The morning broke to the familiar sounds our girls getting themselves ready for school. 10 and 8 and with their whole bright future seemingly in front of them. My wife and I drag ourselves out of bed with the worse political hangover of our lives and like two poor college students resigning themselves to the last moldy heal of a long forgotten loaf, we begin the acceptance process of a Trump presidency. For me it feels like Daja-Bush or an inescapable tractor beam, pulling us and the country into a big stinky compost heap mired in misogyny, narcissism and whatever motivated certain game show hosts in the 70’s. Last time this happened I took a job in Australia, offering Al Gore a couch to crash on my way out of town. But things are different now. I can no longer indulge in escapism fantasies with a business/wife/kids and the final two games of pee wee soccer league hanging in the balance. Plus, it’s my country too for fuck’s sake and I won’t turn yet another cheek in the liberal tradition and re-expatriate (sorry, but if ever there’s a time for salty language, it’s now!)
It’s also important to note that Lady Gaga’s not having any of it either. On election night, after the results came in, she mounted a Dept. of Sanitation garage truck in front of Trump Tower, holding up a “Love Trumps Hate” sign. While I do appreciate the gesture, I’m not sure what it accomplished save giving Trump another opportunity to use the word “nasty” in a tweet.
The girls run into the bedroom on cue for some cuddle time before the dash to the school bus. “Who won?” the 10 year ago year cries out, “The weird guy or Hillary?”. We regretfully inform her the front-tushie-grabbing-potty-mouth won by a nose. “Do we have to move?”, the other asks. “No”, I reassure her, “Manhattan property owners will probably end up getting a break on capital gains… unless he completely cashed out of all his real estate holdings before the election.” She looks puzzled. I can’t tell her the objectification of women will continue to be the nation pastime for at least 4 more years unless proximity to the launch codes levels the playing field altogether.
Now they’re gone and we sit over a cup of tea contemplating the different scenarios.
Scenario 1: Putin becomes a JV partner in Trump Enterprise and the Mexican Wall turns into the largest linear condo project ever conceived, built by out-of-work auto workers and primarily offered to immigrates along with instant citizenship and attractive financing. Huge!
Scenario 2: Trump assembles the remaining OJ legal team members, appointing Johnny Cochran as Attorney General and initiates legal action against:
- Obama: Defamation of character for last year’s white house correspondents dinner.
- Hillary: Treason for not having a strong enough password on her Twitter account.
- Jon Stewart: Libel for questioning his rightful status as a New Yorker by condemning the way he eats sliced pizza with flatware.
- Lady Gaga: Trespassing.
Scenario 3: Michael Moore slips him a Flint Michigan tap water roofy and he resigns office to Mike Pence siting chronic irritable bowel syndrome.
Scenario 4: Despite all the negatives, the constitutional architecture of America and it’s system of checks and balances curbs Trump’s Mussolectic tendencies while the rest of the government find a unprecedented cause to rally behind… that being the alleviation of unbearable global embarrassment and ridicule.
My coping strategy to tragedy has always been humor. Finding the irony in an event like this somehow gives me a leveling perspective on a bad situation. I looked for a quote that would encapsulate this idea and found two. One from both a revered and reviled American humorist.
- “When humor goes, there goes civilization.” – Erma Bombeck
- “With humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.” – Bill Cosby