As I write this, Hurricane Sandy bears down on a cowering Washington, DC. Shoved roughly into our faces by an anomalous high pressure system located in the central North Atlantic, Sandy is predicted to soon combine with a Canadian Express cold front and subsequently beget something unprecedented, which the media have suitably dubbed “Frankenstorm.” Tomorrow, not only will the schools and the federal government be closed, so will the Metro. Inarguably, this will be a city under siege.
My girlfriend Cerise went shopping at the Giant, a local supermarket chain, around two o’clock this afternoon. Given the gross incompetence of our local power companies over the last several such situations of similar import, everyone here assumes that, starting some time tonight or tomorrow, they will have no electricity for the next seven to ten days. Consequently, Cerise reports that the ladies and gentlemen tending the meat and seafood counters stood by idle and bemused, while the shelves showed themselves stripped bare of canned goods, bread, paper products, bottled water, batteries, and candles. Vegetables requiring refrigeration went unsold, while sturdy items such as squash, green pineapples, unripe tomatoes and hard avocados flew out of the bins.
Dare I ask, what the hell is this? Are we living in a third world country? Is this not Washington, DC, the capital city of the greatest nation on earth, yea and verily, the capital city of the greatest nation which has ever been? Or is it the embarassing, humiliating and inconvenient truth that Old Glory waves, in fact, over a republic not the least scintilla superior to… ahem… a third world country? If not, why can’t we keep the frigging lights on, hmmm?
Well, be that as it may, my dear relatives, not to mention my neighbors, are in a fine state, no doubt about it. They believe what everyone here believes about the impending weather and they also know that I have a home in Great Falls, Virginia, standing firm on the highest ground, custom built to my own specifications with the most stable, wind resistant and driest construction, possessed of natural gas-powered heating, cooling, and most importantly, diesel-powered electricity backup, redundantly reinforced, in turn, by a natural gas turbine and, should things become extremely dire, then by a bank of lead-acid batteries with a combined capacity of twenty thousand amp-hours, waiting in a large, cinderblock room buried at the back of my basement, deep in the bedrock.
So it’s no surprise that here came my dear sister Rose, her husband Hank, his brother and his wife, Shannon, hauling their huge Catholic broods in a caravan of minivans, sedans and SUVs that I have previously likened to something out of a latter-day Grapes of Wrath, to ensconce themselves here for the duration. Nor could it be any shock that my dear brother Rob Roy, his wife Katje and their son Jason also invited themselves over for an unannounced visit of indeterminate duration. Likewise, when I called to let Gretchen, my private secretary, know that she need not worry about reporting to work tomorrow, I might have expected that she would demurely inquire whether she, her boyfriend, and three of her old college room mates who just happened to be visiting this week could stay at my place if things got tough. Of course, I said yes.
As of the moment, it has, in fact, started to rain here, but to tell the truth, not very hard. My house it teeming with kids at the moment, though – parents in charge of that many children know quite well the consequences of an electricity outage. According to my monitoring software, every outlet on the first and second floors is currently drawing a heavy load as Rose and Shannon’s respective hordes of tykes play video games, watch YouTube, enjoy cable and satellite movies (I subscribe to both services), surf the Internet, waste their time with Facebook, jabber endlessly on Twitter and otherwise satisfy their usual gluttonus requirements for electric power.
At my request, Cerise came over to assist me with the impending chaos, and I had settled back, like the man who knows that tomorrow he will hang, to appreciate the excellent concentration of my senses which accompanies such circumstances. And given that Cerise is, IMHO, pretty hot, my chosen venue was the bedroom. But can you believe it? In the middle of The Attack of the Nine Hundred Mile Wide Storm, my land line phone rang. Caller ID revealed it was Donald Trump. I generally bill him triple my usual rate for telephone consultations and yet, he keeps coming back anyway. So what could I do, turn down money like that just because I’m sitting in the middle of a three ring circus? Not just no – hell no!
Tom: Hello? Mr. Trump?
Trump: You may call me Donald, Tom.
Tom: Oh, okay, hi, Donald.
Trump: Let’s not get too familiar, Collins. Make that “Hello, my dear friend, Donald.”
Tom: Hello, my dear friend, Donald.
Trump: My dear friend Tom, I’m calling you because of an extremely dire situation, upon which I require your uniquely informed advice.
Tom: You may consider me extremely complimented, Donald.
Trump: “You may consider me extremely complimented, Donald, sir.”
Tom: You may consider me extremely complimented, Donald, sir.
Trump: Good; that’s better.
Tom: So, how may I assist you this Sunday evening, Donald, sir?
Trump: Okay, so you know how I’ve been crusading for America lately, right?
Tom: You mean, that you offered to donate five million dollars to the charity of his choice, if President Obama would reveal his college records and passport application before close of business on October 31.
Trump: Yeah, and after I made such an heroic effort, can you imagine what happened? They called me “the boy who cried wolf;” they said I was “bluffing he had a royal flush, but was only holding the joker!”
Tom: Yes, Donald, sir, I read those.
Trump: And then that stinking, big-eared [expletive], Obama, he goes on television with that greasy wop, Leno, and he says I’m from Kenya!
Tom: Yes, Donald, sir, I saw that.
Trump: And Barbara Walters – whom I considered to be my friend, no less – she said I should take my bloated head about of my stinking [expletive]!
Tom: Um… I don’t recall hearing or reading that, Donald, sir.
Trump: No, you wouldn’t… she… well, she didn’t put it that way on The View, okay? That’s the way she put it to me… um… personally. In public, she just said, “Stop it.”
Tom: Ah, well, Donald, sir, I’d say, when your friends deliver such a frank, obvious, evident and straightforward message…
Trump: I know what you’re about to say.
Trump: Don’t make me hang up on you. I’m calling you for alternatives, do you understand? I’m calling you for options! I’m calling you for results!
Tom: Of course. Why else would you call? Results, options and alternatives with respect to what, may I ask?
Trump: God damn it, Collins – here I am, the most brilliant man in America! I’m the most intelligent person who has ever lived! I’m the greatest thinker, the most creative innovator, the most potent lover, the shrewdest negotiator, the baddest deal maker, the most handsome, suave and romantic playboy who has ever laid a world-class, drop-dead stunning super model! Tell me I’m some kind of [expletive] genius!
Tom: You, Donald, sir, are some kind of [expletive] genius.
Trump: Damn right I am! You bet your [expletive] [expletive] [expletive] I am! And what do get in return for sharing my genius with the world for the benefit of the American people?
Tom: Ah… what, Donald, sir?
Trump: Ridicule! That’s what I [expletive] get, ridicule!
Tom: That’s very unfortunate, Donald, sir.
Trump: Unfortunate? It’s [expletive] demented, perverted and ungrateful, that’s what it [expletive] is!
Tom: Um… clearly… your… magnificent… attributes are… ah… lost on the public. Can I help you with that, then?
Trump: Exactly! They’re calling me… a… they’re calling me a clown… an idiot… a bozo… a lunatic… a zany… a buffoon… a schlemiel… a jamoke! Me – Donald J. Trump – who, if the public had the common sense God gave a [expletive] ant, ought to be President of the United States! Hell, if people in this world knew the difference between [expletive] and Shinola, I ought to be Emperor of Planet Earth!
Tom: Um… I’m… ah… certain that you would be an excellent Emperor of Planet Earth, Donald, sir.
Trump: You think so?
Tom: I’m positive you’d be the best Emperor of Planet Earth in history, Donald, sir.
Trump: Right – so okay, what can I do about this ignorant, stupid, rotten, nasty, Communist, gay, retarded…. arrrrgh… uuuhhhnn…. totally wrong, [expletive] these [expletive] [expletive] [expletive] [expletive]…
Tom: Donald, sir…
Trump: [Expletive], [expletive] [expletive] are writing and saying about me?
Tom: Well, to be honest, Donald, sir, right off the top of my head, as it were, I’d suggest you do something about your… ah… comb-over.
Trump: My what?
Tom: Um… well… it’s a widely-recognized fact that you have gone… well… bald, Donald, sir – which is to say, lost a considerable amount of hair on your head – not, of course, completely bald, like Telly Savalas or Yul Brynner or anything, but nevertheless…
Trump: The Absolute Ruler of the Solar Systems is not bald! Do you [expletive] hear me? I’ve got plenty of hair! I’ve got more hair than most people, as a matter of fact! I’m Donald Trump, and I say, “bald” is a state of mind, and in my mind, I will never be there!
Tom: Indubitably, Donald, sir.
Trump: You bet your [expletive], Collins! And don’t call me “Donald!” Call me “Your Most Exalted Excellency!”
Tom: Certainly, Your Most Exalted Excellency. In that case, perhaps you could address the various issues concerning your… perspective.
Trump: Such as?
Tom: Well… ah… it could be argued… by some misguided or ignorant persons, of course, that your outlook on… um… certain things… such as race relations, immigration law, progressive taxation, social welfare, women’s rights, foreign policy…
Trump: Screw that [expletive] and the [expletive] [expletive] [expletive] [expletive]…
Tom: Ah… Your Most Exalted Excellency…
Trump: [Expletive] [expletive] who run their [expletive] yaps about such [expletive] [expletive]…
Tom: Okay, well, Your Exalted Excellency, you see, that’s my point, right there – a certain degree of additional flexibility could offer…
Trump: Look Collins, my opinions are those of the most intelligent person who has ever lived, are they not?
Tom: Well, Your Most Exalted Excellency, there have been other persons, such as Socrates of Athens, Archimedes of Syacuse, Gaius Plinius Secundus, William of Ockaham, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Roger Bacon, Isaac Newton, Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, René Descartes, Albert Einstein and Werner Karl Heisenberg, who…
Trump: Did any of them [expletive] Ivana Marie Zelnícková?
Tom: Um… no.
Trump: Did Ivana Marie Zelnícková get down on her knees and give any of them a magnificent [expletive]?
Tom: Um… no.
Trump: So what makes any of them so [expletive] smart, then, huh?
Tom: Given that line of reasoning, Your Most Exalted Excellency, nothing.
Trump: Right! And don’t you [epletive] forget it.
Tom: Well, then, I guess the bottom line is, you are the indisputable exemplar of human perfection, the ultimate male paradigm and beyond reproach in any respect whatsoever. Therefore, it follows, logically, that there is nothing you can change about yourself, because to do so would be an affront to God Almighty Himself.
Trump: You know, it’s good to talk to someone who isn’t afraid to speak the honest truth; although compared to me, I’m not sure it’s entirely accurate to refer to God as “Almighty.”
Tom: Thank you, Your Most Exalted Excellency, and I stand corrected.
Trump: You’re welcome. Bill me.
Tom: I shall, Your Most Exalted Excellency, I shall.
Trump: Do that. Goodbye.