empty desk while alternating between barking into the receiver of an old-fashioned telephone and banging it against a poster of himself dressed in little else than a smile as wide as his native Texas on the wall behind him. I would give up flying to avoid sitting in front of him on a plane.
Dick moved the receiver ten inches in front of his big flap and yelled,
“Get it done, you pussy-eating faggot.” Then he slammed it down with such force that it bounced off the phone, and he had to pick it up and place it again.
“I think you will find that one of the more prominent traits of same-sex attracted men is that they don’t often perform that act,” I said.
“What?” Dick shot at me, and then to Dull,
“Who’s this bitch?”
Dick pointed a finger at me as if I was a stain on his shirt.
“This is Lynx,” Dull said, “your new handler.”
I stepped closer and pulled Dick’s wagging finger toward me with enough strength to put his feet on the floor and his chin on the desk. He snapped to my attention with a
Attempting to ignore me again, he said to Dull,
“I ain’t having this bitch handle my junk; people will think I’m a sissy.”
It was too easy for me to pass up.
“You give people far too little credit,” I said. “They already think you’re a sissy.”
Dull tried to mediate by saying,
“We need to up your protection. And you need to get more women on board. Lynx is the best, I’m told.”
“That’s bullshit,” Dick said. “That’s like saying two midgets are as good as one man, but that won’t get the fucking job done, will it?”
“Boss, you know what happened last week,” Dull warned Dick as you would a child that put its hand near the burner again.
I raised my eyebrows to Dull.
“Someone slipped the boss enough blue pills to...uhm,” Dull straightened his index finger up and left it there. “We had to call in a friendly doctor for an...uhm...antidote.”
Whether it was my doing or the memory, Dick looked pained and deflated, and it didn’t suit him. All that misogyny and racism must have worn him out. Then he slipped back into his combative self.
“Like I need shit like that,” Dick growled, “I’m from fucking Texas.”
Already tired of his rumbling, I turned to Dull,
“When could he have gotten the pills?”
“We don’t know,” he said with some hesitation, side-eyeing Dick, “It was Tuesday night, and there’s nothing on the security cameras after the boss dismissed us and had a late dinner with his girlfriend. No one in or out.”
“FOR THE LAST TIME,” Dick said, “I DIDN’T FUCKING TAKE’M!”
He had an expression that proved he had no problems with the blood flow to his head. But all three of us knew that whatever the true story was, it wasn’t a secret for long. It was a timebomb, and I was here to disarm it.