Channelling The Donald (is risky)

Donald Trump. Credit: Shaun Yeo
Donald Trump. Credit: Shaun Yeo
I have my own high hopes for the end of Donald Trump’s presidency.

I want to think these hopes are all highfalutin, but if I am honest, some are self-serving.

Aspects of The Donald’s behaviour have clearly rubbed off on me.

Now, nothing ridiculous I do surprises or even shocks me.

Incidentally, the storming of the Capitol was shocking, but was anyone truly surprised by it or Trump’s behaviour since the election?

Keep up, people. Trump has been jollying the alt-right along for yonks. Here is what David Neiwert wrote about him in Alt America; The rise of the radical right in the age of Trump in 2017, when The Donald had hardly warmed up:

"Trump may not be a fascist, but he is an authoritarian who, intentionally or not, is empowering the existing proto-fascist elements in American society; even more dangerously, his alt-right-Tea Party brand of right-wing populism is helping these groups grow their ranks and their potential to recruit new members by leaps and bounds. Not only that, but he is also making thuggery seem normal and inevitable. And that is a serious problem."

But back to me because, as Donald has taught me, it is all about me. So far this year I have made a bold pronouncement and then had to backtrack, jumped to conclusions, ignoring the bleedin’ obvious and almost burned the house down (without the aid of anyone from the alt-right).

Every January, when the new year is ushered in by a mechanical failure of some sort in my household, I tell myself I can fix it even though I know how useless I am with anything involving moving parts.

My few successes in the home repairs field have been sheer flukes. But I never learn from history. If I succeed, the next time the same problem occurs, I am like a dog anticipating walkies, minus the tail-wagging. It is as if I am about to encounter the first walkies of my life. If there is slavering, it is not an encouraging sign.

This time it was the turn of the downstairs loo. After pulling things apart and putting them back together without any noticeable improvement in the cistern’s filling ability, I announced, but not in a Brian Tamaki kind of way, enough was enough! I was done with spending holidays swilling about in the bowels of my cistern. It was time for the whole ancient cistern and loo to be replaced.

It is possible my ability to think rationally when "fixing" the loo was affected by impeded circulation. My trousers, chosen for their stretchiness, were uncomfortably tight. That annoyed me. I’d convinced myself I had been pretty restrained with my Christmas gluttony (excluding the scoffing of a giant bag of salt and vinegar crisps in a sitting even though I do not like that flavour and polishing off a packet of scorched almonds on another occasion).

When I consulted the talking scales, they revealed my post-Christmas weight was the same as my pre-Christmas weight. Not an ideal tonnage, and still involving the lockdown lard, but at least there had been no increase. Baffling.

Days later, I realised the trousers I had been wearing were not the ones I thought I was wearing. The ones chosen had always been too tight, purchased when I was in a hopeful/deluded/Donald frame of mind about my weight. They were not even the same colour as the pair I had confused them with.

A couple of hours after my loud condemnation of the loo, I discovered the toilet cistern was functioning albeit slowly. Such inconsistency. Will I have to rethink my replacement plans?

I moved on to endangering the house by melting the base of the electric kettle when I turned on the stove element it was sitting on. I could brush it off as a deep-seated urge to avoid cooking but going against my Donald lying-like-a-flat-fish tendencies (is that disrespectful of those species?) I must admit I mistook right rear for right front.

Maybe my concentration has been affected by my companion’s behaviour. In recent months he has taken to striding about behind me (as Donald famously did to Hillary Clinton in a presidential debate) while clapping with arms extended Trump-rally style whenever he thinks I need a hurry-up.

He thinks this is funny. I wonder if, much like The Donald, he has taken leave of his senses.

I cannot bear to entertain the thought he might be confusing me with Hillary or even Melania — actually, Melania would have stopped such nonsense long ago with a hefty swipe.

Hopefully, his enthusiasm for this jolly jape will end with the inauguration. I’m praying the new president does not possess some even more annoying quirk for him to copy.

Elspeth McLean is a Dunedin writer.

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