DETROIT—Trying to speak without his voice wavering as he picked up a heavy stone from the ground, an aide for John Hickenlooper’s presidential campaign had reportedly ushered the former Colorado governor towards a secluded spot deep in the woods Tuesday with assurances that the debate stage was in that direction. “Just a little further past this log and you’ll see the CNN audience,” said the campaign aide for Hickenlooper, forcing a smile as he pointed the Democratic presidential candidate towards a quiet thicket where they wouldn’t be overheard. “Sorry about the detour, but you’re almost there, and then you can explain all your ideas about investing in America’s infrastructure and working with private industry to fight against climate change. That sounds good, doesn’t it? Don’t be scared, Johnnie, just keep your eyes forward, and in only a few seconds, you won’t ever have to worry about poll numbers again.” At press time, a spooked John Hickenlooper was sprinting through the forest after stumbling upon the strangled corpse of Eric Swalwell.

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