Twister Anyone?


Keeping up with Trump is like playing Twister, especially for the press who get all tangled up while untangling his strangled rhetoric.

Picture, if you will, New York Times’ Paul Krugman, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and The News Hour’s Judy Woodruff, all dressed in blue sweats. They’re lined up on the plastic Twister Mat while Trump, dressed in a black suit and scarlet necktie that snakes down to his nether region, stands by to referee. He’s clutching the Twister Spinner in his hand like a spoiled brat about to deliver forty whacks to his younger brother.

Judy and Wolf are positioned on either end of the mat with one stockinged foot on the red circle, the other on blue. Paul has taken up two red circles along one side.

“OK,” says Trump, “is everybody ready? This is going to be the best game of Twister ever, and, as you know, the winner, the last one standing, will be granted a 60-minute exclusive interview with me. Me! Lucky bastard.”

The three newscasters stand like redwoods about to be felled, their mouths fixed in a rictus of despair. Thirty years and this is what my career has come to? Shoot me now, Lord.

Trump calls out, “Let the game begin!” He spins the dial on the Twister Spinner board and hollers “Right hand on red.” The contestants stoop over like Quasimodo to reach nearby red circles. Wolf wobbles, but manages to stick his landing.

“Now, left foot on green.” Uh-oh. Wolf stumbles into Paul who splays out like a toddler on ice skates. “You’re out, Paul,” cries Trump with glee. Paul rights himself and slinks away, muttering, “I’m an effing Pulitzer Prize winner, I’m an effing Pulitzer Prize winner.”

Trump snickers. Loser. “OK, now, let’s see how you two wimps do.” He spins the dial: “Right hand on blue.” Wolf and Judy head down for the same blue circle and squabble about who gets to keep it. Judy gives in and stretches out for another blue.

One more spin: “Nose on purple.”

“What?” cries Wolf. “You’re only supposed to call for hands or feet.”

“My presidency, my rules,” chortles Trump. “Just do it!”

Wolf pretzels toward the purple square, leg shaking, hand collapsing as he tumbles on top of Judy.

“Get off of me, you dumbass!” shrieks Judy, untangling herself from the deflated Wolf.

“Wolf, you’re out!” cries Trump thrusting his arm in the air, fist clenched.

“So I won, then?” says Judy rising on one knee and pushing upward.

“Actually,” Donald says, laughing, “Nobody won. Judy cheated.”

“I did not cheat,” says Judy, patting down her sweats. “It was you, sir, who cheated by calling ‘nose on purple.’”

“If the president does it, it’s not cheating,” says Donald. “Get outta here, you whiner.” Judy and Wolf exit the room, limping like wounded deer.

The next day, Sean Spicer, looking more and more like Melissa McCarthy, held a news conference, in which he had to once again explain away Trump’s behavior during the Twister game. When pressed, he insisted it was all in good fun — “bringing people together.”

Asked about the cheating accusation, Spicer shook his head and said, “Donald did not accuse Judy of cheating. He may have used that word once, but he didn’t mean it literally. Donald used quotes around ‘cheating.’”

You’d think by now that Sean’s fingers would qualify for carpal tunnel compensation, flurrying as they do to produce air “quotes.” Never in the history of personkind have so many people used so many quotation marks to deflect so many falsehoods.

Assuming he’s not impeached before Christmas, the slogan for Trump’s next campaign should be:

“So Many Lies, So Little Time.”

Rosie Sorenson of Richmond, Calif., is humor columnist for the Foolish Times. Her work has appeared in other publications and anthologies, including The Magic of Memoir, edited by Brooke Warner and Dr. Linda Joy Meyers. Email

From The Progressive Populist, May 1, 2017

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