We had a great Thanksgiving at the home of Sekhnet’s family, a very warm and interactive bunch. It actually made us all feel thankful, including the great feature of their home being only 18.3 miles away and therefore not our usual hours in traffic drive for family, vegetable side dishes and dessert on turkey day. Toward the end of the day I was sitting in an alcove with a couple around my age and noticed that the pillow behind the woman’s head had little black eyes and a black nose. The eyes blinked. It was the family dog. Her husband had been absentmindedly petting the same dog when we chatted earlier. She began singing the praises of this affectionate pipe cleaner of a dog. The dog was indeed a wonderful creature.
I told her Ricky Gervais’s great bit about dogs being better than people. Gervais is an atheist, but he says that when he dies, if he finds out he’s wrong, and there is a God, the first question he’s going to ask God is “why did you make chocolate deadly for dogs, you bastard?”
“Ricky Gervais is an atheist?” she said, and then we got into a conversation about Netflix, which is where I saw the routine. They don’t subscribe to Netflix. A friend had recently told her about a BBC documentary she had seen on Netflix about three generations of Trump and said it was great. It was. I began describing some highlights, in the most neutral possible way, as it became clearer and clearer that the woman was horrified by our fake reality TV president. The man sat on the couch across from us glaring silently.
This appeared to be shaping into an instance of the Thanksgiving day cliche in our tribal America: a few drinks, a big meal, a violent argument about politics that tears another family down the middle. I watched the man glare on the couch across from us while his wife got more and more animated in her denunciations of Trump. In the next room at least two of the family members there had actually voted for the vile lying psychopath. I was aware of being dangerously close to the high voltage third rail of American life in our third century. Finally the woman said “Gary did work for Trump, tell ‘im,” and the glaring husband spoke.
He’d been one of the contractors on Trump Tower and had been screwed by Trump, during the course of the job and at the end. “He’s a bully,” he began and then described the details of what a scumbag he was to work for. “We had a contract, laying out everything we had to do, the prices, every detail. Working for him was a nightmare, because he treated everybody like his slaves, then when the work was done he just goes ‘ah, I don’t like this work so much, I’m only going to give you…’ and he pays pennies on the dollar. You want to spend thousands taking him to court, be his guest, he loves nothing better than sending an army of lawyers after workers he screwed.”
I agreed that the man is no damned good and referred to the many businesses in Atlantic City that had literally gone under after Trump stiffed them as his imbecilically self-toppled casino empire came crashing down. They’d been delivering steaks, dry cleaning, maintenance, electrical work for years, extending mountains of credit to our deadbeat grifter-in-chief and then — poof!
He nodded, glaring. still angry decades after working for the man who is now, by a narrowly engineered Electoral College win, the president of these disgraced and divided United States. What can one really say, in the end, about an insatiable, broken, destructive person like this scary clown with the nuclear codes as his last card to play if all goes badly for him?
We concluded our chat and I excused myself to go into the next room and got a cup of coffee, which I drank sitting near a smiling woman who had voted for the man who promised to make America great again, and saved them a bundle on their taxes.