Folks, given the financial troubles of our great state, we all need to have a laugh. Just imagine:
It’s early on April 21, 2017, the birds are chirping and sunlight is streaming into the Oval Office of President Donald J. Trump. (Remember, this is make-believe. …)
His advisers, White House staff and his wife, Melania, have gathered for the morning ritual of raising their right hands and repeating: “I do solemnly swear that I will work hard all day and night to do my level best for Donald Trump.” He flashes a quick smile before they dash off to their assignments.
This is a special day in the White House because the president is waiting to see former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump doesn’t care much for the former governor because of Jindal’s attacks on “The Donald,” even calling him an “unstable narcissist.”
But Trump holds some affection for the failed state leader because Jindal’s endorsement of former Republican adversary Marco Rubio was a sure death pill to Rubio’s dying campaign that Trump would have paid to assist.
Then there is Putin. Trump is a huuuuge fan of Putin. He repeats it to himself. “I am a huuuuge Putin fan.”
Jindal opens his meeting bragging about how he likes Trump’s intimidating public persona. “We are alike, Mr. President. Look, I scared Louisiana legislators so much during my two terms that they are still afraid to propose or vote for legislation I might not like,” Jindal boasts. “You can use a man like me.”
The Donald is not impressed. “You said some pretty nasty things about me, Bobby.”
Jindal, laughing: “Come on, Donald, I say a lot of crazy stuff to get attention. Here’s a hoot: I still tell people that I left Louisiana’s financial situation better than I found it.”
Trump nods. “Yes, I must admit, that’s pretty nutso, Bobby. I know about Louisiana, and the deficit there is huge. I mean huuuuge.”
“And get this, Donald. Every time something went horribly in the state, and that happened a lot, I blamed it on Obama, and my people bought it,” Jindal says.
“Okay, Bobby, I’ll see what I can do,” Trump answers.
Putin is escorted into the Oval Office. The two world leaders shake hands. Trump appears agitated.
“Vladimir, you have small hands. As you know, I was challenged about that by a little guy, and I had to clear up that small hands and the you-know-what comparison. Please tell me it’s not true about you. I mean, you are the leader of a superpower.”
Putin is startled, but manages a smile and says, “That’s not what they say in my country. Our equivalent is ‘small minds.’ ” Trump laughs initially, but, on second thought, is confused and drops the subject.
“Look Valdimir, I’m having a hard time right now. We are building a $25 billion border fence to keep illegal aliens out. I’m trying to deport 11 million illegal aliens, and I can’t get it done. It’s not going as planned. And I understand you are having some problems with folks in your neck of woods. What do you do with your opponents?
“We kill them,” Putin says.
Just then, a White House staffer knocks on the door and has a flushed look on his face.
“Sir, Mr. Jindal,” the staffer says, “is standing at the podium in your briefing area speaking gibberish, to no one in particular, attacking an Obama State-of-the-Union speech from seven years ago. Our people are scared.”
“Let him finish,” Trump said. “What an unstable narcissist.”
After a few more minutes with Putin, Trump ends the meeting. He leans over. “Mr. President, would you raise your right hand and say, ‘I solemnly swear that I like Donald Trump’? It’s for a selfie.”
Putin does not address Trump’s request, but shakes his head as he exits the room. When he’s gone, Trump says, “That Putin is such a disappointment. He’s low-energy. What a looooser.”
His wife enters the room. Everything is quiet.
An anxious Trump walks toward her and breathlessly asks, “You don’t think I have a small mind, do you?”
Edward Pratt, a south Louisiana freelance writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.