Trying to be cool about it
“I just don’t get it,” said Lord President Trumpleton angrily, as he balanced himself on a spare can of tomatoes he had found at the top of the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live. I quite sympathized with the poor fellow.
He was visiting me over the weekend to vent about the disaster that had just overtaken Republican efforts to repeal the evil Obamacare health insurance program. Meanwhile, his presidential decoy, a guy I happen to know is an undocumented immigrant from Costa Rica who bears a remarkable resemblance to the Lord Prez, just went about playing golf in Virginia.
“We put everything we had into carefully drafting that repeal bill, and we even came up with a catchy name for it,” Trumpleton said bitterly. “It was going to be called Trumple-No-Care, and it was a really, really good piece of effective legislation.”
“How much time did you actually put into it?” I asked the great man, as he casually kicked one of the Four Seagulls of the Apocalypse over the east battlements and into the harbor far below. He checked over both shoulders and behind him, before replying.
“You remember that trip I took up here the other Saturday after we got back from getting those medals in Moscow? Nice town, Moscow. Me and the boys drafted it on the back of a napkin while we were having lunch over at China Coast. Love their egg rolls, by the way. We even wrote it in duck sauce rather than ink, because Steve Bunion said was kind of a classy ‘spy’ thing to do, like invisible ink, only sticky. It was a flawless bill, I swear, and we had every base covered. I just don’t understand what went so wrong.”
The Lord President then sank into a deep funk that seemed likely to last all afternoon, and, believe me, I’ve seen a few of these funks. Not pretty. I needed to think up a plausible explanation for this otherwise inexplicable legislative disaster, this serious setback that seemed likely to tip my old buddy into the deep end of the great Swimming Pool of Despair.
“It’s pretty obvious to me what happened,” I said cheerfully. “The Republicans, starting with Paul Ryan on down, just had their revenge on you for all those names you called them during the primaries.”
The Lord Prez looked up. “You think that’s what happened?” he asked with a glimmer of interest just visible under his folded hair.
“I’m sure of it,” I replied, improvising at the speed of thought. “The GOP deliberately sabotaged your Obamacare repeal bill out of sheer spite for what you said about their fathers, their wives and their various other unmentionables during the live televised debates. There’s no way they were going to let that repeal bill pass, out of sheer cussedness.”
“Well, at least that makes sense,” he said, seeming to brighten up a little. “If it’s just them being pissy with me, then I so totally get it. Hell, I almost admire their nerve.”
He sucked his thumb thoughtfully for a minute or two, staring at the horizon. I could see the great man was at last doing what he does best, thinking up something clever that he could do to get back at the Republicans who had just snubbed him so publicly.
The repeal bill had been a signature promise of his recent election campaign, and I knew the defeat stung him pretty bad, though he was trying to be cool about it. Now he was coming up with a counter-blow to scatter his enemies in the GOP. It’s this mental agility, this capacity for thinking on his feet, that most impresses me about our beloved president.
“I’ve got it!” he yelled, which woke up the Secret Service guy who had been napping in the cardboard box that I live in on top of the north tower. “I’ll switch parties and tell the Democrats I’m working with them instead of those so-called fake Republican crybabies. I’ll make a deal with the Dems, and let me tell you that I’m really good at making deals. They won’t be able to refuse!”
His face lit up, and somehow he seemed taller and more virile. A world which had seemed to be slipping into metaphysical confusion all around him had suddenly righted itself. The Big Lightbulb had come on, and he could see in the clearest terms what had just happened to him and how he would respond.
“Lord Prez,” I said. “You seem like you’re back on your game!”
“You bet I am, Sonny Jim!” he replied, leaping over the west parapet to go find his limo and head back to D.C. “Thanks for everything!”
The funniest thing was watching the Secret Service guy leap after him, trying to overtake him and provide a soft landing for the president at the bottom of my tower.