Town Hall doomsday scenarios: 8 epic meltdowns that could totally happen at tonight's debate

Careful, folks: When the podiums are thrown out, all bets are off

By Patrick Wensink
Published October 9, 2016 9:30PM (EDT)
Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton   (Reuters/Mike Segar/Getty/Justin Sullivan/Photo montage by Salon)
Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton (Reuters/Mike Segar/Getty/Justin Sullivan/Photo montage by Salon)

Tonight’s presidential showdown in St. Louis has about an 80 percent chance of being an absolute mess. It certainly sounds like it’s heading that way. Sure, the Trump camp claims the GOP nominee has been preparing to tone it down and act more presidential. While the Democratic camp has spent hundreds of hours tightening up Hillary Clinton’s drapery anecdotes.

But we are not tuning in to see a comatose Donald Trump or to hear more about how Clinton’s dad silkscreened window dressings.

No, America is skipping football and its Netflix queue in the hopes of seeing the apocalypse — now! We are hungry for a political UFC match. Tonight’s town-hall-style debate might as well be housed in a steel cage for three reasons: 1. “Undecided voters” will be asking questions at random; 2. There are no podiums, which means the candidates are free to roam. 3. News of the now-infamous Access Hollywood tape has Trump on the ropes, and there's no telling how he will act.

Forget the Ultimate Fighting Championship, tonight has all the makings of a political reboot of "Jurassic Park." Specifically, that moment when Newman from "Seinfeld" screws up the electricity and — whoops! — all the bloodthirsty creatures are set loose.

Around 8:01 p.m. Eastern Time, the nation’s water glasses will be rippling. At least we hope so.

Here are eight things we are almost certain to see tonight during "Jurassic Park 5":

  1. Without the podiums holding Clinton and Trump back, a patriotically spandexed citizen named Nitro asks if the candidates would like to hold these pugil sticks the rest of the evening. By the end of the night, pundits from across the media spectrum can’t agree on who won the debate. However, they all agree the stage is covered in several pools of blood, five teeth and a wig.
  1. Frustrated by Clinton continually crossing the stage’s border and trying to steal his job, Trump calls in the biggest, best, classiest, most unbelievable construction crew in America. They immediately begin building a 30-foot wall across the center of the floor.
  1. The camera catches Clinton slurping from a can of beer after every instance in which Donald says “huge,” “biggest,” “best” or mentions a swing state in which he owns property.
  1. Clinton says she will release all of her emails. On cue, in a move straight out of "Miracle on 34th Street," an army of letter carriers hauls sack after sack after sack of papers into the auditorium, dumping printouts of 30,000 emails on the floor. Clinton’s plan for transparency backfires when it is revealed that the most disturbing thing found in her missing email records is an overabundance of Etsy orders for owl-related art. Trump immediately pounces, claiming Americans can’t trust someone who ordered a David Bowie owl throw pillow. America says, “you know, he’s got a point.”
  1. Trump spends several incoherent minutes rambling about growing up in Queens, a need for law and order, and having the best children in the world. Out of nowhere, the Republican nominee begins to sob on camera. Through tears and running mascara Trump admits, “I was actually born in Kenya.” Several Birther believers in the audience must be carried out on stretchers.
  1. Trump is seen sneaking nips from a flask whenever Hillary’s smile stretches to cartoonish widths or she mentions growing up middle class in Chicago.
  1. Unable to choose which candidate “sounds” more presidential, one audience member asks the candidates to convince her. Hillary Clinton spends the next five minutes doing a delightful Calvin Coolidge impression. Sensing that he might be losing undecided voters, Donald Trump pulls out the big guns and performs a surprisingly solid medley from "Hamilton." When the applause dies down, moderator Anderson Cooper informs Trump that Alexander Hamilton wasn’t ever, you know, president. To which Donald Trump wags a finger and says, “No, you’re wrong. Hamilton was the best president.”
  2. After circling each other onstage like sharks in need of Klonopin, the candidates are told to make their closing statements. Clinton and Trump begin interrupting one another, which turns into a full-blown argument. As their voices raise they get closer . . . and closer . . . and closer until there are nose-to-nose and red-faced. Suddenly, they rip off their masks to reveal the cartoon aliens, Kang and Kodos. Turns out this nightmarish political season has all been a long con for the new "Simpsons" Halloween Special. American voters — right, left and undecided — all breathe a sigh of relief.

Patrick Wensink

Patrick Wensink is the author of five books. His most recent novel, "Fake Fruit Factory," was named one of the best books of 2015 by NPR. He is a contributor to New York Times, Esquire, Oxford American, Salon and others. His first children's book, "Go Go Gorillas," will be published in summer 2017 by Harper/Collins.

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2016 Presidential Debates Donald Trump Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton Humor Satire