David Sedaris in The New Yorker:
Tours have always been good for getting me out of my bubble, this one even more so. Driving across the Midwest, I saw one Trump 2024 sign after another—this while the election was an entire three years away. “You know you’re in a place that’s inhospitable to liberals when you see fireworks stores,” Adam said in rural Indiana as we passed one powder keg after another.
“Fireworks are guns for children,” I observed.
“They’re the gateway drug,” Adam agreed.
Then there were the actual guns—one I saw, for instance, in Dayton, Ohio, as I waited in line to get a cup of coffee. Ahead of me stood a group of three, none of whom had apparently ever been to a Starbucks before. All were bearded and maskless. Theirs were the faces you’d see on a “Wanted Dead or Alive” poster in the Old West, but colorized. “What’s the closest you got to a milkshake?” the tallest of them asked the employee behind the counter. “Is the ice in a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino shaved or in chunks?” A month earlier, at a coffee shop in Springfield, Missouri, I saw a sign for an Almond Joy Latte. For all our talk about health and, worse still, “wellness,” the burning question in most of America is “How can we make this more fattening?”