“He built the wall, right?” “No, he built a fence.”

Photo: Anthony Moretti 6Jan2018

The scene: A backyard conversation (with social distancing being practiced, of course).

The date: June 6, 2020

The participants:
-Rip van Winkle, who fell asleep on Jan. 21, 2017, and woke up yesterday
-Joe Smith, a friend of van Winkle’s

“He built the wall, right?”

“No, he built a fence.”

“But Mexico paid for it.”

“No, the American people did.”

“Well, I guess he can say it made the country safer.”

“Um, he built a fence around the White House.”

“He…what?”

“Yup. Maybe two miles of it.”

“Why?”

“Because of the protests.”

“The protests?”

“About Black Lives Matter and the death of another Black man by a White cop.”

“We’re still arguing BLM? No politician has done anything?”

“It’s only gotten worse since you took your nap.”

“Wait. I need to catch up. We’re still arguing BLM, and he built a fence around the White House.”

“Here’s what you’ve missed, in, like two sentences: He cares about the economy and the religious right. Our allies think he’s a lunatic.”

“He says he’s religious?”

“I’ll show you some pictures later. Surrounded by a whole bunch of them praying over him at the White House. Holding a Bible in another picture.”

“He’s holding a Bible.”

“Like he’s never held one before.”

“THAT’S BECAUSE HE’S NEVER HELD ONE BEFORE.”

“Exactly. So, let me back up. A deranged white cop killed a Black man about 10 days ago. Protests have erupted all over the country. Trump screamed about law and order. A few people were tear gassed and shot with rubber bullets so he could have a photo op of him holding a Bible at the church near the White House.”

“What the…”

“No, wait. Did you see what he said yesterday?”

“Sorry, I needed to clean up a bit. Three-plus years…you know, you and your house get a little rank.”

“He talked about a great unemployment report and said that even the man killed by the cop would be smiling down from Heaven.”

“Oy. The economy is good? Uh, oh, he’s going to get re-elected.”

“Uh, you missed the pandemic.”

“The what?”

“The pandemic. A coronavirus basically (expletive) with the whole world.”

“When?”

“Started late last year. Eventually got to the States. Crashed the economy; 40-some-odd-million out of work. You know who talked about dangerous drugs for a few days, and he said he took one of them for a short time.”

“But it’s over now?”

“Not really. Almost all the states shut down for a couple of months. Unemployment is still over 13 percent. Schools closed, so students were taking their classes online and through video meetings.“

“No teacher loved that.”

”No doubt. People are still dying all over the world. And a second wave of coronavirus is likely in the fall. Things are better, but there’s still no vaccine.”

“So, I slept for 3-1/2 years. The wall at the border became a fence around the White House. Blacks are still being killed by cops. There’s been a pandemic. The economy went to hell. Americans are getting tear gassed. And he’s still president.”

“The impeachment effort failed.”

“I don’t even want to know. Hey, I’ve got an idea. You and I need to go to the ballpark, grab a couple hot dogs, a couple brews. It’ll be…what’s that look on your face mean?”

“No baseball right now. Wasn’t safe to have people close to each other with the pandemic, so it shut down.”

“But you said things are getting better. So, they ought to be…there’s that look on your face again.”

“The owners and players are arguing over how long the season should be and how much the players should get paid.”

“That’s it. I’ve had enough of this (expletive). I’m going back to sleep.”

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