Nation Takes a Big Trump!



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


Memorial Day

It’s early-morning and I’m floating on a surfboard in the middle of a fog bank.  I can no longer see the shore or the opulent beach houses beyond the dunes.  I was using a white post modern one as a visual marker but the soup has thickened and now I’m completely decoupled from terra firma.  It’s a weird feeling.  I could be drifting down to Fire Island for all I know but I don’t hear any Lady GaGa remixes coming from the beach so I think I’m ok. Waves come in from nowhere like phantoms and quickly disappear.  I think for a surfer this is pretty close to what heaven or hell looks like, plus or minus a bikini clad girl to watch your every surf move from the beach.  After catching a few I start to think about Shark Week on Discovery Channel and the fact that Jaws was set in Long Island somewhere.  There’s not a breath of wind and the water is grey and murky.  I start to imagine things from a shark’s perspective, looking up at a big silhouetted oval with four bit-sized protrusions flailing around.  I can’t get back to land quick enough.  This begins what will become a decathlon of activities at constitutes Memorial Day weekend and the commencement of summer in the Hamptons .  I get back to the house and Thing 1 and Thing 2 are slathered up with SPF 3,000 and wearing hats that could be easily turned upside down to serve as nice planters for a hibiscus tree.  They’re raring to go.  Thing 2 is holding a pail and shovel and obviously looking to do major landscaping at the high tide line.  I peel off my wetsuit, which requires a lot of patience, persistence and the ability to dislocate several key joints at will.  Before I  know it we’re back at the beach.  I spent the prior weekend picking the perfect chairs for this environment.  I settled on “The Big Kahuna” for two reasons.  One, it has holders for a cell phone, a beer and a news paper. Two, it can hold up to 250 lbs of displaced weight to accommodate even the most rotund clam bake invitee.  The kids begin to collect lots of rocks.  We have roughly 5 thousand of them in the garage and we’ve only been coming out for a month of weekends.  Maybe we can build a replica of the Berlin Wall.  It could go along highway 27 which is the mythical divider used by real estate agents to garner up to 30% more in perceptual home value.   It’s the first question anybody will ask you when you say you have a house in the Hampton’s.  “Is it north or south?”  There’s qualifying shorthand for everything out here, even down to beach chairs.  “Tommy Bahama or The Big Kahuna?” The Big Kahuna far superior but I digress.

The fog has burned off and the surf still looks pretty good, so I slither back into my damp wetsuit and head out again.  Ten minutes later I glance back at the shore.  Thing 1 and 2 and the nanny I brought along for coverage are frantically waving brightly colored Ralph Lauren beach towels in the air.  I conclude they’ve seen a fin and for the second time in one day I get spooked from the water.  They meet me at the shore line.  Not a shark but something equally as dire.  Apparently I’ve lost track of time and now only have ten minutes to get to the Soul Cycle spin class my wife booked for us in Bridge Hampton.  My phone has been vibrating one arm off the Big Kahuna with my wife’s frantic calls because getting a bike at this high profile flash mob is harder to score than court side at a Nicks game. I’m now barreling down one of many hedge lined streets like an idiot in my maroon Chevy Cruze.  This vehicle is not even on the charts when rating one’s monetary standing out here but it’s light and quick and gives me a jump on larger imported SUV’s at intersections.  The class is starting in 2 minutes and once again I find myself on the wrong side of highway 27.  I commit about 4  moving violations and finally skid to a stop inside the gravel parking lot.  Hooray! I’m just in time to saddle up and prepare to go nowhere on a stationary bike.  I think there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.  The barn it’s held in is as hot as a native american sweat lodge and perfectly quaffed socialites are already starting to melt like those Germans in Raiders of the Lost Arch.  We’re on the back row, which in the high profile fitness world is like being north of highway 27.  I’m ok with it because my wife and I are playing grab ass and trying to knock each other off the beat.  We finish the class, mingle a bit and on the way home pass a house that has a pee stained mattress out front with a sign on it that says “Free”.  This aberration really puts the whole weekend into perspective for me.  I pull up close and ask my wife to snap a photo.  I’m overwhelmed by the honestly and full disclosure.  It’s a rare quality to find in a place where holding your cards close is at a premium.  It’s like, “Hey, this mattress has a big, ugly, circular pee stain on it.  We’re not trying to hide it.  If you need a free bed to sleep in and don’t think you’ll have nightmares about R. Kelly peeing on you, then this is the bed for you!”   The long weekend comes to a close with a quick dash to the beach for our last “rock run”.  I’m now thinking the Great Wall of China.