Category Archives: Humor

Days of the Donald

Donald Trump is a character right out of As the World Turns or one of the other soaps that have been recycling the same kitschy plots since someone discovered he could use radio waves for something other than sending SOS signals.

Trump is the ambitious young surgeon with the year-round tan working his way through the nubile nursing staff with cold efficiency. Then he’s the middle-aged top-man-in-his field with two divorces under his belt and a libido that won’t quit, the aging but still feral fox in the hen house.

Later on he turns up as head of surgery, cruel to subordinates who don’t kowtow, ruthless to those who do, scourge of any hot RN’s who don’t see him as Zeus and themselves as this-is-my-lucky day milk cows, married to a rich socialite twenty years his junior, bane of feckless interns and an overworked Mexican maintenance staff, sublimating his still smoldering libido into an all-out campaign to destroy the talented young cardio man even the moth-eaten receptionist has a crush on.

Finally, the Old Man’s in what may be his most challenging role. Demoted from chief to emeritus, voted out by a hospital board that can’t afford to keep shelling out millions for his faux-pas in the OR and his long reach in the back stairwell the younger nurses use instead of the slow elevators, he has one last trick up the sleeve of his bespoke Savile Row blazer.

He may have three malpractice court appearances just this week; he may have caused the director of nursing, a woman the same age as himself and showing every year of it, damn her, to take a spill and fracture her hip when she told him he no longer had any authority to tell her what to do. But he isn’t ready yet to hang up his gold-plated stethoscope. He’ll show them all he’s cleverer than any ten Doctor Pretty Boys. And he’ll have the last laugh on those gutless traitors on the board who back in the day used to jump to attention when he stepped foot in the VIP lounge. If they think he’ll just take their gold watch and slink away to his three-million-dollar shore-front property in the Hamptons, they have another think coming.

We love this stuff. The cornier the better. Men have sports, women soap operas (though probably as many men watch them as women), not to mention the rom-coms, sitcoms and other Hollywood fantasies we use as wannabe templates for our uneventful lives. Males pretend we’re doing the caveman thing when we throw a steak on the grill and pop open a cold one in the parking lot of MegaCorp Stadium before the big game. But the off-field drama of the ballplayers’ lives is just as important to us as the manly mayhem on the field. Will the new tight end miss today’s showdown because he clocked his pregnant wife bigtime when she burned the toast the morning after last week’s loss? Will our slugging first-baseman be able to play after taking one in the jaw last night, and – more to the point — will our guys retaliate in kind like they should?

Now we have the sudsy drama of Donald Trump. Trump is the Everyman slob who lives our impossible dream – babes, money, power…the frigging presidency! He’s crude, like us. He’s overweight, like us. He talks not so good, also like us. He’s not the brightest bulb in the box, also like us. Sure, he’s a billionaire, unlike us. He’s had thousand-dollar whores, we should be so lucky. He gives us an image of ourselves we can embrace, a bozo with a gold toilet, a walking Big Mac, foul-mouthed and pig-ignorant. Like us. Minus the gold toilet.

We can’t be like that smartass fancy-pants Obama. And God knows we don’t want to be the bitch-from-hell Hilary. Dubya turned out to be even fecklesser than we expected. But the Donald is just right. He calls a shithole country what it is – a shithole country. He’s not afraid to say out loud that dagos are druggies and rapists. And he’s right, we would turn a blind eye if he chose to square things up with some dude via a magnum .44 on Upper 5th. Hell, he could tell us to storm the Capitol and we’d do it. In fact, we did.

He knows facts are just opinions. Wrong opinions if they aren’t his, because he’s a natural genius. That’s not boasting, it is what it is (his uncle was a doctor). Trump knows as much about science stuff as any egghead PhD. He understands leaders of foreign countries better than the entire State Department put together.

And everybody loves him. They can’t help themselves. The illegals who work on his golf courses and scrub pots in Mara Largo love him. Putin loves him. Boris Johnson loved him. Even that French guy who married his high school teacher (okay, she was hot back then, but why would a good-looking guy like that tie himself down with an old bag?), yeah, even Macron loves him.

And Trump’s stayed true to his roots. No fancy Upper East Side accent for him. A Queens guy through and through. Ever hear him say “schmuck”? Chuckie Cheese Schumer couldn’t hit that final “k” with more pizzazz. And he throws “schlong” and other New Yorkisms around like he grew up behind the counter at Zabar’s.

Come to think of it, his life could be a prime-time reality show as-is. Days of the Donald. No need for script writers. Just hand out copies of his tweets and news conferences. His off-the-cuff one-liners can keep the plot going for two seasons on their own. Let the actors ad lib.

In fact, let Trump play the leading role himself. No rehearsals. Do it live, and watch the ratings soar. He’s available most days, at least until the 2024 campaign gets into high gear. Only, this time the well-preserved twice-face-lifted head of surgery nails that wunderkind cardio bastard with a wicked right cross live on-air (you could use a stand-in for that bit) and the sweet young things in those hip-hugger uniforms wise up to who their real daddy is.

Hey, Trump could have been a great writer himself.

We’re lucky he went into politics. Who reads anymore anyhow.

And It Came to Pass (or maybe not)…

(Transcribed and translated from the original Ur-text by Thomas J. Hubschman, B.A.)

And it came to pass that a great Plague was upon the land. And the people were sore distressed. And their leaders knew not what to do, for the chief among them had declared the affliction was of nought and would pass betimes.

And the chief’s physicians were confused and did dispute amongst themselves, some saying the plague was the wrath of the Lord and to resist it was sin, and others that it was a test of the Lord’s gift of the wisdom he had vouchsafed unto his people to cure themselves.

And, lo, there arose among these latter a servant of the people. And he said that the people must wear a cloth upon their countenance and do social-distancing. But the Chief did mock him, and some of the people mocked him as well. They took up arms and defied the servant of the people, saying, Nay, but we shall not obey! For are we not free men to do as we wish and come and go as we please?

And the Chief said that the defiant ones spoke true and that the venom of the asp and the adder would cure the affliction, for so it had appeared to him in a dream. But the people knew not whom to believe. Some said foreigners had brought the disease upon them, others that they themselves had offered impure sacrifice to the Lord and the plague was His punishment thereof.

And as they did contend amongst themselves, many died and many more fell ill. The old did fall away as leaves from the trees. But the young were spared the worst. And some did say this was the will of the Lord, for the old had lived their lives and the young had not yet and the dying of the old was the will of the Lord and was good for the kingdom and that now the people must go about their business as before.

And those who did believe this prepared to do so. The sellers of the slaughtered sacrifices and the sellers of figs and dates and barley did return to their accustomed places in the markets and the young men came forth to play at their games again.

And as the fruit trees began to put forth their abundance and the people, those who had cried, Lo, this blight shall pass betimes and those who had said the affliction would endure and that the people must practice sacrifice and good fellowship in their affliction until their wise men learned the cure thereof, behold it came to pass that… [Remainder of text missing.]

The Enemy Amongst Us

According to experts, there are 134 million demons or evil spirits in the world.

I learned this from a television newscast. I live on the top floor of a building in Brooklyn that faces south, and I pick up several New Jersey and even Philadelphia stations. This particular broadcast was coming from south Jersey.

The anchorperson, an attractive blonde, went on to recount in her detached anchorperson voice that the reigning pope (John Paul at the time), both in his former capacity of bishop of Cracow and as pontiff, performed and was Demonscontinuing to perform exorcisms.

Then she broke for a commercial.

I immediately began to wonder about that figure 134 million. It seemed seriously inadequate, especially if you allow for all the guardian angels and other benevolent spirits flying about or attending to the divine throne in heaven. There are about 6 billion people in the world. That means that to have some sort of evil influence on each one of them, every demon would have to service about 45 people. I used to work for a big-city welfare department. I also counseled drug addicts. So, I have some idea of the maximum caseload a professional can competently handle. Fotry-five seems to be right on the edge.

Of course on any caseload there are always some clients who require only the minimum of attention. For demons, these would be the Hitlers and Stalins of the world and their small-time counterparts. Also, the Christian Right, hardline Roman Catholics, Muslims and Jews, not to mention the hundreds of millions of ardent Buddhists, Hindus, Shintoists and other godly folks, would be among the harder spiritual nuts to crack and might reasonably be put on a back burner.

That leaves us with a core constituency of perhaps twenty to twenty-five souls ripe for each demon’s picking. Not a number beyond the ability of any well-trained professional, especially when you consider that a demon, being immaterial, can go at it twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with no time off for paid holidays, sick leave or vacation.

This particular television station, by the way, was the same that used to flog a videocassette about the sins of the flesh committed by our then-sitting president. The commercial pulled no punches and spared no delicate civic sentiments. Bill Clinton was depicted as the willing slave of the Devil.

Since it was “experts” who came up with the number 134 million for the demons at large in the world, I didn’t question it initially. But then I got to thinking: Why 134 million and not 135 million? Or some other number entirely?

Until I remembered that at the beginning of the current era (A.D./C.E.) well-educated people took for granted the existence of demons and other various good and evil spirits. In fact, the experts of that day knew the names and rankings for each species, so to speak—Dominions, Powers, Thrones, etc. Each kind of spirit had a job to do for good or ill. Paul the Apostle and other intelligent men and women, Christian, Jew and pagan, never questioned their existence.

It was an age that prided itself on its science as much as we do our own, and had pretty much figured out how everything worked and where everything’s place was in the cosmos. Ptolemy, for instance, devised an ingenious and mathematically precise set of formulae to describe the workings of the universe based upon the obvious fact that the sun revolved around the earth, as did everything else in the heavens. Why shouldn’t the theologians and philosophers be able to classify the varieties of spirits and, with a little help from holy writings, calculate precisely how many there were?

The pope, as a modern man, uses aircraft, television and even public relations people to help him get across his message. The Ayatollah Khomeini preached his revolutionary call via audio cassette during his exile in heathen France before boarding a jet to assume civil power in Iran. And of course the most hardcore religious terrorists use weapons of a distinctly modern cast when they want to blow up a building or take out an abortionist.

So, I suppose it should have come as no surprise to find that well-groomed anchorwoman being able to precisely pinpoint the number of devils, minor and major, plying their trade. Nor should it have been a shock to find that commercial airing about Bill Clinton. Putting one and one together, it all began to make sense: 134 million evil spirits loose in the world; a degenerate in the White House; the pope (recently sainted John Paul) feeling obliged to personally cast out devils in his spare time. The planet is going to hell in a handbasket, and the bulk of us are worried about ephemeral matters like health care and climate change!

Thank God there are still people of faith as well as science keeping abreast of what is taking place in the invisible world. While physicists argue about how many quarks can dance on the head of a proton, god-fearing folks are passing along the much more important spirit count provided by the world’s front-rank demonologists, with special emphasis on those ensconced inside the Beltway.

Check these people out on your own local stations. Neglecting to do so would not only be unscientific but could be dangerous to your spiritual health.