Flight attendant: Good morning! Welcome aboard Flight 815 with nonstop service to Caracas, Venezuela.
Ted Cruz: Uhhhh, wait. Did she just say Venezuela??? I thought we were going to Cabo! I’m wearing my flowery shirt and cargo shorts with my murse. We HAVE to be going to Cabo…
Ron DeSantis: Yeah, that can’t be right. Greg, did you hear that announcement? Something about Venezuela?
Greg Abbott: What? No, I’m sorry. I was listening to a podcast of one of my favorite sermons.
Cruz: Stuff it, Greg; there aren’t any reporters on this flight. Look, we can’t go to Venezuela, especially with you, Ron! After that stunt you pulled taking those families to Martha’s Vineyard a coupla weeks ago, this is NOT going to go well.
DeSantis: Settle down, Ted. I’m sure it was a simple mistake. We signed up for Cabo so Cabo must be our destination. What kind of monster would lure people onto a flight that isn’t going to the right destination? Sit back! Relax! It was probably somebody having a little fun.
Cartel boss: Is this seat taken, Mr. DeSantis?
DeSantis: Who are you? I thought I’d be sitting beside my family.
Cartel boss: Yes, about that…I believe they are safely headed to Cabo. So lovely this time of year…
DeSantis: (huffy) Well, alright, I guess you can sit here. Oh. You already are. So, tell me about Venezuela. Weirdly, I know nothing about the country or its people despite my elite Ivy League education.
Cartel boss: Well, frankly those of us in my line of work make the lives of the average family very difficult. You must join a gang or we will quite possibly kill you but only after we do unspeakable things to the women while their young children look on…But enough bragging! Tell me about Florida! I want to go to the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride. Can you help with that?
Cruz: Couldn’t help but overhear. Friend, look, I don’t know how they do it down there, but I believe that whole “Oooh, we’re fleeing gangs and worse” stuff is just an excuse. If you pull yourself up by your own bootstraps you can do anything! People shape their own destinies through hard work and perseverance!
Abbott: Exactly, Ted! It says that in the Bible, I think. Thessagenesis Chapter 5, maybe? Jesus said: “If you need to get your family out of a dangerous situation, you should just hunker down and not head to San Antonio. Whatever you do, do NOT go to San Antonio.”
Cruz: OK, Ron may have gone a little overboard with the whole Martha’s Vineyard stunt but even you can see the humor in watching those migrants offloaded to Cape Cod! We owned the libs but good that day! (holds up palm for high 5). Hey! C’mon. Why doesn’t anybody ever wanna high 5 me? Like EVER? Is it the cargo shorts?
Cartel boss: That whole thing where you told my people they were going to Boston for jobs and housing and instead took them to a tiny island with no infrastructure for such things? That’s some next-level cruelty there. And, I don’t like to brag, but cruelty is something I’m very, very good at.
DeSantis: Oh, come on! It’s not like they are human beings.
Abbott: Right. (speaking slowly) You can’t be a human being if you’re a political pawn. We’ve stripped all the humanity right off you!
Cartel boss: Gentlemen, your callous disregard for the least of these is impressive to a sadistic monster such as myself. Drinks all around!
Abbott: Not for me! This is a working vacay. Lots of reproductive rights to smite. And don’t get me started on vilifying the gays…
Cartel boss: (admiringly) As I said, most impressive…
Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.