Monday, July 3, 2017

YOU DID NOT KNOW? "Just as Trump was getting ready to give up, his eyes fell on Hershel Parker’s monumental biography of Herman Melville."


March 12, 2012
My Rejected Shouts and Murmurs Story
copyright 2012 by Andy Jaysnovitch
It all started innocently enough. It was the morning after the Super Bowl and advertising whiz Donny Deutsch was on The Today Show brainstorming new uses for old slogans. Everybody just loved his favorite — “Things Go Better With Trump.” The Donald, watching his pal from his Fifth Avenue aerie while he proofed his latest book, Genghis Khan, My Brother My Mentor: Negotiate Like a Mongol Warrior, gently handed Melania his Limoges tea cup and sprang into action. Knowing that Coca-Cola was on the ropes fighting the junk drinks tax, Trump was able to quickly forge a deal to use the new slogan — so quickly in fact that he was able to do it before The Today Show had left the air. Hearing about this, Matt Lauer and Ann Curry stood there speechless while Al Roker uttered the words that would ultimately lead to the downfall of the mighty Trump empire, a crash that would make the fall of the Roman Empire look like a minor dust-up. And all it took was a new Rokerism: “Well, I guess it’s a Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump world!”
In Hollywood, the moguls were still nestled in their beds when Roker’s words shook the earth, but in Trump-like style, they soon sprang into action. The head of MGM, or what passes for it these days, decided to rerelease It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World as It’s a Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump World, and he called on James Cameron to pull off this audacious feat. Cameron spent six days and six nights holed up in an editing room in Burbank and when he emerged at dawn on the seventh day, he triumphantly held aloft his workprint. Under security normally reserved only for heads of state, the police parted the sea of paparazzi and soon Cameron and his film were jetting eastward for the premiere at Radio City Music Hall.
In New York, a mob of anxious moviegoers that stretched all the way to the George Washington Bridge had been lining up ever since word of the project had been leaked in the trades. In dramatic fashion (or was it Cameron?), the city was swept by a monumental thunderstorm that lit up the night sky brighter than a thousand klieg lights. Amazingly, only three people were trampled to death when the impatient crowd rushed the theatre. The film proved to be such a resounding success that MGM immediately announced that they had inked Cameron to helm a sequel in which Trump would play all the roles himself except for the irreplaceable Larry Storch character that would be played by his avatar. Not to be outdone, George Lukas quietly parted ways with Harrison Ford and quickly announced his upcoming Indiana Trump and the Search For Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin, a Disney coproduction.
It was here though that things started to go off the rails. While Trump basked in the afterglow of an adoring public, a mechanic from Massapequa, shrewdly sensing the value of the Trump mystique, was the first to change his name to Donald J. Trump. Then a story broke about a tattoo artist from Tottenville who had managed to parlay his new Donald Trump name change into a business so successful that he was able to afford an apartment in one of the real Trump’s residential castles. It was only a studio though, but it was a start.
And now the floodgates were opened. Everyone quickly realized how easy it was to change your name. In the US, there were eleven relatively easy steps, in the usually stodgy UK, only two! — just change your name, and start using it! Can you believe those Brits?
Within days, seemingly half the men on Facebook had changed their name to Donald J. Trump. Trump, for his part, did what any self-respecting emperor of the universe would do. He sued. It quickly became obvious though that there weren’t enough lawyers in the universe to prosecute these name stealers. Especially if he only employed lawyers that weren’t named Donald J. Trump because lawyers too had started changing their names. Predictably, it was only a matter of time before just changing your name to Trump wasn’t quite enough. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, there were more Trump impersonators than Elvis impersonators. In a sign of deference to the King though, only a small fraction of the Elvis impersonators changed their name, and even those that did, decided that they’d still rather look like Elvis.
Meanwhile, it was getting pretty hard to tell the genuine Trump anymore. When Random House discovered sixty-seven pallets of unsold copies of The Art of the Deal in a warehouse in Jersey, there was no shortage of Trumps who showed up to collect the loot.
And the name changing wave was now going worldwide. There were Duncan Trumps in Scotland and Yuri Trumps in Red Square. And, in a move that truly wounded him, Ivanka decided to change her name to Donatella (just call me Don for short!).
Truly, Trump had never faced a challenge like this in his life. Of course, there was the terrible pressure of trying to look good on TV which itself was no small achievement. Trump noted early on though that the camera was not his friend and shrewdly outsmarted it with a sizeable donation to the Film Editor’s Benevolent Fund.
For his part, Trump knew that the game was up when he spied his five year old son, Barron, on Entertainment Tonight outlining to Billy Bush his plans to break ground on competing projects in Atlantic City, Jersey City, and Dubai. As the piece was ending, it looked like the kid intentionally turned sideways. What was that, a tattoo? Trump blinked — he couldn’t believe his eyes! Where had he failed the lad? A competitor? No problem. But a tattoo? Wasn’t his son listening to him when he told Larry King that his kids would be tattooless? Didn’t he read his book, Townhouses Not Tattoos. And what miscreant would tattoo a five year old kid anyway? When he got through with whoever was responsible for this, they’d wish they were facing the Mongol hordes instead.
He rewound the piece and looked closer. It was a tattoo and it seemed to spell out HILTON. Are you kidding me? Had the kid changed his name to Barron Hilton? Trump couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Contrary to popular belief, he hadn’t named his kid after the famed hotelier. In truth, unlike his apprentices who hardly seemed to give naming a second thought, Trump had agonized over the kid’s name for weeks, finally deciding to name him after a series of children’s books that recounted the fantastic adventures of a character named Baron Trump. His grandfather had read them on the ship when he immigrated to America and had then given them to his son who had then passed them on to his young apprentice, Donald.
Trump, a man always in control of his emotions, a man not easily given to displays of anger, reluctantly ordered his housekeeper to smash a few dishes just to let the troops know of his displeasure. When this was done, Trump thought Barron actually looked like he was snickering. His disappointment in his pint-sized progeny was tinged with a soupcon of pride though. The kid was a contrarian at only five years old! He had presciently called the downfall of the once mighty Trump name. Still, this kid was going to be trouble. It was painfully obvious that he hadn’t read Ivanka’s book where she recounted the soul searching she went through when she contemplated piercing her navel. How could he punish Barron? Take away his apartment? Make him wear off-the-rack clothing? Could he fire the kid?
All this name changing couldn’t have come at a worse time. Now that Trump had decided to run for President, he was afraid there would be some confusion among the voting populace. At first his run for the White House was only a ratings ploy to give a boost to his Celebrity Apprentice, but Trump soon became convinced he could win the highest office in the land. Some might call it sappy, but he programmed his new wake-up music to Dan Fogelberg’s Run For the Roses. He had little trouble visualizing himself in the Rose Garden so he started to work variations of the word rose into every speech he made. Only one variant was off limits, that of the scrappy former talk show host who he detested.
Trump wasn’t sure but he thought that maybe all these newly minted Trumps might prove to be an asset rather than a liability. Wouldn’t they be loyal to the name and rather naturally pull his lever in the voting booth? To test his theory, he sent his driver into the wilds of Pennsylvania to find someone who was actually named Trump before all this nonsense started. In a matter of hours, Trump found himself face to face with a man who looked like he had come straight from the jungle. The other Donald J. Trump sitting before him was a parsnip farmer from Pottstown who had borne the famous name for twenty years before the developer was even out of diapers. Never one to beat around the bush, Trump got right to the point. “I brought you here today to find out if you’d vote for me for President.” The grizzled old farmer eyed him warily. “Where do you stand on parsnip subsidies?” the farmer spat at him. “I’m not sure I’ve ever had a parsnip,” Trump said, realizing instantly that he had made a rare mistake. The farmer couldn’t contain his displeasure. “And you call yourself presidential material?” Trump decided to remain calm and reason with the old guy. “Well, let’s see. We got rid of the guy with two first names. The guy named after a cave dwelling amphibian is history. And seriously, how long do you expect a guy named after a nuthouse to last?” “You know his name is Santorum,” the farmer countered. Trump exploded. “He’s crazier than Gary Busey! Why I’m the only guy with a normal name! Don’t tell me you’re going to vote for a guy named after a piece of athletic equipment!” The famer gave him a withering look. “I thought you just endorsed him. Didn’t you say that he’s tough and smart?” “Well, he is,” Trump shot back. “But I’m far tougher and far smarter. I still might have to run.” Then Trump grinned. “Just be glad that I’m not growing parsnips. If I was, the Trump parsnip would be renowned the world over.” Suddenly, a ghostly look swept the farmer’s face. “Now, you’ve really scared me. I think right after the election, I’m gonna move into my cave!” Trump looked thunderstruck. “Cave? You have a cave?” Trump asked, and here the craggy farmer looked like he was eyeing the village idiot. “Are you telling me a big-shot real estate fellow like yourself doesn’t even own a cave? President, my ass!”
Now the tumblers in Trump’s head were spinning like mad. After promising to eat his share of parsnips, he had the farmer shown out and he soon began buying up caves. Within an hour, he had options on every cave on the eastern seaboard and as night fell his agents were moving westward. By dawn, Trump had every cave in the country tied up.
Trump soon found he had little interest in the Presidency. He’d heard that the Rose Garden was often beset by swirling winds that would wreak havoc with his hair. There were no unkind air currents in caves though, and besides his hair looking good, caves would protect him in case this madly spinning sphere of ours was in as much trouble as it appeared to be in. Now that he had the market cornered in caves, there was only one piece of unfinished business to tidy up — to take revenge on all those name-stealers. While mere mortals would have folded here, Trump was just beginning to fight. With the instincts of the champion he was, Trump retreated to his stately library to mine the wisdom of the ancients. Sadly, he quickly discovered that he had failed to stock his library well. There was no Aristotle, no Plato, no Socrates. He did however discover a book by his pal, Donny Deutsch. As he pulled it from the shelf though, he winced. Even in its hand tooled leather binding, the book offended him. How can you title a book Often Wrong, Never in Doubt. He made a mental note that a future project for the apprentices could be renaming the book. In its present state, the title alone was enough to get you fired. Not a hypocrite, he winced again as he saw the title of one of his books. It was unseemly for a man of his stature to lay claim to a book with a title like that, but there it was staring him in the face — Think Big and Kick Ass. The apprentices could fix that one as well.
Just as Trump was getting ready to give up, his eyes fell on Hershel Parker’s monumental biography of Herman Melville. How it had found its way into his library, Trump couldn’t say, but one thing was for sure — he wasn’t prepared to read all two thousand pages of it. At first he thought of assigning it as a project for the apprentices, but he wasn’t sure those dolts could read anything more challenging than James Patterson, so rather reluctantly he dragged the books over to his favorite chair and settled in for a quick skim. Trump had spent years nurturing his brand, growing it from a tiny seed into a giant redwood. Now it was a pile of sawdust. His brand was in tatters. The branding problem was clearly Trump’s white whale. He wondered what the ever resourceful Melville would do if he were in his shoes? Trump began to skim the epic story of the great writer and the pesky whale, but a man unaccustomed to frittering away even a millisecond of his valuable time soon had a better idea. He sat still as a yogi and willed himself into a transcendental state. Just before he lost consciousness, he spied the harbor of New Bedford, and soon thereafter his senses were assaulted with the stench of an ocean positively brimming with whales. Time passed and when Trump finally stirred again, he noted that lengthening late afternoon shadows were falling over Central Park and that the weird whale smell had almost completely disappeared. Suddenly he knew just what to do. As Trump put the Melville books back on the shelf, his eyes fell for a moment on another book, Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon. Trump beamed. First the caves, and now this. Trump couldn’t believe his good fortune. Most men got one good idea their whole life if they were lucky. Good ideas were just elbowing each other for attention in Trump’s brain. Where some men just saw lettering on a book’s spine, Trump saw his whole life stretched out before him. He truly was the luckiest and smartest man on this wildly spinning sphere.
He called his pal Donny and hastily arranged a meeting. As his limo sped the three blocks to Central Park, Trump made a flurry of phone calls and a fistful of business deals that would have taken a mere mortal months to transact. Trump finally felt in control again. With darkness descending on the city, Donald and Donny wandered around the park with nary a second glance from formerly curious New Yorkers. They waxed rhapsodic about what a forgotten pleasure the park was and how they’d have to do it again soon, their laughs saying, “Yeah, sure, in a million years!”
His empire in ruins and his brand hopelessly tarnished, Donald J. Trump seemed in surprisingly good spirits. Thinking he would have to console him, Donny was prepared to cheer up his best pal by telling him he could get in on the ground floor on Unbranding, then make a seamless segue to Rebranding. Deutsch was surprised to find that it was Trump though that was doing the reassuring. “I know how to solve my problem,” Trump said confidently. “I sat down to search my soul. Nothing. Then I asked myself what the great Khan would do. Unfortunately, everything carried jail time. That’s when I hit upon the answer. I’ll do a talk show and I can reinvent my brand — make it stronger than it ever was.” Then he glanced over at his favorite pal and said generously, “I was going to call it Tea With Trump, but I changed my mind. We’ll do the show together. Let’s call it The Two Dons.”
Before Deutsch could let loose with one of his million dollar smiles, Trump fixed him with a steely glare that would have made a Mongol warrior’s heart turn to ice. “And then I’m gonna harpoon every last one of those sons-of-bitches that stole my name!” With that, a cheshire grin spread across Trump’s face and he wordlessly pointed up at a full moon that hung so low in the sky it looked like you could almost touch it. The earth seemed to stand still for a moment, then wobble a bit on its axis. “I just bought a billion acres, and closed a deal with Richard Branson to take me up. I’ll be breaking ground before the new loser is in the White House. President? Who wants to be President? I can be Emperor of the Moon! ” And with that, Trump let loose with one of his trademark smiles, a smile that lit up the night sky like …. well, like a thousand, million, billion klieg lights. Why, it was reportedly so bright that even the Man in the Moon winced.

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