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Trump and the Pandemics
                      A Play by by Matthew Paris

(A stage with a huge desk, a phone on it, a few soft chairs, a large picture window. There is a large signed picture of Mickey Mouse on the far wall. It says: to Donald from Mickey. There are two exist doors, one to a further interior room in the White House, the other to an anteroom disguised as a closet. Though the stage is empty a phone rings four times.

(Enter Donald Trump. Bemusedly, he picks up the phone. )

Hello. Stormy?
You okay and your lawyers okay? Good, we'll have a fun day in court.

Your counselor Michael Avenatti's not in stir anymore, honey. I talked to a few people and got him minimal house arrest. A lot of people who don't like me much are wearing an ankle bracelet. It's better than sitting in a cell and eating rise and beans.

You heard about the plague on your computer? That's how we got our sense of the world now,isn't it. We don't take any long walks much. Maybe there's nothing out there to see. Franchise stores and offices are the same everywhere. It's not much of a view.

I found out about it from the CIA. They said their intelligence picked up a plague in Wuhan in China which had killed tens of thousands of people. It leaped off the scales of pangolins and the wings of Asiatic vampire bats. The Chinese government didn't do anything about it. They thought it was just ordinary death. They take funerals in like licorice candy.

They don't believe either in life after death or before death. Maybe they eat too many poisoned noodles. Sometimes you are what your diet is.

They're fatalists in that part of the world, Stormy. They're accustomed to a whole lot of plagues in China. Maybe we should be more like them; I don't know.

Now we have a lot of fine people collapsing into a pile of flotsam and being carted away by the authorities as much as they do. I don't know where Wuhan is. It's somewhere in China. That's enough of a lesson in geography you'll get from me. I know it's got to be in China because my intelligence people told me so. I've got informants deeper than the deep state. still I don't even know whether there is a China. I've never traveled to Asia. Maybe Asia is something remembered up by a publicist.

I can't make sense of the world but I don't have to, baby. Nobody on earth needs to understand anything or anybody, believe me. Look at a pigeon. Do u think he's thinking about how boring it is to pick up crumbs from the gutter? He's hard wired into pecking way at what might be a lousy meal. We're no different. We just pretend we are better than pigeon or rats in our cellar. I say a lot of pigeons and rats are better company than we are.

Ever hear any of them complain? They know better. They're happy with the Blue Plate Special. They probably think if they have life after death it'll be more of the same. they'll just be crumbs everywhere. We humans are sure it's going to be a harp concert in a comfortable dump. Yeah, God will be running the whole hotel.

I guess all that dropping dead there in China is bad for a lot of communist business. I wouldn’t invest in noodles or soy sauce. Yeah, you might sell short on kim chee, but that's not goods from China; that's West Korea. I've got a lot of friends in the kim chee business in West Korea, believe me. They say they're going to make the pickled stuff as ordinary for us in America as putting sour relish on a cheeseburger. Maybe they have the clout to do it. They invest a lot in advertising. Ever try kin chee? It is a little bit on the sour side.

Well, I also hear from the CIA honchos beyond honchos the virus is here as well as knocking off people right and left in Wuhan. It's all over the place. It's smear all over the Statue of Liberty. It's a big that hides on toilets, in pig semen, it clings to the flour when it can't get a toehold in the walls, shows up in a cough, a sneeze, a breath. Then it wanders into your lungs and strangles you or maybe gives you a bad case of halitosis. A lot of people have it now all over America. Dogs don't get it; it doesn't like dogs.

I told a few people they should chug-a-lug Lysol and knock the damned bugs off before it kills them. I was joking but some people in Washington don't have a sense of humor.

Yeah, I'm fine if I feel a little abandoned. The Secret Service all left the White House; I think they all left town. They're afraid I'm contagious. No, I haven't got the Chinese gift to America. First they give us noodles, then this virus. What a bunch! It's dangerous to take some prole out of slavery, kid. They don't appropriate freedom. Some say it was a plot. I wouldn't put it past these morons that run the place to commit economic suicide. Maybe they secretly don't like power. Maybe they like to have other people in uniform with guns tell them what do do; I don't know.

I know you're suing me, Stormy. It's okay. Everybody sues everybody else in my world, why not you? We all talk to the judges. They come out of some clubhouse, don't they? They are all used to having a four martini lunch with the devil. you can always talk to an old whore, Stormy. They aim to please. They know who you are; they know what you want. So, sue away, kid. All you're going to get is a bundle of cash which neither of us needs. It's very forgettable stuff. These days since I'm President I can print it; you're not President. you can't.

I'm not afraid of anything, kid. I've heard they're breaking out of the insane asylums, prisons, office jobs, nursing homes, hospitals, hospices and fancy shopping malls, whatever, to try to do me in. Let them see whether they can knock me off if they can. If they do, honey, my problems are over. I'll be compared to Abraham Lincoln. If they don't send me south their difficulties have just begun.

Yeah, I've been listening lately to talk radio. Yeah, the usual idiots full of spite and slander. A lot of rabble rousers are making a living praising me or attacking me. I'm glad I've got their attention. If they didn't have me around, what the hell would they yak about? Golf? Basketball?

No, I don't need company. I like my own solitary life, always have. I have instincts even tigers don't imagine they could ever use in a jungle on the moon. I might be a genius, if a stable one. I'm predictable enough; I lie and steal mostly out of habit. Sometimes I don't know what else to do. A quick one might fatigue me. I don't drink; the booze killed my brother after all. I get tired of playing golf. Maybe if I did it on Mars I might get interested. It's a boring game. I don't know what Andrew Carnegie saw in it. Maybe he fell in a clearing people who didn't like him couldn't knock him off too easily. If you're an assassin you can't stalk anybody on a golf course. you can see the murderous sons of bitches coming miles away. It could be he was happy to get away from his wife. Where are you calling from? It's not Rehab. you aren't in a loony bin yet. You're not in jail, are you? So many of my friend are in the slammer I can't keep track of the parade. Manafort is sitting in a cell reading the Bible. Mike Flynn is under house arrest and wearing a sterling silver ankle bracelet when he goes to bed. There are hidden mikes everywhere, every lamp. He's got enemies. Roger Stone is sitting in the cellar of his stucco finca and reading the Bible. Yeah, the dirty parts. Song of Solomon. Maybe he's looking for some character in it like himself; I don't know. Mike Cohen is still in stir writing a nasty book about me. I think I might be the villain in some other glitzy confessions on the stands too. That's okay. Do people really read that bilge? I think they sell that crap only to libraries. Frankly, I like the attention. Look, I slept with Playboy bunnies, porno stars like you, even my wife occasionally though I don't understand a word of lovemaking in Slovenian. I figure, man, if I do it a few more times I'll be able to make my way to the toilet whenever I'm in Slovenia which luckily by the way so far is never. Naw, I don't miss any of them. Let them go to jail. Let those fresh faced sluts be interviewed saying I never gave them any satisfaction and then stiffed them on the wad of bills I put on their dresser as I walked out the door to eat a triple sausage and eggs breakfast. I don't miss anybody that's in the pokey. People come and go. Being in the slammer is like a season of death. It's like any other episode. I feel it's a small loss in my life compared to the bunch of generals, con artists and vacuum cleaner salesmen in my retinue the politzei haven't caught up with. They are all walking into the sunset as we talk, kid. I might pardon all of them. I might even pardon Joe DiMaggio. For what? What's the difference? Do you think he never hurt people? Who are thees shadowy buddies? Nobody knows who they are. They don't make waves. They look like you and me. When people get snagged in our country they have enemies you don’t want to know, you might get killed. It doesn't matter whether they've done anything illegal or not. Hey, everybody's had their dry days, haven't they? We all can be nabbed for something unless we knock off the people who want to take revenge on us. Maybe they've left their memoirs in a Swiss vault, who knows? Do I run Zurich? I've got my share of people who don't like me, believe me. It's okay. I wasn't put on Earth to be anybody's pal. I don't have a calling for deep and lifelong friendship. I'm glad I'm alone in a way, Stormy. The people I have on my personal staff were all crooks. The maids walked off with the fancy food, went home with steaks in their pockets, either ate it themselves or fed the rotting meat to their dogs. Even the plumber walked off with moots of the copper fixtures before we caught him loading them into a truck. The butler scammed me out of a genuine Persian rug. I can always get another one. I'm rich, after all. I can even buy Persia. I may attract people who are not on the ethical side out of some animal magnetism. It might be the price of my charisma. When you're a handsome guy like me you never know what in the shadows you'll attract in the way of crumbs, creeps, hustlers and grey rats. They hang in the sub-cellars waiting for you to go to sleep. I can smell them everywhere, Stormy. They all have a faint whiff of grey rat defecation about them. The rat-fink feces sticks a little to their fur. Isn't your mouthpiece Michael Avenatti in the clink too?He's walking into the damned sunset and and sits in a funky palace in L.A. because he might get the Chinese flu? Well, that's good. He's kind of a creep, isn't he? A natural criminal? Some guys you put them in the Taj Mahal and they look around for something portable to steal, maybe an urn with the sacred ashes of a long dead mahatma. you need a better lawyer, kid. He's going to take you down with everyone else he throws in the gutter. Believe me, I know the type. Brash, filled with big talk about everything, thinks he's a criminal genius, makes a lot of enemies out of bums who don't even know him. If they did they'd hate him even more. I've met plenty of prole like your lawyer, Stormy. So have you. You've only met them in the sack where they don't talk all that much. It's a cloistered life. When you're in the hay with a porno star there's nothing much to say, is there? I guess you could talk about golf or baseball. Melania is fine. I guess she is. Who knows what's up with her? She never was a big talker even in Slovenian. Even if she was, would she tell me anything she didn't want me to know? What could be going on inside her that might be worth a tearful and impassioned confession? Sure, I talk to Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn on the phone. Both of them are funny guys. I don't know how Mike Flynn ever became a general. He never has anything to say about anything military. Maybe there's nothing to say. He's a natural pimp who missed his calling. He must have spread some heavy money around to get those promotions. How the hell should I know? I only am sure was smart enough to avoid Vietnam. I told them I had a sore left foot. Maybe a few bucks were passed around at the draft, who knows? What the hell did I have against any half naked jungle native eating noodles five thousand miles away from me? Nothing. I say: let them eat noodles. Let them wash it down with rice wine. I never got close enough to them to hustle them. My friends who are gourmets or so they say tell me they make a better brand of noodles than China does? Do you think that's possible?

I'm no authority about any kind of noodle. Give me a cheeseburger de luxe with a little fresh relish and I'm wallowing in pig heaven.

How are you doing during the lock down? I never thought I'd be managing the country or even a latrine during a plague, you can never know what you are running when you get power, kid. It's like having a bunch of kids. They pop out and surprise you. you may get a little dizzy. It's like building a luxury hotel too, baby, Sometimes it's a prison, sometimes it's an insane asylum. Either you’ve committed a crime to be there or we are honoring your credit card for the moment. Maybe sometimes the goddamned dump is beyond language.

I'll bet you aren't all that happy about social distancing. Porno doesn't thrive on lack of physical intimacy, does it? Maybe it might. It would make a hellova porno flick, no? You're a director now? You tell other people what to do in the sack? I hope they do it.

I'd guess even a porno set with a thousand elephants is really one step from a monastery. I know that. I'm alone here and it doesn't feel all that bad. All my advisors have stopped advising me; they're all on a yacht or hiding on a Carolina beach with the crocodile somewhere. My experts are living equity somewhere a few miles south of Tijuana. I'm really pretty vulnerable here. I've got some machine gun nests on the White House lawn but nobody's coming though the electrified fences to make trouble for me. Maybe they might in a half hour.

What do I do here? Well, I gobble down cheeseburgers sometimes and watch a lot of talk shows on television. They're usually about myself after all. No bunnies in the anteroom; they might have the plague. I'd rather watch the tube. People who don't know me have all kinds of opinions about me, some good, some not so good. I'm sure you have the same experience in porno. People think they know you. They know what your publicists tell them, right? That's fame, isn't it? You get people to think about you while you're not all that concerned with them. Maybe that's a kind of contempt we all aim for in this business, Stormy; I don't know.

I’m not sure I should have had a hunger to be President, I can tell you that. When I wasn't President I thought I'd have the power to push this country around the way I wanted. Mostly I could make it a nation of fancy hotels. Maybe it was that already. I was wrong. Once I got to be President because my rivals were wimps I saw that had set myself up for a lot of yapping dogs nipping away at my socks while I expressed myself in tweets early in the morning I would have made anyway. Am I any better sitting in the White House? As president, I can say that I have a more comfortable chair where I can sit, eat cheeseburgers and sometimes be miserable.

I certainly never wanted to run the country during a pandemic. Who would? Maybe Florence Nightingale. She's dead, isn't she? I say: let them all collapse and die Am I an undertaker? I'm a realtor, not a keeper of a modern minimum security morgue. I do have a feeling I represent a lot of people in spite of myself, Stormy. It’s mostly disappointed souls who think they should have done better with their bum mates and lives. That’s a lot of furious and glum voters, isn't it? They think at least I am against all the folks who made them feel like crumbs.

I can understand that. They like me best when I'm creepy. Hey, I got millions of votes for taking a plunk a few minutes in your bedroom. I got another few million for stiffing creditors with all my bankruptcies. A lot of people would like to do the same to the banks, their wives or their electric company. My career moves speak for them. They'd like to have a wife like a chilly cartoon who can't talk English and is never around to talk it if she could do it too.

What does Melania do with her life? How the hell should I know? What are you up to when you aren't getting sodomized with the cameras rolling? Does anybody know or care? You've got privacy sometimes, kid. You've earned it on your back the hard way. I respect that. Porno is the great native American Art form, not commercials. It a religious act in the United States to sleep with strangers, have it all filmed in garish color in a dumpy hotel, have everybody on salary for the big plunk but yourself.

I like commercials because they tell you whatever you have including yourself is obsolete, whatever you need is affordable and doesn't include shipping costs, whatever you don't want, you poor slob, is what you've got. What the hell could be more American than that, Stormy? We move every three years, we watch you on the computer in our offices, we honor you with in a raincoat. We love airports, fancy cemeteries, exotic spicy restaurants. Still there's nothing like porno. It's cheaper than redemption for most of us and more memorable.

I love your period movies set on the moon. They must have cost a lot of money I did have a cameo role in one you filmed in the dark. Of course you never gave me any wad of dough when I plunked you once on my way to someplace else, Reno maybe. you never wanted me to shut up about a little quick one I'd forgotten about along with last week's Big Whoppers. You're smart; you know more about freedom than I do.

No,, I didn't want to do it one more time last week. I don't know who called you, Stormy. I do have lookalikes and impostors all over the place; it must have been one of them. Maybe all of them. Once is enough for that kind of bird-brained quickie, don't you think? It wasn't memorable after all for either of us unless you've never had a few minutes in the sack that was quite as instantly forgettable as that one little spasm we took up very casually on a warm evening.I

I got to hang up, Stormy; I hear some nasty bit of white noise outside my window. Some people are coming up n the lawn. There's no Secret Service here so I may have to shoot it out with them in this Oval Room if they ever get here. They could be snagged by the bear traps, quicksand and hidden tar pits. Luckily I've got my defense devices all set up here, don't worry. I've got trap doors, drones coming out of closets, poisoned wine, chairs that shoot people in the back, bits of the floor that disappear, artificial Intelligence with names like Rover and Bruno that take out any enemy with sudden disinfectant injections, an infra-red ray gun that infects anyone I want with dementia, not to mention stuff invented by the CIA you don't know about and don't want ever to know about either.

We've also got heat seeking insects armed with venoms I can call up from attached to the desk and nests of hungry spiders from the jungles of Patagonia. I've got buttons on my desk that can do in armies and navies. I don't even know what half of them are or what they do. I do know they kill. I pay other people to understand things like that.

Yeah, sometimes I don't pay them. I like to stiff people. It's character. Don't think they don't know what they're getting in me either. They can sniff the aroma of betrayal whenever I walk into room. I can't get rid of that treacherous scent. Maybe I don't want to. It means when I'm among crooks I am going to be more of a crook than anybody else in the vicinity.

That might be what makes me what I am. Don't you think I represent a lot of bums who'd like to be as mean as I am reputed to be? You bet I do. Somebody doesn't get elected in this country without representing somebody.

I haven't got the time to be myself. When I get tired or have to take a snooze from too many cheeseburgers deluxe I get the lookalikes the Secret Service hired to fill in for me. the secret service people had trouble finding anyone who had orange hair. They got a little loose. yeah, you can always make hair orange. Do you want to? They are secret in all ways, sometimes too secret, a very wild and independent bunch of employees, I can tell you. I never said half the things their doubles come up with in those press conferences.

I never told the country to chug-a-lug Lysol. I would not say that, honey; I might be killing off the bums who voted for me. I also never had anything bad to say about Mexicans. I love the whole country. I like the dark smell of a tamale. They are my pals. I like them almost as much as I am crazy about Koreans as long as they're from North Korea. No, I never use kimchee, not even as an aphrodisiac. Maybe it's West Korea. My close buddy Jose makes my cheeseburgers. Maria puts the bit of lime in my cokes. I don't care what they do in the pantry. Let them steal my damned cans of caviar; I never eat the stuff anyway. It's all gifts from some senile Arab Of coruscate they want a favor back. I give them frozen cheeseburgers. .

I love the perfume of a chicken gut enchilada. You know what keeps a country flush and happy? A stable servant class of Mexicans or people like Mexicans. I'd like to see more Mexicans in America, believe me. They make great help.

I feel the same way about Guatemalans. Most Guatemalans. Aren't they cousins to Mexicans or something? They look like Mexicans to me. Maybe they are Mexicans. Or maybe Mexicans aren't Mexicans. How would I know?

I like a home with a bunch of thieving menials. If you don't have servants where the help is going to clean and put out the garbage while the rest of us are busy being great or even being porcine and stupid? While we sleep off some poison in our guts somebody's got to deliver the pizza.

These damned lookalikes have undermined me all the time; they parody me in some subtle way They think I'm a crock of poop. I don't blame them either. There is after all lots of these bozos but at least in the public view only one Donald Trump.

I like Ecuadorians who look like me too. Even my wife looks a little like me. It's hard to be a candidate among fifteen people to be one just son of a bitch person. Don't ever try it.

If it takes a lot of people to be me I must be somebody or maybe a fragment of somebody. A lot of Americans hate me for being a reality show buffoon; hey, I love America anyway. In what other country could a wild guy like me never miss a meal?

What in fact can I do that anybody wants? Nothing. I can talk about myself and say I'm a stable genius. I can even say I belong in a stable. Baby, if you're too stable, you're dead. I'd rather be a little bit stable. They hear me and they think maybe public charity will take him. Who wants to listen to that malarkey?

Yeah, people say I lie a lot. They shouldn't listen to me if they think so. If they think I'm not quiche a guy they can trust they should vote for somebody they think more of than me. When you have fifteen people pretending to be yourself it doesn't matter who you are, you're never going to be consistent enough to be credible even if you tell the truth. Is anybody on the level these days? Where are they going to find them? Are they going to pick some actor who convinces them they can play a good guy if maybe after the show they get smashed trying to knock off a bottle or two of good booze?

Are they going to vote for some weatherman? Are those phony guys ever right about anything? Does anybody complain when they say it's going to rain and it doesn't?

You know why they like me, honey? America is a country of escaped criminals, human trash and crazy religious nuts and they cant forget it; they don't want to forget it either. It's their strength. They know who they are. They are ex-cons who've broken out of the big house, they are on the lam, looking to walk off with some swag, hoping to hide out win the woods with the antelope and the grizzly bears, never more than one step from taking a gun and shooting up a tavern or a convenience store. That's why Americans love all those movies about hitmen, gunfighter and half crazed serial killers lurking in the tundra or having it out in a bullet feast at the O.K Corral.

Ever look at those shoot-em-up video games Americans love to play? It's all about slaughtering somebody or something, even bystanders. Pigs or villains, they all get it in the gut. Why do you think we Volvo Westerns? We are all gunfighters who sometimes need a quick one when we jump out of the saddle?

Yeah, those movies were great. Too bad they weren't real. Sure, Stormy baby, I want to make America great again. By the way, was it ever great in the first place? It used to have lower rates on mortgages, that's all. I don't know that there was ever a more miserable bunch of people in this country when America was great. They were so horny they would sleep with a milk bottle. They'd feel pretty silly afterwards. Cows used to run away from these unhappy folks when they saw them coming. Then there were the preachers in their black suits. If you were prissy enough people assumed maybe you might be a little moral too. Who the hell needed any of these people?

I'd like to see them all working in Community Colleges teaching literacy. Maybe they could teach it to dogs. We're got a lot of illiterate dogs out there.

We understand each other. You're a female take on me, Stormy; you were a young slut from rustic Louisiana who figured out how to con people in raincoat in the deep shadows by giving them a look at what you do best on your back. Don't get mad; that's a compliment, baby. Nobody's going to lock you up too son either, honey. We're both as patriotic as Irving Berlin on one more musical tear.

No, I don't think anybody should give a pooch a blow of Lysol. Who told you I said that?

It's those lookalikes who run those crazy thinking at my briefings. They like to make me nuts and other people crazy just for fun. They don't mean anything wicked; they're maybe a little frustrated because they aren't me. I'm me. I don't have their troubles.

Some of them are showing up at your pad for one more pbunk? Well, how about that? Give them what you gave me, baby. You never know who's really making love to you in the dark; what's the difference? It wasn't the best time in the hay I've ever had but I've had worse too. People think a Playboy Bunny is going to give you a hello ride like a Coney island drop into nothingness and dead of death. They're nothing like that. They're all gorgeous but in the hay they act like corpses or something out of a goddamned wax museum. Maybe they think they're being killed in reel three of a horror movie.

Hey, I know all about half dead tarts;I'm the expert. I inherited my mastery of whores from my uncle. He was famous for whore mongering. You are a tart of popular taste, Stormy. You'd sleep with a crocodile. God knows you took a pile of money to give me a Louisiana hayride. You are what the country wants, I've got to say. Every man likes a tramp in the bedroom when he cane get it. Hes too quiet; I never know what he's thinking. Maybe he wants to cut my throat and be President. I wouldn't put it past the son of bitch either. I nevn4r trust anybody from Iowa. If they lives there in the first place it shows they're at least a little bit coo-coo in the head.

You've turned down a few guys? Maybe they were phantoms. I wouldn't sleep with a ghost either, Stormy. It could be I'd like it. You're a virgin in your spirit? You're no innocent. That must have been a long time ago. Look, I'm not saying you don't have scruples. We all do. I've told a couple of Bunnies to go back to the rabbit warren or the swimming pool. I even said to Melania, shut up when you're on your knees and don't say anything. People will think with your accent you're some kind of very tall Mexican.

At least you had the sense never to marry or sleep with anybody who was long dead. Yeah, I know I'm married. I've got a damned certificate to prove it. That doesn't means I signed my own death warrant, baby. I've still read to cut the mustard.

I've been married three times; I should be pretty good at it by now. It's a good way to get rid of a lover you might be a little tired of. Most of the time all she wants is to get rid of you and take a little of your money.

Did I ever have a real pal in the sack? Somebody who liked me? I don't know. We billionaires never know. If I were a bum sitting the gutter I'd know who was for me. If it was nobody I could live with that too. It never is nobody, kid. We are a stupidly friendly species.

Maybe that's why my brother Fred was looking for with all that booze. If you gt down low enough in the sewers you'll find a rat or a crocodile who might like you a little.

Sorry, baby, got to hang up. Here they come, whoever the hell they are. Maybe it's Martians. I'd like a UFO visit. I like to be fake friends with exotic people.

I've been thinking of pardoning a whole lot of folks who are sitting n jail right now. Maybe when they get out of stir some of them will vote for me.

No, I'm not going to pardon anybody Black and in the clink for smoking a reefer; they are never going to come to me with anything I want. I can't beat them out of money; they don't have it to steal. The white folks wont' let them vote. They like them locked up. Hey, that's my constituency; do you think I should kick them in the nuts and let three million Black folks out of the slammer just because they never committed a crime?

You know, if I were Black I'd be happy to be in jail. When your in the hoosegow you cant be lynched. You get a free pad to sleep in and the prison cuisine is better than how a lot of Black folk eat wen they're not locked in the clink.

All right, I'm not doing much for Black people ; what did Obama do for them? He supposedly was their goddamned godfather; he was going to bring change to them all when he was elected. In eight years what did he do for them? When he got there they were still caged for nothing and when he left they were eight years older and in the same damned cage for doing nothing. You think they weren't disappointed sitting in a cell when he gave us that big smile and walked off into the sunset? That's why none of them voted for Hillary.

I used to say Hillary should be jailed but now I think she was the best thing that happened to me. She had no charm, she offended everybody, and she talked to my constituency as if they were out of work donkeys. How could I lose as long as people had to choose between a guy like me and lady like her?

I've been watching a lot of television mostly. I've been thinking of pardoning some people here and there, nothing too scandalous. Watt's Al Capone up to? Did anyone run Illinois as efficiently as he did? Watt about Aaron Burr or Jesse James?

I can't pardon Jack the Ripper; he's English, Stormy. I don't know what kind of high school teachers you had in Louisiana that you don't know that.

Yeah I guess I could be the first President to pardon some insect alien I've got no weirdo to pardon,somebody who's not human. . That might be worth a bit of contention in the news, wouldn't it? I cold see me pardoning a lot of dead people Maybe some of them I forgive and show mercy to don't exist.

You've been reading the Bible? That's good. It's real winner. Somebody made a lot of money pitching that book, I can tell you. I can't read anything those book makers or book publishers of whatever they call themselves print; nobody can. Who wants to read about what Melania would have done if she hadn't married me? Do you think she didn't have any Diane what she was getting when she married me?

She bought into a meal ticket and she got a whopper of one. Look, she was a piece of flesh for sale; somebody else would have bought the merchandise, that' all. Why write a book pretending she would have been an astronaut and been the first woman to live on Mars? Do prole read such bilge? Maybe I know a few idiots dumb enough to pick up on that sort of crap. What the hell happened to literature we used to read when we were kids, Stormy?

Remember Shakespeare? Didn't you read Shakespeare when you were in high school? Well, maybe Shakespeare has the wrong publicist. He isn't getting into the news lately. You've got to pay these prole off to notice you, even if you're not Shakespeare or Hitler.

No, I don't read anything the New York Times says about me. It's all fake news. They let on ever so politely I don't have the damned qualifications to be President.

Well, maybe I don't but who does?You think Obama had any? He's a nice guy but he was all talk. What did he do? He talked and talked; he did nothing. Watt was Hillary qualified to do? Take a public beating and be humiliated while her husband slept with floozies and whatever strays he could pick up from a slum street? Do they ever come up with anybody who's qualified to be President? Bugs Bunny? Micky Mouse?

They're always complaining that I tell a lot of lies, sleep with porno star sand stiff people in bankruptcies; I'm in the pocket of Deutschebank and Putin, that I eat too much kim chee. Watt's the newness about anyway? It's about who has power and who is in the gutter in rags, barefoot, taking some kind of drunken snooze. Those people over there don't like the idea they are sitting on the sidewalk in slum mumbling to themselves, that's all. I can understand that. I wouldn't like to think that about myself either. I just happen to be President and they're not.

I'v been watching a lot of West Korean cartoons. It's mostly about super heroes. It's too ritualistic to me. I'd like to see one about super heroes getting creamed by the resident villains. Even super hero lose a war, honey. They have to. You fight enough of them in at least a few of them you get knocked off your horse and eat a little dirt.

I don't have a horse. I have dummy corporations. I go bankrupt. It's the same thing with no bad taste of flecks of horse manure in your mouth.

Yeah, West Korean cable. It's the fancy Korean cartoon channel.

You know what's the difference between me and all the losers out there, kid? I always know what to watch if I happen to be watching. We all turn on the same channels in this country; some of us know how to get to the organic designer West Korean stuff like me. That's why makes me a winner.

I'll be all right, Stormy. Right now I see some strange people breaking into the White House through the window. They might be looking to knock me off. Somebody should be trying to do me in out there. I've insulted a lot of people.

Who are they? Maybe I know them as much as I can know anybody which isn't much; maybe they're nobody. Everybody don't have to be somebody. Who are you, if you really are Stormy, which I don't know one way or the other? It used to be sex led to some intimacy; now it's like eating a hamburger. You're always thinking of something else, like how to make even more money. Sometimes Margie did it too. They don't last long enough for people even to hate each other. You're better off in a hotel room with efficient room service. Every dump I go to make sure it has an ample bar. Nobody thinks of me as the messiah but life in a hotel instead of wherever you might be could be a lot better for plenty of people. Let's not say it's elevated. It's just more comfortable. If I told the evangels I was the messiah they'd get upset at me. They want a guy like that a long way from my kind of business. Still, did you ever hear of anyone leaving Atlantic City and complaining that a life of gambling and tarts in a cosmic whorehouse isn't as good as his marriage? Do they mumble about the limitations of sleeping with beautiful strangers? Do they say the sluts are too good looking? Never. People are born without names, somebody calls them something and tells them twenty years later they're natural accountants or punch board tickets and they shrug; they can live it all that out well enough. It's easier for them, easier on everybody. Then they retire and wait for death, looking at daytime game shows somewhere like a travesty of Mar-a-Lago where it's warm and they can get a little air conditioning while they secretly hope they die quickly in their sleep.

Maybe you are Stormy Daniels, honey. In the end what's the difference.? You invented your name yourself; God knows I had to live with whatever I was born with. If you're nobody you don't have any rivals for whatever you might be; if you're somebody like me you have a lot of them who want to take over your life. Some of them even want to knock you off to do it.

These days people know even less than they did when they were dead but at least they weren't spending eight hours day watching television. They sit in front of a tube and think they are living. They even talk to the damned boxes. They may get the machines to pay rent.

Let's say you are Stormy Daniels, honey, though it's your invention and all I've got as evidence for a quickie is a memory, not an unforgettable one either, maybe by now a lone telephone voice like this one and your knowledge of my private number. How much do we really know about each other, honey? Maybe there's nothing to know. It could be part of us are those like children born with names or what we've going to do in the big world. I was given a hellova manual for who I am from my father, kid. We were rogues, crooks, liars, con men, frauds who stiffed people out of salaries, bankrupts, big time sleazeballs.

No. I'm not looking for sympathy, honey. There are worse messages that come to you when you're in the crib. They might be parents, teachers, comics and carnival taffy salesmen.

Maybe you're a natural whore, honey. I hope so. I have tremendous respect for porno stars. I always have. Porno and cosmetic dentistry has standards that politics never does. Can you imagine a tooth job with fangs or a porno movie filled with lousy lovers? Nobody would be happy watching bunch of inept imbeciles sleeping with each other. They would leave the theater. They'd ask for their money back. Sports isn't any different either. Would you watch a basketball game Where nobody could put the ball in the basket and the score was zero to zero at the end of an hour?

Would we go to a restaurant and not get served any food? Would anybody go to whorehouse and have the madam tell us we can eat the lobster pasta but we have to leave her girls alone? It's not like that in politics, kid. We get elected but none of us feel we could run a latrine. We all feel vaguely criminal. That's why we shut up and take the money. We hope that we never have a catastrophe while we do what we do which is largely nothing though we make a lot of noise doing it, don't we? I don't know what I'd be doing if I weren't President, honey. I know I'm rich but do I have to play golf?

If these invaders get me they might be taking out a mirage. They might be doing me a favor. I have no idea what I might have been if I would have had another name and another set of guides to oblivion. Would I be dissing Obama and Hillary? Would I sleep with and bash beauty queens? Would I tell people I've bamboozled to take a nickel on the dollar they lent me because I was a nice guy?

Here they come. What a bunch of creeps they are too. Don't you think they're happy I gave the ultimate shaft to all these Guatemalans or whatever? They're happy it wasn't them. They're delighted I had Guatemalans to crush; I didn't look their way. That's my goddamned constituency. They are a collection of bums.

Maybe I'll take refuge in the anteroom. It's a phony bit of White House architecture built by Andrew Jackson; it looks from the outside like a closet. JackKennedy used to use it for a fast plunk with local actresses when he was too sick to drive to Georgetown. Let them come into the Oval room if they can; they won't find me there, kid.


(He hangs up the phone. He disappears into the anteroom and quietly close its door. . Enter through the picture window Lorna Warren, Charles de Boeuf and Quentin Feversham: The Pandemics. They all have assault rifles. They look around the room carefully for their quarry.)

Lorna- Quentin, watch the window. Charles, keep your eye on the anteroom door. Where the hell did he go? That son of bitch is probably in the cellars eating rancid cheeseburgers.

Charles- Chadraputra. Ramagandra.

Lorna- Shut up, Charles, with that lowlife Calcutta malarkey. I might bury you one day in a rotten fish curry.

Charles- Okramatra. Lakopistra.

Lorna- What are you saying? You want to eat a big plate of okra? Where the hell am I going to get okra around here.? It's a poor man's cucumber. Forget about okra.

Charles- Kalikundra. Guptamantra.

Lorna- I guess that means pass the salt. I don't have any salt, Charley.

Charles- Kulinipasta. Maktafili.

Lorna- Yeah, the pasta sure is good when it has a little spiced lobster feces in it. It's very west Korean.

Quentin- (In a toffish Oxford accent) I once had an aery souffle of poached pickled hare with chestnut stuffing at Cedric's in Mayfair. I caned the waiter because he neglected to bring us the requisite Napoleon mayonnaise.

Lorna- Quentin, cut the goddamn malarkey, we split from England two centuries ago. We fought a war with you guys; you lost. Get over it. We aren't your colony anymore, Quentin. Your cousins got on a boat one day and were told politely to leave.

Quentin- You have had the place to yourselves for a while, certainly. To achieve what, may I ask? A run of base .Babylonian orgies soaked in colognes and vacuum-packed methane deodorants?

Lorna- Don't knock Babylonia. They still make a great fig brandy.

Quentin- Your porcine citizens drink enough of it to be an authority on such ancient inebriation. You are, sad to say, natural slaves. I suppose it's preferable even if one is malgre lui somewhat of a rank foul-mouthed bawd, insufferable coxcomb, an intolerable popinjay to be a toff or even acceptable in a sewer. Frankly Lorna, this whole country is a global conspiracy of the immortal rabble to elude their terminally criminal character. Of course you have a raffish charm.

Lorna- You don't think much of America, do you, Quentin? Maybe you ought to go back to England. You'd be happier.

Quentin- England has become America, my little lemon tart. Britain is one large black hole inundated by vulgar socialism. I might have settled in India or Kenya; it they're both stupidly rotten in their as lack of civilization and measure as rancid cabbage.

Lorna- Maybe you've helped them to be bums, Quentin.

Quentin- Without us they would have been unthinkably rank beyond language itself. Tragically, one has to live somewhere. One has to appear in a chamber visibly. I have thought of setting up a subterranean keep in the cellars of the United Nations.

I've also thought of going to Mars and starting my own England there, the real England, not the fish and chips travesty of England one has to endure now on that ancient island. I can tell you that once we are an imperial power on Mars or someplace like Mars we will never give up either the riches and the glory of the Empire twice.

Lorna- You're a tough one to satisfy, Quentin.

Quentin- I have no hunger to take up satiety, Lorna. I leave that to sleeping pigs.

Lorna- Why don't you settle in Australia? What about Canada?

Quentin- I never would live in a country where it is too cold or too ridiculous to take up either virtue or vice.

Lorna- This is a country run by men. You get a man's view of what's important in England too. You're all fluffy pomp and extravagance. You've got a peacock pride and you like to assimilate anyone who'll put up with you. Some won't; they come here and go on television as experts on everything, even pizza. The rest hang with you, Quentin. Then you complain when you inevitably inspire a revolution. You say you hate socialism.

Charles- Chandrapastra. Sakuntala.

Quentin- Come now, Lorna, I'm not such a jingoist for a sham Plantagenet memory that I don't at once covertly fathom the delights of being a slave or a menial. People claim they are in the service of God, history, the devil or some malevolent imp because they don't want to take responsibility for their character. I'm not like that. I admit the superiority of women.

They are our covert mistresses. Women are only beset upon by men for a spasm or two in the ark upon occasion; they are otherwise left alone to be their own baronesses, to presides over households of small children, menials and curs, to laud it over their pantry maids, to command greengrocers and butchers as well as denizens of their servants' quarters.

Lorna- Sometimes if more often than not in Mayfair that is true.

Quentin- It's not altogether a rank situation in the byways of a coarse human history to be flattered for one's mere carnal attractiveness, none of which one deserves or works to attain, then to be honored generously in the sack by exhausting homages to their enameled surface qualities that they may not even loathe personally.

I would auger that unless one is a king or a hierophant of some absurd but securely established religion there is no position in life more woeful as well as delightful than being a woman.

Lorna- You are something of a wag, Quentin. You should do stand up comedy in a brothel somewhere.

Quentin- I've done it. There are worse palefaces to work in a world of offices and conference rooms.

Charles- Kulapastra. Nakamutra.

Lorna- We're not eating. There's no reason to pass the salt.

Quentin- You may be haunted by a fever for a telltale felicity, Lorna. Many a a reptile is liberally scented with a fragrant venom. Don't envy circumstances in a lightness world heated if at all by the moon that you cannot fathom or know..

Lorna- Sometimes I envy myself. You help me to do it.

Quentin- I would venture to take my discourage decidedly further, Lorna. It is reasonable to feel a classic terror at contemplating the assault of wolves; it is much more perilous to be in the presence of beauty, to be enthralled by qualities which neither offers one survival, felicity nor any troves of gold. Passion for the comeliness in women does damage to the judgment of peura; it can be lethal to any archer to aim at a small perpetuity.

Charles- Sakapatra. Malatesta.

Quentin- Exactly. It is a brute law of Nature that stronger and more physically adept animals fashioned for hunting and garnering floral edibles has a kind of simple genius for force; it is perhaps more to the point that those whose qualities are otherwise are able to attain both power through flattery and acting like household icons for no reason at all.

Click here to Continue

Continued... Trump and the Pandemics
                      A Play by by Matthew Paris

Lorna- I'm not much of a parliamentarian; I accept your argument, Quentin. It strikes me that for a modern castle of organized power this place is remarkably bare. Look at that bar in the wall. They don't drink saki or fig brandy here, Charley. Thanks to Trump they don't drink anything but Appalachian soda pop, really. Trump's brother, you know was a big boozer. Trump has a horror for the hard stuff.

Quentin- What if the galaxy and more were run by women? Do you think you would be any less a sterling leader at your worst that we are? I doubt it.

Lorna- You never want to know. Quentin, you are all theories and clever rhetoric.

Quentin- Very possibly. Still, nobody ever hugeness for my company because I am tolerably good looking if not quite handsome. They may admire me for my sartorial taste at most. Nobody offers me anything for a simile or a carnal favor. You know, it isn't the worst of situations to be out of direct power as women almost always are, Lorna. One doesn't have to take responsibility for all the stupid things one does when one has power even over a baby cockerspaniel.

Lorna- We women would rather have the choice to be one kind of regal idiot than another one. You men can always be manipulators and attractive frauds like us at our worst. We can never be fools in as many ways as you are.

Quentin- It might be two kinds of rank disasters you could do without.

Lorna- Maybe. This is a hard drinking country. They must be trying to inter something inside them in a tavern.

Quentin- My dear, people in this debased nation imbibe liquor merely to get nastily and incoherently drunk. It's like making love to be sedated enough to watch television.

Lorna- What if they do, Quentin? Being bummed out on sex isn't a crime. Obviously you've never been married. (She hears a rustling sound from the anteroom.) I heard somebody beyond that door. Trump! I know you're in there. Come on out, you son of a bitch.

(Enter Donald from the anteroom.)

Donald- Sorry I didn't greet you as you came in through the window, honey. Believe me, the White House is a more friendly place than you might guess . Sorry, I should have greeted you; I was too busy looking through my library for an interesting novel.

Lorna- Don't patronize me, you clown, you may be not even be Donald Trump, which makes it worse. You're might be for all I know one of the lookalikes. We couldn't find Donald Trump in Florida at Mar El Lago; he wasn't in his secret hideout in Plattsberg either.

Charles- Charnaputra. Hakagupta.

Lorna- We don't know where the hell he is. Maybe you can tell us. Of course maybe you're the real Donald Trump.

Donald-My lookalikes are never the real Donald Trump. If I'm one of them, kid, may in fact not be anybody. W were all was born somebody. We might haves even raised to be somebody if it that somebody wasn't Donald Trump.

Maybe if some recruiter passing through a small town had noticed I might look like Donald with the right make up and hair comb , then gave me a cushy job imitating him I wouldn't any different than anybody else in my town who started out being somebody but ended up being a nobody in an office or a wheor4hosue waiting to retire.

Lorna- Whoever you are, you're one hellova con man. All right, who are you?

Quentin- You might of course be the r4eal Donald Trump masquerading as his lookalike. you are in either case a conniving and brazen popinjay whom we English toffs and even common people would do well to ignore when you try in your vulgar way to cozen us.

Charles- Chandrapustra. Kulisastra.

Quentin- I don't think they have any modern plumbing much less a public men's facility in the Oval Room, Charles. you'll probably find one in the anteroom.

Donald- Yeah, we modern Presidents got a can there.

Charles- Mahaputra. Rupamaya.

Quentin- You wont find any metaphysical felicities in a loo, believe me, Charles. They are purges of offal; waste and human manure in a porcelain plumbing system that whisks these bits of flotsam away to a suitable hellish cloaca. You may be happy to imagine but never know.

There are many uncouth delights in such aqueous facilities that are far from negligible though they may seem leagues from the higher worlds of the more numinous and incorporeal mahatmas. You might find a dark metaphor in your shucking off of whatsoever and whomever might be merely a burden to your spirit in its moonless and mephitic journey .

Charles- Purafakra. Kakastama.

(Charles exits into the anteroom.)

Donald- Who the hell is that guy? Some pseudo-Indian nut?

Quentin- We're hardly Indian nuts, Donald. We're all escaped from the Happy Trails Asylum for the Criminally Insane, Donald, if I may call you that.

Donald- Call me Donald. It won't kill me.

Lorna- We were a rock group that maybe had some nihilistic tendencies. We robbed a bank and copped a plea. Why not? They told us we'd be happier in a loony bin than in a prison. Maybe they're right. Even a maniac is happiest when he's not in stir.

That's why we broke out through the kitchen and escaped. We always had a job on the outside as a rock group. You must have heard of us. We're the Pandemics.

Donald- Yeah, maybe. Maybe you're okay. You look like good people. I've got a nose for folks with a gift for warm hearted camaraderie. Sometimes they go to jail or the crazy house but we all have our dry days, don't we? I think a criminal record prosecuted by the wrong bunch in front of a comatose judge might be a badge of honor sometimes.

Lorna- We aren't crooks according to the law, Donald. We're just violent and bonkers..

Donald- We need more people like you in America, Lorna, if we're ever going to be great again. You've just been a victim of a conspiracy of Liberals, a bunch of creeps that are queer for socialism. I don't think robbing a bank is crime myself. Hey, I've stiffed a lot of banks in my time. You very discreetly sack the company of all its assets, then declare bankruptcy.

I've done it twelve times. Nobody ever called it fraud, kid; it was just smart business.

Lorna- Sometimes you don't declare bankruptcy because you have no assets to steal. We blew a lot of dough on cocaine.

Quentin- We Pandemics are hardly the only Insane asylum rock band that has never toured much because we preemptively too dangerous ever to be let out of our padded walled environment. We often broadcast our ditties from our lock ups. We're oddly famous on the tube. We call ourselves the Pandemics. It's a sinister name for a run of felonious lunatics.

Donald- I get it.

Quentin- Charles de Boeuf I'm afraid is mortally afflicted with galloping Asiatic redemption. It's a disease an especially gluey virus that lives off the living and manifests itself naively as a viscid black ooze from a Calcutta cloaca.

Donald- You must know your way around public sewers. I hire people to tell me things like that. Frankly, when you talk about buried cisterns you do sound a little sinister.

Quentin- Perhaps you need enemies like us. A clever leader like you needs more than friends; he should be the covert manager of his very antagonists. I might be your perfect nemesis. I'm only dangerous if you you let me be, Donald. If you are cunning you might find me a job as a television host. I reek of prestige.

By the way, we English are not the worst of slavers. We of course have disdain of your Hottentots in the veldt. We aren't Spaniards. We never try to convert you to a set of colorful absurdities.

We confine our punishment for mutinies to a few public hangings. It doesn't give us any pleasure to garrote or strangle anybody with a rope. We have to do that occasionally only to protect the glory of the Royals.

Donald- Am I supposed to believe any of this? Who the hell are the Royals?

Quentin- The Plantagenets and the Kardashians. The Windsors. The Mountbattens. The Kardashians again.

Donald-I see. Do you owe all of them a favor?

Quentin- My coarse subhuman friend, somebody has to embrace the White Man's burden of managing the surly rabble. It is admittedly a crass labor. Believe me, there are worse monarchs in the world than English kings.

Donald- I'm sure they're your friends.

Quentin- Hardly. I hope you never have to live under their very invasive rule of the more alien regents of this world. They are mad for mayhem, massacre oodles of their innocent subjects as we talk.

Donald- Maybe you aren't who you are either.

Lorna- What the hell do you mean?

Donald- Maybe there is no Happy Trails Insane Asylum. Possibly you aren't escaped lunatics. You might be lookalikes of them, or it could be the originals don't exist in the first place.

Lorna- How the hell would you know that? You're just guessing, Donald.

Donald- I am somebody who is running a similar vaudeville, kid.

(Enter Charles from the anteroom.)

Charles- Brahmaputra. Sakuntala.

Donald- Sounds like you found the can.


Charles- Raptapustra. Makasastra.

Donald- That must have been some dump. Well, if that's what it takes to take the dump of dumps, do it, kid.

Lorna- Charles experiences a great deal of metaphysical ecstasy. Don't think you're just looking at gastric relief.

Quentin- That describes the soul of your rebellion,doesn't it? It's a bunch of diarrhetic people looking for a commode, pretending they're carnival mahatmas.

Donald- I might like to have you around, kid. You're the kind of Ivy League Liberal that helped to elect me. Ever think of having a political a career as my nemesis? I don't need much but could use an enemy like you, Quentin.

Quentin- I don't believe in the raucous voice of the people, elections, democracy or the rest of your gutter republican cant, my friend. I suspect you don't either.

Donald- Why did you three break into the White House? You aren't out to mug me, are you? If you escaped from a loony bi you'd be better off hiding out somewhere. I may have some nice places in Florida for you to avoid the police. It's always good to be on the lam in a joint with a few naked Bunnies and a big aquamarine blue pool.

Lorna- Goddamn it, we're here to kill you, Donald, if you really are Donald Trump. Don't you understudy? You're the head of a system that locked us up.

Donald- Hey, I'd blame Obama for that. Weren't you put in stir under Obama?

Lorna- Maybe we were. You didn't let us go; you've been here for three and a half years.

Donald- It sounds like Obama's work. He's from Kenya; he doesn't understand American democracy I never let a lot of people go, honey. I've probably got three million people siting in a cage somewhere because they smoked a reefer in a park. I've got people in solitary for jaywalking.

That's what democracy is about, kid. The judges and Congress are just window dressing, big talkers. Everything is all up to me. Hey Maybe Il la pardon you. Just bow your knees a little and let me wave a wand around and formally forgive you.

Lorna- You can't pardon somebody for being nuts. You only can let them go if they've committed a crime.

Donald-Really. Maybe I will be the first President to pardon crazy people , not just bad guys.

Quint-I hear some stenosis form the lawn. I'm afraid we are about to be invaded by a new group of rank marauders.

Lorna-It might be the politicize or the Secret Service. They're always looking for people who are criminally insane.

Charles- Chandrapustra. Hakamutra.

Donald- You can hide in the anteroom. Just don''t flush the toilets. They can get very loud. Let anything you do set there.

Lorna- All right, let's hide in the anteroom.

Charles- Chandrapustra. Sakamutra.

Lorna- Shut up and get going, Charles. We don't want to be locked up again,even if we are nuts. .

Donald- You should have a glass of my excellent champagne before you kill anybody. Revenge and murder is always more enjoyable when you aren't quite sober.

Quentin- Are you some publican in the White House serving us some quaint native liquor to make us as bestial as you are without any inebriates? That is capital impudence.

Donald- My friend, you stake me for a bartender. I'm a little more than that.

Lorna- Sure, we'll take a glass of wine. Why not?

Quentin- None for yourself, Donald?

Donald- I'm a teetotaler. As Bela Lugosi might say, I don't drink champagne. I'm more a cola man.

Quentin- Yet you embrace the vulgar in more ways than most beasts.

Donald- Good. To vulgarity. (He opens a bottle formally and pours them three glasses of champagne. No, let's drink to the future greatness of America.

Quentin- It's only slaves that talk about greatness, you oaf. they are crumpled by low griefs. They never imagine the burdens of freedom and the woes of kings. I'll drink more sincerely to a more covert and subtle indenture.

Donald- I like you, kid. You understand something more than stealing. In this country a lot of fancy people are perplexed because they don't know what to do once they've made a huge pile of money. There are a bunch of obsequies waiting for them like moonlit stalking tigers. They sell them a pouch filled with golf clu7bs. They tell them they should like getting seasick on the right yacht. I hate those bozos. If I drank, I'd run a toast to get them all locked up.

Lorna- They'd be at your whim. You could always pardon them.

Donald- The angels want me to pardon the world. I tell them , I'm a stable genius but I'm not quite God. I'd make a hellova judge though. Maybe when I quit this racket I'll appoint myself by executive order to the Supreme Court. Why not? I might even run another country. I was thinking I could do a great job as king of Mesopotamia. Are the Mesopotamian still in business?

Quentin- They went bankrupt. They had to give away Hammurabi's Code for a few nickels and dimes.

Donald- Hey, that's the story of so many damned countries. They all end up like Mesopotamia

(They quaff the wine. Then Lorna, Charles and Quentin exit into the anteroom. The phone rings. Donald picks it up.

Donald- Stormy? I. Yeah, I just had some visitors. Ambassadors from a local gutter. Very eccentric, believe me. I poisoned them with wine. They should collapse in the anteroom in a minute or two. A bunch of nuts from Happy Trails Asylum For The Criminally Insane.

You've heard of it? They have one of my generals there? Which one? I've got a lot of generals. Oh yeah? Well, that guy's just a three star general. They're all paper pushers. When was the last time we needed a general in a war?

No,I didn't have to use any of my weaponry here. They're a rock group. They sing; they're also assassins. Some people in and out of bug houses have a lot of assorted talent. No I didn't use the poisoned cheeseburgers and the strychnine wine. Maybe they're hiding from some other bunch that are coming over the lawn right now.

You say somebody who looks like me and says he's Donald Trump just showed up at your home and wants a quick one?

Well, give it to him. Turn over when he says so. Whatever he wants. What's the difference? It's just one more plunk in the dark.

(Enter Lorna ll, Charles ll and Quentin ll through the window.)

Lorna ll- Where are they?

Donald- Were is who? Who the hell are you?

Lorna ll-The damned loonies from the bug house, you idiot. Who the hell are you anyway?

Donald- Don't you recognize me? Have I become anonymous so quickly? Am I suddenly nothing, nobody? The orange hair, the brash look? I'm Donald Trump.

Lorna ll- Quentin,was there anybody who thought he was Donald Trump in Happy Trails?

Quentin ll- Three very demented fellows, in fact. The all had orange hair and talked sort of like this man. He may be one of them. Or he might be a new impostor we know nothing about.

Lorna ll- You think it's fashionable to look like this guy in a dive bar or a horror movie?

Quentin ll- What is acceptable in an Insane Asylum is rarely di rigeur or what is even interrogatively by society elsewhere ,Lorna, my little buttercup. We have three versions of Jesus, two of Napoleon, and five of Genghis Khan in our old home, don't we? If even one few them were whom they have said they were, if they have been incarcerated in a bug house there has been a monstrous mistake.

Lorna ll- Maybe everything has been a monstrous mistake. It doesn't matter; we're in the middle of it.; where'd they go?

Donald- You means my latest assassins? They're currently in the anteroom, maybe taking a dump or hunting down people who are claim to be me or are really me.

Lorna ll- what are you talking about? You look real enough.

Donald- That's good. I want to look real,.

Quentin ll- This is a country of people who are only real when they think of who or what they've lately escaped from. Once the big breakout from the penitentiary is successful they are at a loss to know anything more than they're at liberty, as you say, on the lam.. It's the burden of all ex-convicts looking for a hideout. This country is nothing more than a refuge for elusive villains.

Lorna ll ñ Quentin, shut up. Let's find those impostors in the anteroom.

Quentin- Yes, maybe the real and the false Trumps will be there too, dumping their cheeseburger pocked guts into a fountainous cloaca. Some kind of Trump. Then you'll be satisfied.

Unfortunately it's the burden of all natural slaves to be on the deeply confused side when they're free. The wilderness and its tigers baffle them.

Charles ll- Hastapatra. Chakaputra.

Quentin- We all have such mischievous fortunes to bear, Charles. You might look in contemporary Calcutta for the delights that come to the skeletal faithful for abjuring their more swinish tastes. Has India ever had a republic? Do they value limited government or democracy? what do they know about massive banal wealth?

They might if they have the sense to imitate the labial tepid parliaments and shrugging souls who inhabit my own country. They chased us from their native soil; let them harvest the bitter banquets of their recent mutiny.

God knows I've been autocrat and slave by turns, Charles, I know. I've been called mad, by others merely wicked. Believe me, if we are nobles or kings we have to endure our dominance of rabble we rather openly find not even contemptible. We would like to manage angels. we would cure them of their penchant for metaphysics.

If we are gods we live with our disdain for the oafs, louts and sells than fragrant low beasts that lurk in the starry umbras in most of the universe.

Lorna ll- Quentin, nothing you say or even think is going to help us do what we need to do. You patricians are all fluff, no action. Shut up.

Quentin ll- We never should have made you lead singer in the Pandemics. You've become obsessively tyrannical,

Lorna- At least I'm a transparent despot. You're arrogant without a priesthood or an army. What's worse, you're inept even at doing nothing or less than nothing. I'm sorry I made you the drummer.

I'd move Charles over to percussion; he's too good at running a base line.

Quentin ll- My musical gifts might may be the door that leads me to sanity, Lorna.

Lorna ll- You've got a gun ready?

Quentin ll- Of course. No nobleman ventures beyond his castles without sufficient weaponry. Sometimes he even has a horse.

Lorna ll- That's all I have to know about you, Quentin. Good. Let's clear out the anteroom.

Donald- Would you like some of this American California champagne before you murder somebody or something like me around here? You don't seem to handle sobriety that well, my dear.

Quentin ll- You clown. You must be some sort of failed caterer.

Lorna ll, Quentin ll and Charles ll exit to the anteroom. The hone rings. Donald picks it up.)

Donald- Hello. Stormy? Yeah, some of the current invaders have come and gone. They haven't killed me yet. Sometimes poison doesn't work. Guns don't go off. Knives can't cut butter. Bombs just land and go kerplunk. It might be all socialist produce. What do they care if nothing works?

Don't worry, if they knocked me off, thanks to they Secret Service there's be more of me ready to be Donald Trump. I think I'm going to lock up the whole Secret service and then pardon them. They'll spend a few weeks in a cell next to Obama and Hillary. Maybe I'll pardon everybody. why not? Somebody is going to do it.

What's that? You've had two Donald Trumps show up in your home at the a same time and they say they both want to sleep with you? Well, take them on. It'll pass the time better than playing cards. Just lie on your side, smile, and let them figure it out.

Can't talk right now, kid. I hear somebody coming back from the anteroom. Have fun with my impostors. Sometimes life seems meaninglessness but with the right companions even if it is it can be an a hellova adventure.

(Donald hangs up the hone. Enter Lorna., Quentin and Charles.)

Meet anybody vaguely interesting back there?

Lorna ll- Three corpses who looked vaguely like us. Maybe all corpses do. Dead is dead, kid.

Charles ll- Chatrapurta. Harasastra.

Quentin ll- They appear to be poisoned. You didn't dispatch them yourself by offering then the usually Abyssinian venom in a glass of cheap California wine, did you, Donald?

Donald- I might have. I can't survive even as President of the United States issuing executive orders right and left without some means of protecting myself from my rivals and enemies. Who are my rivals? Everybody. everybody wants to be me. even i want to be myself.

Quentin- You are a strange host, I must say. Perhaps this is Queens hospitality.

Donald- You should talk about morals! You came here not only to kill me but to rob me of my identity.

Quentin ll- My friend, I can't pillage you of what you never have had in the first place. I can appreciative it is a profound humiliation to the spirit to admit that you and your rank country are a pack of slaves and repair to your masters to ask for forgiveness and a few shards of mercy.

I can't say , were I a slave I'd like to do it myself. Nevertheless if your very sanity is your natural portion, an arguable premise, you might do better than to pay some homage to the current English Queen.

Charles ll-Shakaputra. Hakamatra.

Donald- I never had the nerve to rob a bank with a gun. You guys are heroes.

Quentin ll-We didn't have the capital to strip a company and go into bankruptcy like you.

Donald- It's more perilous to stick up a bank. You could get killed.

Lorna ll- We actually held up about thirty banks. They only caught us for robbing two of them.

Donald- I only went bankrupt nine times. I guess you guys have me beat for stealing. I did stiff a lot of my workers. That should count too.

Lorna ll- It's easier for a man to steal. You don't have to be young or good looking to do it.

Donald- You know, I can pardon people for being crazy. It's not as felonious as arson or murder to be bonkers, is it? I might be able to get all of you off. You could walk into the sun and be legit.

Quentin ll- I must say there is a benefice to being a master in a world of slaves.

Charles ll- Achapatra. Mamapura.

Donald- Let's have some champagne to toast our deal. I'll pour you some into these glasses.

Lorna ll- We're teetotalers like you, Donald We don't even drink champagne.

Donald- Well I've got some apple brandy you might like. Give it a try.

Quentin ll- We will be content with a copious dram of apple brandy.

Donald- That's a sensible choice. (He pours three glasses of apple brandy into three glasses.)

Lorna ll- You won't have any?

Donald- I'm not much of a drinker. My brother died of guzzling too much booze.

Lorna ll- I understand. (They drink the brandy.)

Donald- All right, lets' man those machine gun nests on the lawn. I hear some people coming..

Lorna ll- They might be your friends.

Donald- I have no friends. I don't have any lovers either. I've got a couple of allies that somehow manage to get locked up after working with me awhile. Sometimes they sue me. That's okay. I like courtroom drama, don't you?

Lorna ll- I imagine you've been disappointed.

Donald- Not really. Nothing in life is secure, nothing. You have nothing and they even steal your emptiness from you. I've seen it happen. When you have something especially if you're President, they all look to take you don and make you into lunch. You think otherwise, kid. It's a sentimental nice thought coming from an innocent.

En day your lovers turn on you; you see them for the last time in count with their teams of lawyers. Did you really sleep with them? You did. Your friend decide they can sack you on the quiet; you won't notice. Your servants walk off with the tinned crackers in your cellar larders. Your children tell you to drop dead. They mighty show up and try to take you for a bundle. That's why people love dogs, kid. Their kindred need to be chained to the walls. Dog's don't usually stalk you and take up treachery.

Quentin ll- I wonder how you got elected. You certifiably aren't a champion of any notable enthusiasms. I don't really understand republican politics, I'm afraid. I might not be able to make much sense of monarchical governance either. I suppose we are on a planet on its way to the largest slave rebellion in our bloody harlotry, a world of regimes with all the excesses and follies of the vulgar, base and felonious. There might be a place for me in it as a television host or an expert in Armagnac..

Donald- Maybe. There's no place for Armagnac in hinterland America.

Quentin- I suppose it's a small impoverishment. There are more terrible looses than a paucity of taste for some rank recondite pleasure.

Donald- You don't know about loss. You've always got a job as a drummer as long as we churn out rock music, kid. Quentin, baby, I represent a country who doesn't have any sentimental illusion either anymore. They've all been muscled, stiffed, seduced, lied to, dismissed, ignored. They've been told to shut up and take a seat by somebody somewhere. I known my constituency. You may hate democracy but more often than not it gives people they alders they want even if they don't know they want them.

Let's get to those machine guns on the lawn, folks. We might be in big trouble it we don't.

(The phone rings.)

I'll get it. I'll meet you on the lawn

Charles- Sukapastra. Cosanostra.

(Lorna, Charles and Quentin exit through the window.)

Hello? Stormy?

How were those impostors? Not memorable? Sometimes there's nothing to remember.

You'll probably wake up in the morning. The coffee will be fresh. That's enough.

Yeah, I took care of a few gutter intruders. a rock band. They call themselves the Pandemics

Sometimes I don't know who I am either. That's okay. Whatever I am, I get to do it again for a while longer. I don't know whether that's good or bad. Then I don't, My problems are over.

Yeah I have my regrets. I spent too much time playing golf. I hate golf. I am rich enough to play anything I want to play, Stormy. I could b e paling skelly or marbles.

They were a bunch of bums. Can you imagine if I were killed by a rock band? It's not worthy of me.

Mostly poison. Champagne, fig brandy, apple brandy. I like to use three kinds of venoms. May one of them will work. I'm not a gun or knife fan. Guns make noise and attract people. Knives are too intimate.

I have no idea, baby, why they would want to kill me. Maybe they don't know why either. If they knocked me off they would get Pence. Do they think he'd be better for them than I am? That son of a bitch is totally corrupt. He's worse than me. He can't even dare to talk much because he's afraid he might get arrested.

Suppose they killed both of us. They'd get Nancy Pelosi. She's a little bit fuzzy and slightly senile. What good would it do them to be ruled by Nancy Pelosi? They're a rock group looking not to be thrown into stir. They robbed a bank. Thirty damned banks.

Yeah, I know banks can afford to get robbed. What the hell is money? It's nothing. It's just a fancy piece of paper. Why did they do it? Maybe they were tired of touring. You can get carsick on those buses. They must have been making big bucks. Only the top in that field has lookalikes. The lookalikes tour too. They font charge as much as the real rock bands. They call them tributes. Everybody is a winner.

How was the sex with those two guys? Not all that wildly or intensely memorable?

Well, they tell me that happens to a lot of people.

Sometimes a porno star like you is really practicing for marriage, honey. You sleep with strangers on salary. You should invite me to the wedding.

I know you value me even if you don't love me, kid. I might put a few bucks in your pocket. It might buy you something that will help you while you wait for death. I'm good for you, stormy. You should cherish me even when you sue me

I'm as safe here a I could be. I surrounded myself with generals but what good are they if they've only clerks presiding over a desk in an office somewhere? We don't really have any enemies. Everybody would like to be like us. That's why they come here at midnight from a tunnel or a rowboat. When they look at the alternatives they all want to be swinish and corrupt. It's not their fault. They certainly aren't protecting me. They move paper, not troops. Maybe I'll last out my term but it won't be with their help, kid. They're too busy stealing munition consignments from the cosmic commissary.

They sell them to people who don't have guns. Some of them don't talk Spanish or Arabic. They'd rather buy from my generals than make it themselves. The people who might work in the gun factories are liable to walk off with the merchandise.

Everybody's a winner in that league, kid. They all go off when they have a revolution to some dumpy principate with a casino. Yeah, like Monaco. Sot of the people at the baccarat table were head of a nightmare country once. Maybe power trains you to be good at losing a bundle at baccarat. Maybe I should be studying Biarritiz and Monaco card playing myself

What the hell am I going to do after I'm no longer President? Am I going to mss the power I have over a bunch of menials in livery or crooks like myself? I doubt it. Is it fun or satisfying labor to be the king of a room of degenerates? They're lucky I'm willing to do it.

Baby, I learned how to manage a nation of gamblers in Atlantic City. They taught me how to scuffle, shuffle and lie. Gamblers have no respect for their victims. They couldn't bilk them out of their change and even like them a little. That's why you like me; why I like you even more. We're both happy when we see other people mumbling to themselves in the gutter. Well, maybe not happy. Let's say: sated. We can't be other than miserable ourselves kicking them into the sewers; they're petty creeps and chiselers who aren't worth our attention. What the hell do we sell them on the way to perdition, Stormy? Porno? Politics?

Hey, what the hell is the world going to do without me? I just met some of my enemies today.. I haven't got any friends, Stormy. Who could be my ally? I con and betray everybody. After a while I run out of chumps. It's the classic tragedy of any hustler in the d,mend universe. Outside of an electronic game there are never enough aliens monsters to kill or at least defraud..

I've been lucky in having a bunch of people who don't like me who are uglier and nuttier than I am. Can you imagine this country run by the jerks who come here over the lawn to knock me off? They'd be begging to be part of the English empire, which doesn't exist, out to castrate men or being muttering fake Indian mantas and claiming to be wise as they did us all in in some other way. I might be a better chose for America's leader than all of them put together.

Hey, I got a shitload of votes for me because Americans couldn't stand Hillary. I don't blame them. She's about as attractive as a leader of America as Al Capone. Some people think I was behind her campaign. Maybe I was. Maybe Ivanka was. Yu can't tell Ivanka what to do. She's one clever cookie, Stormy. She's even a hellova cook. Too bad I don't like food much, even good food. Nobody makes a ratatouille like Ivanka. I never really appreciated her. I like Melania though. I never see her. She's too busy, I don't know at what. Whatever and whoever it is, it's more interesting than me.

That's okay.

Women are mysterious, Stormy, even you. You throw us a quick one and smile at our lack of ambition. Sometimes there's nothing to hope for beyond a cup of cold coffee. That's why I never try to get into women's inner life. It might not be there. You can't be searching for something that probably isn't totally real in the first place. If it is real they don't want us to know it. Believe me, I can live with that. I don't have to know everything.

The Evangels believe God knows everything. Does it do him any good? Why is he always mad at us? Maybe wisdom is just another way to live with a whole lot of disappointment. I dolt say that to the Evangels; they might think it's impolite. Even Leonardo had his areas of ignorance. Melania's pretty unskilled even for me, kid. I'll be she couldn't cook up a good pasta sauce. Melania can't cook at all. None of my wives were tremendous kitchen adepts. They weren't all that great in the sack either. Maybe I wasn't any more memorable.

Stormy. I can't make love in Slovenian. I could fake it but that would be weak, no? No,I don't want or need an immersion course in Slovenian. I don't speak a goddamn word of it. I couldn't even find my way to the can if I were passing through Slovenia. I'm not even sure there is a Slovenia. Maybe she's just babbling infantile nonsense and says it's Slovenian. Would I know the difference? Would I care if it were or weren't Slovenian?

Let her babble. Let the whole world babble. Maybe she'll take on an addiction like candy or scrabble. Maybe checkers. Scrabble might be a hellova game in Slovenian. That's fine with me. Why should anybody be haunted by how much they've missed me in the hay? I don't want to give anybody any reason to make them more miserable than they are. People say I have no charity; I have more of it in me than even you do. Yeah, even you. what do you give other people? A quick one or a look at a quick one in the shadows. I don't charge people to watch me make love. would I have any buyers? It's enough that they vote for me. They like me better operating a hotel or giving them free booze at a casino. Do you miss me? Of course not. What is there to miss, right?

None of my lovers miss me. That's good. They can focus on the present,. Memory can be venomous.

Does Melina ever miss me? If she did I'd be seeing more of her than I do, no? That's okay. She's get around to missing other people.

She might be recovering from plastic surgery. Of course nobody ever really survives that kind of job on your own body intact. We live with the beautiful wounds. If we're lucky we remember what we were, what we looked like, what we once wanted to be. If we ever figure it out, we turn everything over to the Vice President. Then if he has some brains he turns it over to whatever idiot is running the House of Representatives. If they all have some bare sign of sense they pack up and go home. .

Do you knows that the Liberals got me elected? Nobody can stand their damned piety. Do they help anyone? They'd like to put us all on the dole. They're a bunch of fancy crooks. They say I'm a fat liar and degenerate; am I more of a thief and con artist than Hillary? Or any fatter/?She's more synthetic than I am. I'm a liar but I'm not a hypocrite, Some damned choice, no?

The crazy Liberals realized they couldn't run the country and got both of us to cover for them. They went bankrupt and didn't tell anybody. They ran easy bond issues and went into debt; they printed money until their marks had had enough of their promises. Don't you think they put me in power so they could say they never did all the sleazy things I've supposedly done? You bet they have, baby.

They really don't have any vision, kid. They have all the hopes of running plastic surgery in volume in a hospital. They want to make people dependent with a bit of magic from a bogus knife. I'm the only one even among their enemies with an honest program for America. I'd like it to be a luxury hotel. When you've given up on family that's indifferent to you, land that you never own, whores that are busy with other customers, slick drummers for phantom parades and all the phony wise men that are pitching very fragrant malarkey you might want to bask in the sun in a luxury hotel with a warm aquamarine swimming pool as a good place to wait for death.

You'd like to hire me as an actor in some epic? I might be able to play Abraham Linccon if I took off a few pounds and grued on a false beard. I think we could make some money at that. I might need it. When I'm not President I can't print it anymore. Right now I could put my picture on all of it, even the pennies.

Could I do fake home porno? Yeah, I could do that. I'd be the first President in a porno movie if I did it. That might suite me. I could do it under your direction. That's a nice offer. You know my movies. I'd like to make a porno movie but I don't think I make love well enough to be in one.

Also you tend to stiff your actors, don't you? Send me a check I can cash, not one with your picture on it, and we'll talk.

(He hangs up the phone. Donald looks out the window at the lawn and smiles. Then he exits into the anteroom.)

The End