“I’m fixin’ to pop this balloon,” Tuscaloosan Hoyt Deau Hutchinson reportedly said on a Facebook Live video. No, he was not speaking metaphorically; he really had it in for an inflated representation of the President of the United States colloquially known as Baby Trump.
Hutchinson, whose distaste for balloons is apparently matched only to that for, in his words, liberals who come to his hometown to start some trouble, was arrested in Monnish Park prior to kickoff at Bryant-Denny Stadium for the Alabama-LSU game. It is currently unclear if Hutchinson feels a similar violence to inner tubes, bounce castles or Graf Zeppelins. There is also no indication if he has strong feelings about the forthcoming Felicity Jones/Eddie Redmayne hot air balloon adventure The Aeronauts.
What is known is that Hutchinson put up a GoFundMe less than 12 hours ago to aid with legal bills has raised raised close to $22,000, over triple his original stated goal. It is on that page where one can find a video of his arrest. (Warning, there’s some cussin’.)
The now-punctured Baby Trump balloon is one of many that have been made since its debut in the skies over London’s Parliament Square in July 2018. The 20-foot inflatable protest sign was created by artist Matt Bonner, who describes it as having a “malevolent, constipated grimace.” Though one’s attention is often drawn to the partial nudity and diaper, a closer look shows that he is clutching a cell phone, perhaps in preparation to send a tweet.
The balloon at the Alabama protest was the property of a group called People’s Motorcade. While this one now has an eight foot gash, fear not: they have five others.
Despite protests near the stadium, Donald Trump’s visit to Alabama was the sports-related win he’s been looking for. It was third down for the Commander in Chief, whose appearances at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. during the World Series and Madison Square Garden in New York City for UFC 244 were met with vehement boos. Here’s hoping the President signs up for a nice ESPN package and quits wasting taxpayer money on all these spectator outings.