As visions of swirling sugar plums began to wind down, and elves took their well-deserved long winter's naps, the White House Grinch still was tirelessly at work, axing his officials, cabinet and staff.
As of New Year's Day, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)—the largest humanitarian organization in the world—declared that the mass of displaced Trump officials and staff were "among the world's largest refugee populations." Tent cities, its spokesman noted, "are being created to house them, and food earmarked for Yemeni children is being diverted to the more-deserving victims of Trump's vicious purge."
But, folks, the news isn't all bad. In an unprecedented move to ensure a Happy New Year, Trump denounced Obama's overly restrictive environmental regulations, and assured Americans, "What the last president did was a disgrace. My commitment is to ensure that adequate breathable lead will always be available as a key component of America's fresh air, and the future leaders of the EPA will just have to remember to mind their own business." He also made a rare admission: "I take full credit for the crash of the Dow. It was far too high, so, as your president, I took it upon myself to make a little correction. Did Obama ever do that? Not on your life!" (Now that's what you call "ownership.")
Much like the deranged cousin of the Energizer Bunny, the batteries that power the (mostly mechanical) Orange Raccoon-Bandit Buffoon were showing no signs of dying. Just when the festive drumbeat's cadence had all but faded, his energy was magically regenerated, allowing him to work on new ways to horrify the cringing U.S. populace, offend the leaders of the world, and spread sheer terror among his most faithful supporters.
Just in time for the holidays, he also announced U.S. withdrawal from Syria. It might have been a welcome Christmas message for tired soldiers, but it was an act of throwing the Kurds under the Greyhound Bus and grinding them up to re-pave bomb-damaged asphalt roads. (In response to the rising din of displeasure, Trump backed off a bit, swallowing at least some of his words in an appropriate show of reconsideration.) To his credit, he finally visited troops in Iraq. And, out of genuine deference, and as a message acknowledging Trump's deity status, no Iraqi official felt worthy to meet with him, and finally advised him, "Take the crusaders with you when you go."
Despite his enthusiasm for hurting and terrorizing Americans and their friends, the overgrown toddler-president still possessed a bit of Christmas magic. Although the Secret Service opposed the idea, Trump made a wish they could not talk him out of. It had been a family tradition dating back to the first U.S. Trumps, so, after days of whining and tantrums, Donnie Boy's head security man relented grudgingly. "OK," he submitted, "we'll take you to see Santa."
Insisting on his traditional visit with St. Nick, the Trump's entourage descended on Macy's in Manhattan. Clueless on the $1.8 million cost of the Air Force One flight, security measures and the motorcade expenses, the child-king stood in line with the other drippy-nosed toddlers. After a short wait, and temporarily pacified with a Tootsie Pop, he made it to the front of the line and leaped into Santa's lap.
"Ow! Hey, watch it," Santa howled. "Gotta watch the jewels, you know. What's your name?"
"Well, Donnie, have you been a good little boy this year?" Donnie's head dropped. He smiled sheepishly and silently made sure that his fingers were crossed. Then he answered—a resounding, "Yes, Santa. I've been very, very, amazingly good."
Santa turned to the Secret Service "parent," shielding his mouth and whispering, "How much budget are we working with?" "A lot," the agent responded.
"OK, my dear little boy, what are you wishing for Christmas this year?"
"I want a little Lionel choo-choo train; I want a big parade; but, most of all, I want a wall."
"Sorry, kid," Santa lamented, "can't do it this year. Consider the train yours—maybe even a parade. But the wall ..." Santa left his sentence dangling.
Donnie launched into an angry tantrum, kicking the buckle from Santa's belt and screaming, "You're not the real Santa!" Then, angrily, he pulled the rubber-band tie from the jolly man's beard. "See, I knew it wasn't real," he exclaimed. In the resulting scuffle, Santa retaliated, snatching the orange mop from the president's head.
"See," said Santa, "two can play that game."
"I knew," Donnie said, "that you weren't the real McCoy ... Hey, wait a second, I know you. What the hell are you doing here, Mike? OMG! A Santa at Macy's! I haven't even fired you yet. You're still my VP."
"Well, Donald, a guy can't play it too safe, and after what I've seen in the past, I figured I needed to develop some useful work skills and at least find a few prospective employers—just in case. Ho, Ho, Ho."
The author is a former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He resides in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and one mongrel dog. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org