America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
Trump: The First Forty-Eight Hours
8 January 2017
Friday, 20 January 2017, Noon
Donald J. Trump parachuted, from his helicopter, onto the daïs at today’s inauguration, with a pair of underpants on his head—royal blue boxers, with the Trump logo in gold threads—dislocating the shoulder of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who was there to swear him in.
Roberts managed to discharge his duty, before being medevacked to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment; now-President Trump kept the boxers on his head throughout the day’s ceremonies.
Questioned about the possible irrationality of this behavior, Trump Spokesperson Kellyanne Conway responded angrily at an impromptu press conference: “President Trump will never apologize for his staunch defense of Underwear-Americans, a group too-long ridiculed and oppressed, by both the media and the out-of-touch Democratic elites,” before stalking away.
The only response the President himself made, an aside caught by an AP reporter smuggled into the inaugural ball under a cart of—Trump-logoed—tablecloths and napkins, was, “Not bad, huh? Available at fine men’s stores, globally, in a huge, huge—huge!—limited edition, $79.99.”
Presidential Tweet, 21 January 2017, 03:30AM
“US has no further use for Puerto Rico; it should just go away—away, away, away, just GO!”
21 January 2017, 07:00
Whitehouse Chief of Staff Reince Priebus clarified, in a hastily convened first press conference for the new administration that, “Reporting during the campaign that President Trump does not imbibe alcohol was not entirely accurate.”
21 January 2017, Noon
In a Rose Garden press availability with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte which no media representatives were permitted to attend—under cover of some 275, Trump-logoed, umbrellas, outdoor heating supplied by a ring of coal-burning Trump heaters—the president lauded Digong, as he called him, for his accelerating policy of extra-judicial killings of alleged drug dealers.
“He knows,” President Trump said, thumping Duterte on the back. “He knows. Just, absolutely; fabulous; no question; getting it done. A fine American.”
Duterte—rumored to be on President Trump’s short list for police commissioner of New York City: not a position filled by presidents, or occupied by non-citizens—left hurriedly, without comment.
21 January 2017, 13:00PM
Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway, in a YouTube video, seeming a little unsteady on her feet said: “He’s the president. Deal with it! This is why we have elections.”
21 January 2017, 14:00PM
Whitehouse Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, looking stunned, and somewhat as though he had been crying recently, announced to an empty Whitehouse press room that, “By decree, President Trump has decided to give Alaska back to Russia—possibly including some parts of Canada that ‘don’t really matter anyway.’”
A video of his statement was emailed to reporters, who are no longer permitted inside “any local, state, or federal facility,” according to spokesperson Kellyanne Conway, who did not appear on camera.
Presidential Tweet, 21 January 2017, 16:35PM
“Not happy with the Bill of Rights. Absolutely. Out of date, out of touch, huge, huge—huge!—mistake. Gonna fix it.”
Neither Reince Priebus nor Kellyanne Conway were available for comment.
21 January 2017, 17:05PM
When asked, by reporters, for a response to the president’s opinions on the Constitution, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan ran into a nearby Domino’s Pizza and refused to come out of the bathroom; at closing time, the Domino’s manager reported, Speaker Ryan was still there.
“We’re uh, keeping the wi-fi on for The Speaker,” he added as he locked up the store. “Government business and such.”
Presidential Tweet, 22 January 2017, 02:15AM
“I am just so, so, so, so tired of France. Their disrespect is just huge, huge—huge!—who bails them out? Us. Huge, huge—huge!—burden. Not much upside. Jus’ sayin’. And champagne? I can do Long Island champagne. Better believe it!”
22 January 2017, 07:00AM
National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn, announced that, “As I speak, we have commenced a series of drone strikes on certain neighborhoods in London, Paris, and Berlin. The US government will no longer tolerate the harboring of terrorists by so-called allies. Gonna get ‘er done.”
An apparently mostly-empty bottle of gin dangling from her right hand—and, medical analysts have confirmed, “swaying in a manner suggestive of inebriation”—presidential spokesperson Kellyanne Conway announced on Snapchat: “I thought he was kidding! How could you possibly not—? I needed a job and I had bills to pay and— This was never— this was never supposed to... I thought it was just a joke,” as she fell to her knees, sobbing.
She held onto the bottle of gin, however, medical analysts were quick to point out.
Don Unger was born at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital and has spent more than fifty years now touring medical facilities across Europe and the Americas. He has published about thirty short stories, a handful of poems, hundreds of journalistic pieces, and done a few dozen radio commentaries for local NPR affiliates. He writes the occasional unpublishable novel as well—one of which was his MFA thesis. He was disappointed to discover that his PhD did not earn him a prescription pad. He accepts that writing is clear evidence of mental illness; he also understands that any relief writing provides is symptomatic and temporary. He has had a headache since 1990.