Boffo Numbers, Baby!

This column begins with a quiz.  See if you can correctly answer the following multiple-choice question.

Q:  If you have a group photograph of Mike Flynn, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Anthony Scaramucci and Steve Bannon, you have a picture of:

  1. A basketball team that consistently loses to the Washington Generals.
  2. The cast of the upcoming television reality series, “Big Brother: The Clown Car.”
  3. Five classified ads rejected by “Grindr.”
  4. Five examples of Donald Trump man-crushes that ended badly.
  5. All of the above.

If you answered “E, all of the above,” you are, of course, correct. 


Abby Normal

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Ah! Very good. Would you mind telling me whose brain I DID put in?
Igor: Then you won’t be angry?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: I will NOT be angry.
Igor: Abby someone.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [pause, then] Abby someone. Abby who?
Igor: Abby… Normal.
                     –  “Young Frankenstein,” (1974)

On August 30, 2016, the day after Gene Wilder died, the Washington Post published a tribute by cartoonist Tom Toles that shows Wilder, suitcase in hand, running up to St. Peter at Heaven’s Gate and exclaiming, “Tell him somebody put an abby normal brain into a presidential candidate!”  It was a heartful tribute to Wilder, as well as cunning political satire.  It was funny and easy to laugh at, since Hillary Clinton took a commanding lead in the polls just a week earlier and it seemed obvious she would trounce Trump in November and send him back to “The Apprentice.”  Then, lightning struck and the monster with the “abby normal” brain came to life and took up residence in the White House.


Welcome to the Pence Presidency

 The pellet with the poison’s in the flagon with the dragon; the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.
                     – Danny Kaye, “The Court Jester,” 1955

“Laughable and absurd.”  That’s how Vice-President Mike Pence described a report in the New York Times that he was conducting a shadow presidential campaign focused on the 2020 election.  He denounced the Times article as “disgraceful and offensive to me, my family and our entire team.”  “The allegations in this article are categorically false,” he protested, “and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this administration.”  Suggesting the Times information was – you guessed it – “fake news,” he tweeted, “my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the president’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020.”  He wrapped up with what passes as a rhetorical flourish on Planet Pence: “Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd.”

He is, of course, lying.


The Scaramucci Putsch

             Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
                                        – Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” 1975

Anthony Scaramucci (“The Mooch”) was either the most obsequious sycophant since Waylon Smithers, Jr., or a stealth assassin.  While the former is harmless, albeit a bit sad, the latter may be the reason new White House Chief of Staff, Retired General John Kelly, ushered him out the door before the stains of his tenure had dried.

If Donald Trump’s head split open and his id jumped out, it would look and sound like The Mooch.