Paris Portingale provides perspective on Trump’s swearing in and Trump’s access to nuclear weapons in the only way Portingale can, by comparing him to his brother-in-law Ray.
Donald Trump was sworn in the other day. This is as president of the United States. The U.S. America. The whole country. He’s in charge of everyone. All three hundred and eighteen odd million of them. Also everything. All the houses and planes and roads. Everything. Bombs. He’s in charge of all the bombs, although I don’t think he’s ever let off a bomb in his life. I don’t think he knows anything about them, which is a bit worrying, being in charge of them all. But then I can’t really see anything going wrong with that because he’s probably got advisers who know all about bombs. Although it would be even more worrying if he made someone in his family his bomb adviser? His wife maybe? I can’t see Donald Trump’s wife knowing much about bombs, if anything.
But President Trump’s a confident man. Very confident. My brother-in-law, Ray, is very confident, even when he’s fart-arseing around with something he doesn’t know anything about . Even if it’s dangerous. Even if it’s dangerous and he knows it’s dangerous. Luckily that’s not the case with Donald Trump. Well, actually that’s not entirely true. I think we’ve already established he knows nothing about bombs and he’s in charge of the bombs. (See above.) In America. All the bombs in America; and he’s in charge of them without knowing anything about them. Even his wife, who I imagine by now would be his bomb adviser, knows nothing about them.
But I think we can comfort ourselves with the thought there wouldn’t be much else he’s in charge of that he doesn’t know anything about. Or understand anything about. Only the bombs. (Again, see above.) The thing with my brother-in-law though, Ray, is that he’ll get something like a chainsaw, something he knows nothing about, and decide he’s going to give it wheels and a motor and operate the thing by remote control, and even though he knows nothing about chainsaws or remote-controlled motorized wheels, what he’ll do is, he’ll get a book on chainsaws and motors. I’ve seen Ray with books on things he wants to modify. He’s got a pile of them in his shed. He’ll leaf through a couple of pages then chuck the thing and say, “Fuck it, I’ll just build the thing.”
I remember this one time he decided, for reasons only known to Ray, he was going to build a submarine in his backyard. I said, “But you don’t know anything about submarines.”
He said, “I’ll get a book on them.”
“On how to build them?”
He hunted around for a couple of days trying to find a book on how to build submarines, mainly in op-shops with secondhand books, because, as Ray said, you’d have to be mad to pay full price when you can get a perfectly good one secondhand. In the end he gave up, saying, “Someone should write a book on how to build submarines, there’d be a lot of money in it.”
Anyway, he spent a week on building his submarine, then left it and went onto something else. The thing’s still in his backyard. It’s like half a dozen washing machine tubs joined together with a pipe coming up in the middle that looks like it might be a periscope.
Now I’m not saying that Donald Trump is anything like my brother-in-law. I mean, he got to be the president of the United States, one of the greatest countries the world has ever known. You can’t be anything like my brother-in-law and do that. But if, on the other hand, in the unlikely event he does turn out to be a bit like my brother-in-law, which, as I’ve said, would be hugely unlikely, I think maybe there just might be a chance we could all be in a lot of trouble. God forbid.