Who Is My Neighbor?

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The afternoon sun glistened on the backs of the dozen bathing dinosaurs in Liberty Lagoon. It was a community pool of sorts for dinos of all stripes, spots and other species-based features. There was laughter in the air as old and young alike splashed about carefree. For the moment they were able to set aside their worries of that putrid swamp that had long since poisoned decency, the nearby Puhl-DePlugg Reservoir.

They had no idea of course that their fun and frolicking days were numbered as only half a mile away the Kencuccinelli, the new director of dino nation migration, was lumbering down a trail with several Iceborderkops dinos and the Mediacircustops mainstay, the Jaketapper, in tow.

“Thanks for inviting me on this Run-Along,” said the Jaketapper.

“Don’t mention it. Just like the Great Tex-Mex Divide, we feel it’s important to show the Milkanhoney Preservation what a great job we’re doing.”

“Excuse me. Did you say great job?”

“Okay, so it’s been, uh, … a little suspect, but that’s all the Kongrus Kave’s fault. More exactly, the Donkeykongrus. They want open borders. They want crime. They want to destroy the dino nation.”

“You do know those talking points are two years old.”

“Except that a T-Rump talking point is like a cockroach. It never dies.”

“Same with his conspiracy theories evidently. Why can’t the Tyrumposaurus get together with the Donkeykongrus and work out a sweeping migration process that gives the 11 million Latinonachos a pathway to joining the Milkanhoney Preservation?”

“What? And lose his red meat rhetoric to divide the dino nation? The big battle is still 15 months away. He’s just getting started.”

They crested a hill overlooking Liberty Lagoon when a Trollertweety flew low overhead, letting loose it’s mind-numbing blast.

“Squawk! Progressive Conservatives! Also known as the Fraud Squad! Go back to where you came from! You know who you are. The Ay-Oh-Cee, the Ayannapressley, the Rashidatlaib and the Ilhanomar. There, I said it! This means you! Go home! Squawk!” 

The Jaketapper paused.

“Did I just hear what I thought I heard? Did you hear those four female dinos the T-Rump just outright racially ridiculed?”

The Kencuccinelli pawed his chin.

“I don’t know. I don’t know.”

His nose twitched and a sneer crossed his face.

Uh-oh, thought the Jaketapper. Not the Kencuccinelli sneer. Things would be going south. Fast.

“Look yonder,” said the dino director. “Our first dinos to be spotted out in the wild.”

“You’re not going to be separating dino tots from their mothers are you?”

“Sorry, but I can’t discuss operational procedures with you.”

“Since when is family separation an operational procedure?”

“You wanted a new talking point. You got one. Family separation is now an operational procedure. Happy?”

“Ken, a religious dino friend of mine told me that the opposite of love is not hate but fear. Fear is the greatest enemy.”

“Jake, Jake, Jake. You know that talking point is already taken. The Mediacircustops are the enemy.”

“I’m beginning to think you don’t like me. That really hurts, Ken.”

“Oh, no. I just don’t like you … when you speak. That’s all.”

The Jaketapper set his jaw and soldiered on.

“You called off the previous migration raids two weeks ago because there were leaks you said may endanger your Iceborderkops dinos. But the T-Rump told everyone today was the day, and you’re still going ahead with the raids?”

“Okay, so last time we told him everything and he blabbed everything. This time we only told him half the stuff. It’s not too tough staying ahead of him.”

The Kencuccinelli turned to his dino forces.

“Tails up, Ice. Let’s roll!”

A moment later they had Liberty Lagoon surrounded. It all happened so fast. The tail-snapping, teeth-gnashing, drool-dripping Iceborderkops thundered down, ringing the lagoon before a dino tot could say one-two-paddy-cake splash. The Kencuccinelli gave his long tail an authoritative swish.

“Alright, everybody. Out of the pool!”

Soon, a dozen dripping, droopy-tailed dinos stood on the shoreline. The dino director looked them up and down.

“Hmm. Some of you look familiar. I mean, a lot of you do. Okay, listen up, this may not impact you … but if you are an illegal migrant dino, you don’t have a chance of making it in this dino nation, even if my ancestors did. Jake’s to.”

He nodded to the Jaketapper, who wished he hadn’t. 

“I don’t know who all here is illegal or not. We don’t have that kind of organizational capability. Yet. S-o-o-o … I’ll be calling out various Sub Families and when you hear yours — be honest now — I need you to step forward, whereby you will be unceremoniously hauled off to return from whence you migrated. Again, I said unceremoniously. So there will be no crying. And no whining. I hate whining. I get enough of that at home. Now then. Let’s begin. Listen up for your Sub Family!”

The dripping dinos held their collective breaths. 

“Alright. All you speedy Ubereatskies! You up’n at’em Baristapastries! Idling Checkercabbies! Step forward.”

Three dinos advanced from the line.

“Jose? Margarita? Manuel? Uh, what can I say? Oh, well.”

The Kencuccinelli held up his hands as the three were ushered away by the Iceborderkops.

“Okay, if you’re a Pickerupper, a Mopanbucketeer or a Poolboytoysarus … the T-Rump needs you to come forward now.”

Three more dinos advanced.

“Diego? Mariana? Pedro? Gee. Who knew?”

They were promptly taken away.

“Where were we? Let’s see … oh, yes. Hotelmotelers! Nannysitters and Pooperscoopers!”

One of each stepped off the line.

“Carmelita? Sophia? Eduardo? This is crazy. Uh, no hard feelings, okay?”

The trio of illegals were escorted away.

“Okay, so we have three left. None of you could possibly be … a Gardengnomie?

Indeed one was.

“Sorry, Alejandro.”

“What about a Rowbyrowpicker?”

One dino stepped forward.

“Fernando? Really? I’m shocked.”

The Iceborderkops took the two dinos away, leaving one. The Kencuccinelli softened.

“And what Sub Family are you, Juanita?”

“I’m a Masseusaurus.”

“Funny, I don’t even have that one down. But thanks for helping us out. Rules are rules you know.”

“But … I – I knew the Jeffreyesptein.”

“I’m sorry, Juanita. Wrong department.”

As the Iceborderkops led here away, the Kencuccinelli turned to the Jaketapper.

“I can’t get over it. These are all dinos I thought I knew. I saw them every day. Living close by. What the hell am I going to do now?”

The Jaketapper shrugged.

“There goes the neighborhood.”