Purveyor of Truth
Eleven days into 2016 and still recovering from the hustle and bustle of the preceding year end holidays I was looking for something to get me back to normal and give me a great belly splitting laugh. But that laugh needed to be a laugh caused by something that was funny because of the great truths it held. Today that great belly splitting laugh happened.
June 28, 2015
Jeff Landry, an aide to Donald Trump, scratched the back of his right leg with his left shoe, stalling. You have to answer just right, or he goes apeshit. Jeff remembered grimly what a pleasant change he’d thought this job would be, but now he looked back on those six harrowing weeks working for Harvey Weinstein like a long-ago Hanukkah.
The question Trump had put to him was “How do we close this?” Jeff played it safe: “I say go big.”
Trump lit up.
“I can do big,” he said. “This whole thing, which was my idea, incidentally, and a very good idea, really a very great idea, was about bigness. We had a problem: ‘The Apprentice’ was tanking. I couldn’t get on Fallon or Kimmel anymore. NBC was going to replace me, and that’s bad for my brand. It’s not like bankruptcy—which I have done many times before, and I do it very well, by the way, really better than anyone, because I’m a winner. I win at everything, even bankruptcy. So, before they give me the axe, I announce that I’m running for President and boom! Winner again. Talk shows are begging me to come on. NBC offers me twice my old money. Mission accomplished. But now I gotta get out. Running for President is bullshit. What kind of loser would do this? Get me a rally.”
“And you’ll announce that you’re dropping out?” Jeff said.
“No! I can’t announce that I’m quitting to go back to TV—it makes me look like a joke. I have to be forced out.”
“You know how politically correct this country is—Jesus, it makes me sick,” Trump said. “In fact, if Jesus himself were here he’d agree with me. I know a lot about Jesus, by the way. A really tremendous person—he would’ve loved the Trump West Bank. Anyway, I’m going to say that Mexicans are rapists, and we’re kicking them all out. No one wants a heartless President, but that’s exactly what you want in a guy who says ‘You’re fired’ for a living. Boosts my brand. I’ll be back on NBC by Christmas.”
July 12, 2015
Jeff flinched as a half-full box of Krispy Kremes smashed into the wall by his head. “Excuse me?” Trump said. “You’re telling me that I gave the Mexicans-are-rapists speech, which was one of the worst pieces of out-and-out racism ever uttered by a non-Southerner, and my numbers have gone up?”
Jeff nodded, as unhappy as Trump. “By a lot.”
Trump picked the doughnuts up off the floor. There were six left, and he ate them as he thought. “O.K.,” he said, his lips flecked with green and yellow sprinkles. “Here’s my mistake. I’m good at everything, even identifying my own mistakes. I picked on the Mexicans. Nobody cares about the Mexicans. Personally, I love them. They’ve helped me clean out a lot of my properties after they went into foreclosure through no fault of my own. But I forgot that this is the G.O.P. Get me on a talk show. I know how to get the base upset.”
July 22, 2015
Jeff wiped sixty-four ounces of iced Dunkaccino off his shirt. He was losing his touch—he’d been sure that the cup would break to the left, but it hadn’t.
“This is not possible,” Trump snarled. “You know I’m a draft dodger, right? Only Cheney got more deferments than I did. The closest I’ve ever come to fatal combat was when I ran into Rosie O’Donnell in a men’s room. So here I am, a known draft dodger, and I go on TV and question the courage of a genuine American war hero, John McCain, and, instead of drumming me out of the race so I can get back to my empire, my numbers have gone up again?”
“Ten points,” Jeff said.
“No wonder I’m a Democrat. No wonder I invited Hillary to my wedding. These people are nuts. Next time, I’m going to go really big.”
January 12, 2016
Trump slumped in his chair. He’d been holding the last slice of an extra-large everything pizza for an unheard-of five whole minutes without eating it. Jeff’s applications to work for calmer, nicer men—Rahm Emanuel, Robert Durst, the new social-media guy at ISIS—had so far not come through. He hardly slept anymore, and even though he was only thirty, his hands shook as if he’d just survived a plane crash.
“Let’s review,” Trump said. “I said that Megyn Kelly was menstruating. I insulted Carly Fiorina’s face. I did a routine about Ben Carson’s belt that should have provoked a psychiatric intervention. I proposed internment camps for the Muslims already here, and then I said that we should bar all other Muslims from entering the country. And you’re telling me that my numbers are what?”
“The highest ever,” Jeff said, dropping behind a club chair as a platinum blow-dryer shot past him.
Trump wandered over to the window. “We have a serious problem,” he said, almost not eating the pizza. “I might win.”
Well, the only part that isn't funny is that he just might win.