55°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

3-4-24 PDF
March 4, 2024
2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Cruz and I

AJ Razzaq visited Ted Cruzs house and has one hell of a story to tell.

AJ Razzaq visited Ted Cruz’s house and has one hell of a story to tell.

Texas is big.
When I pulled up to the Cruz estate, my ideas of a tiny log cabin with throngs of Evangelicals chopping down trees wasn’t coming to fruition. There were endless flatlands, and white picket fences as far as the eye could see. An American flag was flying high above the property. From the distance I could just barely hear a group singing in unison, over a jingling of chains behind the barn door.
I huffed and puffed my way up the mile-long driveway. Before I could even bring the beard-of-Jesus door knocker down for a third bang, the door opened. A tall and slender black man opened the door on cue and took my things rapidly.
“Isum,” a man I could not see yelled, “is that how we greet our guests?” Isum and I both knew the rhetorical nature of the question. A hefty man came boisterously around the bend wearing a wrinkled suit and smoking tobacco from a pipe. “Nossa, Mr. Cruz. Sorry, Mr. Cruz.” Isum bowed, eloquently slung me over his shoulder like a rice bag, and pampered me in ways I didn’t know I would come to enjoy.
The Senator guided me down the candlelit hall, by my hand, toward his study. The romantic silence was broken suddenly by an animatronic fish mounted on the wall chanting anti-Semitic pleasantries at me to the tune of 867-5309. I watched as Cruz began humming along, parroting the rubber menace. Orderly strewn down the hallway, at eye-level, were portraits of Ronald Reagan. Alternating between finger-paintings, signed by his children, and Presidential photos, more suggestive themes began to gradient into the hallway until finally a macaroni sculpture of a topless Nancy Reagan refused to concede eye contact. I blushed, as I quickly tried to hide my erection. “Ha-hey, don’t fight it. Nancy always was a looker.”
“Please grab a seat, AJ. I have a fire going in the—“ before he could finish, a black lab came full sprint and galloped toward me. I tried my best not to flinch but to no avail. “That’s just Barry. He gets like that sometimes; you know, he can smell the Northeast in you,” he chuckled. The dog and I exchanged trucing looks. I studied its beady eyes. The large chain serving as a collar had ‘BHO’ scribed at the top, just above a “property of the Cruzes” tag.
We sat in a large colonial living room with high ceilings and drawn curtains. The Texas sun was looming, and I desperately wished there were less of it telling me what to do and how to dress. His wife, Heidi, came in and served us tea so sweet you could taste the sugar slide down, thick and clumpy. I was introduced to his children, Catherine and Caroline. For a moment I thought I heard a metronome. They begrudgingly began a dance number, giving me oddly sexual looks. From the mirror I could see Heidi Cruz behind me, imitating the routine and waving her arms conducting her little girls like a maestro. “Ha-HAHA-HO-ha—they are so spontaneous sometimes. I didn’t even—Wow. Aren’t they special?” Caroline’s eyes nearly rolled out of her head and for a minute they were replaced by a blanket of white, until the blue green came spinning back. “Exit stage right,” Caroline said angrily. The jig was up. “Okay girls—time for bed.” I looked at my watch. 2:35 p.m. “Now come here and give Daddy a kiss.” “On the lips?” asked Catherine innocently. “It is Friday isn’t it?” I somehow felt a perverted sympathy for the senator as I awkwardly sat in on him, trying to make my best of this third-wheeling between a man and his daughters.  “You’re not wearing a wire are you?” “No.”
Over the next few hours I drifted in and out of consciousness as I listened to this man babble on and on about his candidacy. “And they say Republicans don’t get the black vote! We’re too old; outdated they say. Well see here young blood—you know who’s the biggest proponent of the second?” “Second?” I asked, puzzled. He seemed offended, and hocked a loogie into a phlegm filled ashtray. “Amendment.” “Can’t say that I do.” “The coloreds! The blacks—the African Americans!” I nodded in agreement. The man had a point. “There’s no Glock in the ‘Rari. There’s no 9mm, if we don’t protect the Constitution And if elected, by gum, I will not allow that to happen.” I made a quick note in my sheet, next to the doodles of Heidi and me as a crime fighting duo. “What are you writing?” he asked, nearly jumping out of his Star of David slippers.
I was woken up the next morning by Barry licking my face. I rubbed my eyes and saw the Senator peeking through the doorway. He was holding a jar of peanut butter. I touched the corners of my mouth and rubbed the substance between my thumb and index. Jiffy, extra creamy. He knew me well. “Oh, you’re up,” he said almost forgetting to toss the jar behind his back. It struck Caroline in the head. “Daddy!” “Not now, sweetie,” he said through his teeth. “Daddy’s busy.” 
We had brunch in the atrium. Isum was attentive and spry. The spread was continental. The rug was oriental and the coffee was decaf. We spent the day walking in his appropriately titled garden. “This—this,” he said, visibly shaken. “This is Eden.” I saw Isum through the grapevine, on his knees, his head lightly rested on a small rug. “Are you listening?” I ran the pen over the paper, not bothering to click the tip out. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Obviously, not all Muslims are terrorists. But all terrorists are Muslim. Are they not?” “Yes. Refugees bad! Boo!” I took a step back, fondly appreciating the Pandora’s Box of hate I had opened. 
To be continued.