Chapter 2: The Glorious Whitewasher
Saturday morning was come, and all the world was bright and fresh, and brimming with life. There was a song in every heart and a tweet in every thumb, and the tweets rang out across the internet like an angel’s harp if the strings were made of vomit and the angel was being stabbed with a toothbrush shiv. Mar-a-Lago, beyond the village, was green with vegetation and, well, green cards, and it lay far enough away to seem a Delectable Land, dreamy, reposeful, and inviting.
Trump appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush. He surveyed the fence, and all gladness left him and a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Although he enjoyed whitewashing as a general thing, he looked out at a far-reaching continent of unwhitewashed fence, and contemplating all the hard work required, despaired, for he had intended to spend the day watching old episodes of Press Your Luck from his bathtub and having sex with deli meat.
He began to think of the fun he had planned for this day, and his sorrows multiplied. Soon the Republicans — serious constitutionalists, principled conservatives, and true Christians alike — would come tripping along on all sorts of delicious expeditions, and they would make a world of fun of him for whitewashing. He got out his worldly wealth and examined it — cheap steaks, sham diplomas, golden toilets — enough to buy a mayorship in the Jim Crow South, maybe, but not half enough to buy a seat at the federal level. So he returned his straitened means to his pocket, and gave up the idea of trying to buy the Republicans.
At this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him! Nothing less than a great, magnificent inspiration.
He took up his brush and began whitewashing — plank by plank, as thick as he could dispense it, in order to achieve maximum coverage. The Republicans hove in sight presently — the very party, of all parties, whose ridicule he had been dreading. And they stopped to take in the display, and made a big show of it, wagging their fingers and clucking disapproval. Trump paid them no mind and continued to whitewash. Paul Ryan stared a moment and then said:
“Hi-yi! You’re up a stump, ain’t you!”
Trump went on whitewashing and paid no attention to Paul Ryan.
“Hello, old chap, Aunt Polly’s got you whitewashing, hey?”
Trump wheeled and suddenly said:
“Oh, it’s you, Republicans! I warn’t noticing.”
“Say, I’m goin’ a-legislatin’, I am. Don’t you wish you could? But of course you’d druther whitewash!”
Trump resumed his whitewashing, and answered carelessly:
“All I know, is, it suits Trump Sawyer.”
That put the thing in a new light. The Republicans stopped wagging their fingers and clucking disapproval. Trump swept his brush daintily back and forth — stepped back to note the effect — added a touch here and there — criticized the effect again — the Republicans watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently Mitch McConnell said:
“Say, Trump, let me whitewash a little.”
Trump considered, was about to consent, but he altered his mind:
“No — no — I reckon it wouldn’t hardly do, Mitch. You see, Aunt Polly’s awful particular about this fence; it’s got to be done very careful; I reckon there ain’t one boy in a thousand, maybe two thousand, that can do it the way it’s got to be done.”
“No — is that so? Oh come, now — lemme, just try. Only just a little — I’d let you, if you was me, Trump.”
“Mitch, I’d like to, honest injun; but Aunt Polly — well, Jim wanted to do it, too, but she wouldn’t let him.”
“You know, Jim. The n—”
“Whoa whoa whoa,” interrupted Paul Ryan, “I reckon you mean… Chicago Jim!”
“I mean n—”
“No,” said Trump, “I most certainly mean n—”
“Dual-Threat Quarterback Jim!”
By this time, patience had slipped the rest of the Republicans, and presently the whitewashing offers cascaded forth like a mighty, swollen river:
“I’ll give you the rest of my Big Mac!”
“Why, I’ll abandon everything I ever purported to stand for!”
“Say, I’ll make you the head Republican, Trump Sawyer, and I’ll remake the party in your image with zero resistance or concern for any crimes you may have committed!”
Trump gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his heart. And while the Republicans set to whitewashing the remaining planks, Trump sat on a barrel in the shade close by, dangled his legs, munched his Big Mac, and planned the slaughter of more innocents. There was no lack of material; Republicans happened along every little while; they came to jeer, but remained to whitewash. By the time Mitch McConnell was tired out, Trump had traded the next chance to Ted Cruz for a kite, in good repair; and when he played out, Lindsey Graham bought in for a dead rat and a string to swing it with — and so on, and so on, hour after hour. And when the middle of the afternoon came, Trump was literally rolling in wealth. He had besides the things before mentioned: taxpayer-funded housing, an apple core, a brass doorknob, unlimited pardon power, an empty spool, an impotent Congress, the nuclear codes, plenty of emoluments from foreign dignitaries, and various other meats to have sex with.
He had had a nice, good, idle time all the while — plenty of company — and the fence had three coats of whitewash on it! If he hadn’t run out of whitewash he would have bankrupted every Republican in the village.
Trump said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it — namely, that in order to convince the Republicans to whitewash, it is only necessary to show them a fence.