Vermin Supreme had a really big day yesterday.
For one, it was his first debate against Justin Amash. But more importantly, my son Dante (9), interviewed him for a school project about someone he really respects and admires.
Vermin’s “that guy with the boot on his head” running for President whose major platform includes a free pony for every American, solving the energy crisis by creating zombies to run on treadmills powering turbines, and something about time travel.
After putting Vermin at ease by nervously describing all the things on his dad’s desk, Dante pressed him on these and other issues.
Dante: Okay, so this is a question I would definitely ask you and that’s the first question on my list. Okay. So you’re talking about, like, a pony being, like, a policy to like… To go to a store, you have to have the pony with you everywhere you go.
VS: Well, yes, theoretically it would indeed be an identification card. Yeah.
Dante: Okay, so, but… the pony is a living thing. So what if, like, it dies? Like, what, do you have to get a new pony or would we get shipped a new pony? Or?
VS: Well, if you, if your pony were to die while you had your pony—of course, it depends under the circumstances, I suppose. Perhaps we would be able to use the pony. For food maybe? Or perhaps for organs for other ponies who might need pony organs, perhaps. And of course, we would want to ultimately give the pony a burial—respectful burial or perhaps cremation.
Dante: See, your pony that helps you get like food and stuff. So yeah, right. I mean, that makes a lot of sense.
VS: Now if your pony, you know, before we could get you a new pony you might have to carry around your old dead pony for a little while.
VS: Do you think that would be a problem?
Dante: We might need to bring our wheelbarrow wherever we go.
VS: Well, that’s the beautiful thing about a pony based economy is because we’ll all have our ponies if some people are going to be too big to ride the pony. And so some, a lot of people will be will have pony cards, and the pony will like pull the cart. And so if your pony were to die for a little while until you filled out all the right forms and got your new one, you might have to, you know, put your pony in the cart that you’re in and then you have to clear your deceased pony and I think That’s fair because you know, your pony did a lot of work for you and stuff. So --
Dante: Yeah, do some work for the pony and bring them to the vet and see what’s wrong with them?
VS: Oh, yeah, it may be if we have the zombie technology. We could even bring your pony back from the dead and turn it into a zombie pony.
Dante: Well, as long as it doesn’t start a zombie apocalypse,
VS: Right, right, right. I think zombie ponies probably pretty nice. Well, we’ll see though. We’re gonna find out for sure.
Dante: Well, oh, if you actually do become president,
Dante: So how long would it take to engineer a time traveler? And with zombies… why not use someone… like, if you’re going to use them on a hamster wheel? Why not use, like, someone who’s, like, very fast?
VS: Well, some zombies… some zombies are pretty fast depending on which movie you watch. And of course, if you if you used a living person to do that, they would probably get really tired, you could only do that for so long. Whereas, the zombies aren’t even alive. And so they would like, and they’d be just like, going after those brains dangled in front of them. And of course, we want to scale it up. We want to make it bigger so that the zombies can you know, make, fill up a whole power plant. That will require a lot of zombies and I’ve done I’ve drawn some pictures and my friends have drawn pictures and it’s like, they’re there in harnesses, and they’re they’re sort of hanging there. Right above the treadmill and their feet are touching the treadmill, and then we’ll use electric shocks to make them all go at the same time. And yeah -- What was the first part of the question?
Dante: Ah, well, could you actually engineer it? Wait, no, not that. That’s a different question.
VS: All right, sure. No worries.
Dante: Okay, um, how long would it probably take, like, decades, decade years or so, weeks? Well --
VS: It all really depends, I suppose. I mean, if we, we would have to bring in the Department of Energy and decided that that’s the way we want to power our power grid. I’m assuming that the energy, the electricity would, would be compatible. Obviously, a lot of people have solar power now. And so they are like, you know, they’re putting energy into the grid, and then it comes back or somehow or something weird like that. So yeah, you could do that with a few zombies if you just needed a few zombies to run your house’s electricity.
Yeah, because the power grid itself already exists. So that the infrastructure is there. And so that part of the equation is not part of the problem. That’s like, you know, 90% of it is the grid. And it’s just, you know, retrofitting people’s individual -- connecting people’s individual zombie units up to the grid in order to make it work. And so I believe that since it’s being done with solar power, people have the solar panels, and that changes the sun into energy. And that gets put into the grid. I believe that for starters, the zombie turbines that might be in your basement or in a zombie shed, perhaps
So I don’t think it would take that long—I think maybe a few years—to perfect it. Maybe even less. It’s just a matter of creating the actual zombie wheel structures themselves. I believe the generators are, you know, they exist. They’re pretty simple things that, you know, you just need something to turn the the widget to get the whole thing going, you know, like some… I don’t know. Do you… have you ever seen one of those? It’s uh, well it’s like a windmill essentially. You know, where the wind is turning the power and then that causes the generator inside that it’s turning the thing and that creates the the power. I don’t know if you ever had a bicycle with a… some of them have like a little headlight. And it’s a little thing that you turned down and it touches your wheel. And as you use your bicycle wheels, it turns the little wheel on this little tiny generator and that lights up the headlight. So it would be very similar to that. I think. So I think the technology is there. It’s just a matter of creating and distributing the, the hamster wheels.
Dante: Okay, um, bonus question that’s not really on my list right now. But what happens if the zombie like… well, you know, what if a zombie gets out?
VS: Oh, well, let me assure you that there has never been an accidental zombie release in a zombie turbine facility. And so it hasn’t happened, yet. So I can only assume that it’s very safe. And we would use all the latest security procedures, including locks on the doors. That nature--
Dante: Okay, yeah… I think you said that because there never has been in a zombie facility thingie. So, yeah, obviously there’s a first time for everything that happens…
VS: I suppose there is. And to be quite honest, in my book I do address these issues, “I, Pony: A Blueprint for a New America”. And yes, we do talk about a possible zombie breach and… well, we learn from these things and I do believe that technology will see us through and all of our security protocols will certainly keep any zombie viruses in the lab where they belong. Thank you.
Dante: Okay, then, well, what if the power goes out?
VS: Well, the power would never go out because the zombies are forever turning the wheels. Especially If we had the power lines underground. Of course, the power lines being above ground and strung between the power poles -- the wind -- they could get taken down in hurricanes or tornadoes. Or they’ve even been found to be out in California -- the power lines, because they became old and cracked and whatever we gots, made sparks that caused wildfires.
So that yes, I mean, I do say that, you know, the grid is essentially there. But of course, we certainly have to upgrade the grid and especially like some of those power lines because they’re very old and and unreliable. So and that’s essentially your weak point -- when there’s power outage. So I don’t think the zombies would would know and of course the electricity would stay on for them—not that they need light; they could they could certainly continue in the dark. But as I said, I believe that the the use of the Zombies for a power source is indeed a very sound, uh, principle. And an idea. And the weak point is in the pre-existing power grid. Thank you. I’ve Vermin Supreme.
Dante: Okay. But how would we get the zombies?
VS: Ah, well, that’s pretty simple. I mean, I know a lot of people are, you know, play a lot of those video games in the zombie games and see the zombie movies. And they think that the, you know, when they think zombies and they want to get rid of a zombie or take, you know, make a zombie, not chase them anymore, they will tend to like wanna hurt their head, shoot him in the head or something like that. But
Dante: Because the virus is in their head or something like in The Walking Dead?
VS: I think just because they’re there, the brain keeps them moving. And if you’d like the brain, our brains essentially set out all the signals that make us be able to do everything that we want to do -- talk and breathe and move our hands and walk and all those things. And I think that the theory is that the zombie population also relies on their brain pretty heavily. And I think if most of the zombie movies are correct, that may be true.
But the thing to keep in mind is that, you know, if you chop off a zombie head, for example—as I’ve seen in some movies—to stop the zombie, yes, that stops zombie, but it makes them not useful or unable to turn the turbines. And so if people insist on, you know, trying to, you know, just take out their brains, that would make the zombies unsuitable for energy production.
So you have to bring them, you know, you have to bring the zombies home alive—or at least undead. I mean, you have to capture them without destroying them, which is a little bit tricky. But once again, there is technology that exists. I mean, it could be as simple as, you know, dropping nets on a herd of zombies from the helicopter or, you know, wrapping them up in saran wrap, or duct tape, or long long sticks with clamps on it that you could, like, go after like a dog or something. And if the dogs have a bad dog or something, that is all barking and stuff and trying to bite you, they have these poles with the little noose on the end that you get around their neck and stuff. So, but that, you know, that I think the probably the safest technology to do that would be dropping nets on them from above. And then we could just go in and, and bring them out one at a time and scoop them up. You know, there’s definitely other options. But those two come to mind. How do you believe -- what if we could do to…
Dante: We could use tranquilizers to stop them.
VS: If we find the proper zombie tranquilizer, we certainly could. And we’re always looking for exciting new ideas on how to bring the zombies in. Still kicking, if you will, because I won’t say alive because they’re not really alive. But so yeah, always looking for new ideas on that. I like the tranquilizer darts. That’s a very good one. Thank you. Okay.
Dante: Well, how would you get a pony in the car if you don’t have a pony wagon thing?
VS: Ah, well, interesting. I’ve seen a lot of pictures of ponies in cars and, but you know, we’re trying to replace cars with the ponies. That’s a big part of the idea of moving into a post fossil fuel oil based economy. And, it’s pretty easy to picture, you know, just imagine like you’re driving on the highway, but instead of being in a car, you’re in a cart with your pony. And you’re going about half the speed because the ponies don’t go that fast.
But you know, you get to where you’re going. It’s a slower, more friendly, more mellow way to get from point A to point B. And, well, you know, what’s your heart, really, when you’re when you get right down to it? I’ve also seen pictures of ponies towing cars as a stopgap in the economy. But you know, during the time where we’re transitioning to a pony based economy, anything is possible. And so there’s a lot of things that could happen, and a lot of things may happen. But yeah, I’d say your average pony can fit in the larger car easily enough.
I’d also like to point out that we’re trying to make the ponies really small also. So when we can make it really small, it’ll be easier to carry them around. Of course, it might make it harder for them to tow you around. So we have to find just the proper balance. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt. Next question, please.
Dante: Oh, that’s fine. Um, next question. I was just making a suggestion. So obviously, having a pony with you in the car would be very useful because if you run out of gas, you can hook the pony up to the car and it can bring you home or to a gas station. Yeah.
VS: Yeah. That’s a very good point. Very good point. There may be a place for you in my administration.
Dante: Okay, so if you don’t have like very big backyard. That’s like big enough for a pony. Like, how would you keep the pony in the household without making a mess everywhere?
VS: Well, baby pony diapers maybe?
Dante: That’s very funny.
VS: Or maybe we could train the ponies to use toilets? Good, another possibility or making you know, making people’s houses a little bit bigger so that they can have their pony room or pony stable. You know, if you have a garage, a garage could easily be a place where your ponies could be kept -- would make a suitable stable for people who live in the city. Either smaller ponies, or, like I say, bigger apartments, or we could keep them on the roof. We could we could build like big pony corrals, up on the roof in the cities
Dante: But that would also make a lot of noise. When you’re like, trying to do homework and stuff like that.
VS: Well, you know, maybe in the apartment underneath the the ponies, maybe, but you know, we would plant grass and so they would walk softly. And there’s always earplugs, I guess, and noise-cancelling white noise devices. And yes, and people, people who had to do homework -- they could do it like in on the lower floors maybe. But good question, though. Great, great question.
Dante: What if the pony runs way, and you can’t find it?
VS: Well, that would be a real problem. I don’t see it happening so much. I think that you know, because your pony would like you so much that they probably would not want to run away from home. And I suspect it would probably just go out for a little bit of exercise and come right back maybe.
Dante: Yeah, and if you have a properly trained pony, it would probably just like… about the last question, I just thought of this. If you train the pony, like, really good. Um, maybe you can, like, tell it, like, a trick, like, while you’re doing homework. Like a trick called, like, ‘help’ or like, hand you a pencil if it breaks
VS: I think because the, you know, the law set will say that you have to have your pony with you at all times. The pony doesn’t have to have you at all times. So if you were at home, you could probably just send your pony off to the store and come back with whatever you ordered.
Dante: Yeah, that would be a pretty cool trick. You know somebody could be like -- “Hey, go get me some chocolate from the store” and he comes back with chocolate.
VS: Sure, I think so.
Dante: Just a quick question. I don’t know what ponies eat -- so what do ponies eat?
Dante: I thought those were for horses What if we make like pony food?
VS: Like, like pony Chow? Actually yes, I mean of course, ponies enjoy apples. They like alfalfa. They do eat hay. And my friends who do have ponies -- they do have, like, a Purina style pony Chow that they feed them every day. So yes, absolutely. I imagine there would be several types of pony chows available. And a sugar cube if they’re really nice -- if you’re feeling really nice, you know, that they love that sugar cube -- and since you’re going to brush their teeth, I guess it’s okay.
Have you ever brushed your pony’s teeth?
Dante: Like, what if your pony is like, really sick and you need to go to the store really bad?
VS: So that’s a very interesting question. I guess, I suppose you’d want your pony to wear a mask -- especially in this day and age. And if you had to get to the store, that might be an excuse. We might let that slide you know, in the case of an emergency. We wouldn’t want to get your pony, you know, get any other ponies sick or anything. So, if you couldn’t find anybody to go there for you, or to find anybody to deliver it or store that delivered it, what you needed. You know? I mean, you might be able to be sneaky and borrow somebody’s pony. But you know, as long as you don’t get pulled over, it would be okay. I guess.
Dante: How would you move, if the ponies like, had to move? Because, like, the pony would have to? Like, how would you move from one place to the other without having your pony like, being really stressed out?
VS: Oh, you mean like, if you had to, like, move to another house or something? In the course of your life? Well, I think it’s like, I think ponies are flexible, you know. I mean, it takes a little bit of adjustment sometimes. Of course, because you know the ponies made, you know, friends and all that. And the pony might miss his pony friends and really get used to his pony room and all of that.
But, you know, they’re pretty adaptable and in, well you know, it might take a little bit, you know, like a cat or dog or, or even a human sometimes -- it takes a little bit to get used to you know. So it would be -- it might be sad to leave its pony friends and all. But it would make new pony friends and will probably grow to love its new surroundings and new situation quite handily. But, you know, it’s an adjustment. And so of course, such a thing might take a little bit of time. But you bet if you have that situation arise, you just be sure to assure your pony that everything will be alright. That he’s still loved. And that you understand that it might be a little hard at first, but it will be okay.
Dante: Okay, another question. Um, why do you wear the boot?
VS: Ah, well, I wear a rubber boot on my head, because it stands for all that is good in America. Which, of course, includes the ability to wear a boot on your head if you want to. And so it’s just, it’s a funny thing. I think people like it. And it’s been like an advertising symbol for me in a way. And when people see somebody with a boot on their head, they pretty much know that it’s either me or somebody who is supporting me, maybe?
I like it because it’s a signal to people that what I might be presenting to them might not be totally serious? That it might be a little silly? And I like the fact that you could take a picture of me anywhere -- pretty much in any crowd or in a place, and you could show it to a kid. And you say, Excuse me, kid, would you look at this picture and tell me what you think is wrong with it? And that kid would more than likely say, ‘Oh, wait a minute, that guy has a boot on his head.’
And so it’s just a way of me saying that. That I’m all about things that might not be totally normal. And, but I’m not afraid to be a little silly in order to talk my talk and get my message across.
Dante: Why did you get interested in politics?
VS: When I first ran for mayor of Baltimore, way back in 1987. It wasn’t really so much about politics. It was more about just for something to do for fun. But it seems like you know, and then I started running for president after a while. And I just discovered that, you know, running for president was a, just this really small little subsection -- this little niche of things that you could do… because obviously, people can do a lot of things in this world, you know.
And it depends what you’re trying to make happen. And I found that by running for president, and with these ideas of the platform of zombies and ponies -- that people really liked it because it was so unusual. And they thought… they loved the joke. They thought it was very funny. And they knew that I was making a joke, making fun of politics, and running for President. So for many years, I was sort of running for President as a funny joke to make fun of the idea that we need a President. Or that, you know, that people should have power over people and things like that.
And I just found that this was a really good way to reach a lot of people wearing the boot and talking about things that are totally pretend. And you know, people will understand that is pretend, but they’re happy to play along. And, so it just became a thing that I found to be really easy for me and really fun for me. And people really, really like it. And so those are some of the reasons that I keep doing it.
Dante: Um, one last question. Um, I would do more questions that were fun, but for my assignement I had to put on like questions about your life in. Okay. So, um, when were you born? Like, what year like what state?
VS: I was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1961. And that, yes, so it was a long time ago. That makes me almost 58 years old, or maybe 59. I lose track as old people do sometimes. And the reason I was born in Boston is because I wanted to be near my mother.
Dante: That was the last question. Um, yeah. Um, thank you for letting me interview you.
VS: Oh, you are welcome. You’re welcome.