Proto SOTU: Pending State of the Union points

Illustration by Max Burbank

BY MAX BURBANK | On January 30, Donald J. Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address — unless he doesn’t. He’s not legally required to, and it’s not like he gets what laws are, right? He loves not doing things other president have done; no Kennedy Center Honors, no White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Perhaps a little night golfing might be more enticing? Honestly, if someone told him night golfers get to wear cool-ass little headlamps, he’d bail on the SOTU like chubby, elderly lightning. There’s no such thing as night golf, right? I made that up. I hope. I’m never sure of anything anymore.

Assuming he’s doing it, I’m as curious as I imagine you are. But unlike all you poor, regular folk — as I revealed in my unpublished White House tell-all, “Tantrums and Tyranny” — I have figured out the secret of “access.” No one in Trump’s inner circle could find their ass with a map, a flashlight, and a Sherpa guide. So I rung up White House Communications Director Hope Hicks and said “Hopey, on the off chance Donzo has started working on his SOTU speech, send me his notes.”

And Hope was all like, “Who authorized this?” I told her, “You know, that guy? The weird-shaped-head-guy with the voice like when you force open a weasel’s jaws and scrape their front teeth down a blackboard? The really pale one with the face you always want to punch?” And she’s afraid to admit that could be any one of the eight people she answers to, so hey presto, I got the notes.

I won’t bore you with the whole thing. It’s just a first draft, and a lot of it is in crayon and partially obscured by cheeseburger grease stains. I’ll give you some highlights, though, and you’ll get the gist.

OPENING NOTES | (Enter backlit by purple neon through a smoke machine fog bank. No, I rise up out of the floor on a hydraulic platform through red smoke and lasers. Bannon would love. No. Bannon gone. Bannon betrayed. Maybe enter Miley-style on wrecking ball? Rip through paper circle? So pep rally! I was the best at gym.)

INTRO | “Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, strategically chosen provocative guests (smile, thumbs up, finger guns at Mooch, Sheriff Clarke, Joe Arpaio), my fellow Americans, you know who you are, some of you are very fine people… Losers, haters, the failing media, sons of bitches, disloyal former employees I never met who don’t know me, who were errand runners and coffee boys, strangers with misleading job titles. So misleading… so disloyal.

I came here directly from beautiful Mar-a-Lago, so beautiful. Cutting short a five-day working weekend of such important meetings in meeting rooms, Mar-a-Lago has the best meeting rooms. No golf. But if I had played golf, and even the Democrats admit I never golf, this I will tell you, a hole in one. Eighteen holes in one. First drive, hole in one, bounced out of the cup, landed in the second hole, et cetera to eighteen. Never before in history. Never before. The lying media will not tell you that.

Okay. On the anniversary of my inauguration, the Democrats shut down my government because they want to let billions of criminals swarm across the border and murder our children in their sleep. Is the government open again now? I don’t know. I’m in the past writing this first draft. And honestly, I don’t care. The government. So wasteful. It’s like the State Department, but bigger. So much bigger. We don’t need it. All we need is me. Okay? Okay. Okay?

Illustration by Max Burbank

THE MIDDLE PART | This is the middle part, where I read straight from the teleprompter for a long time without deviating from the script as written. It shows I am a normal, mentally competent person, and allows me to use words like “deviate” — a word that, like many other words, I do not know the meaning of. It also allows me to demonstrate that despite claims to the contrary, I can read. I can see letters on a page and decode them correctly into sounds that come out of my mouth. When I read aloud, I have no understanding of the content of the words at all. If you asked me what I just said, just now, I would say, “I think we both know what I meant” or “I’ll leave that up to you.”

The whole act seems pretty transparent, but tomorrow the mainstream press will all gush about how presidential I was, in that I spoke in whole sentences without slurring my words, making some kind veiled reference to my penis, or saying something awful about black people again. No matter how many times I play this trick, they’ll always hope against hope that I’m finally going to “pivot,” that I’ll finally grow into the presidency. They do it every time, and they’re doing it again right now. Believe me. Believe me.

THE END PART | (Eugh, the catchphrase part. Everybody says I have to do this. I hate it. I hate everybody. It’s not even a good catchphrase, like “lock her up” or “you’re fired” or “shithole countries.” It’s not my catch phrase. I have to make it mine. Rebrand it.)

“Ladies and gentlemen, the state… of my union… is fine. It’s very fine, the best since Truman is what a lot of people are saying. The state of our union is… No one understands Trump, no one appreciates Trump and no one… not one of you… deserves Trump. Even the ones who pretend to like me. I am looking at you, Lindsey Graham. Right. At. YOU! So unfair. So unfair. Well, you’re grounded, America. I want you all to go to your rooms right now and think about how you treated me. And maybe if when we all wake up tomorrow the Russian witch hunt is gone and everybody stops yip-yip-yip-yip-yipping about a few lousy PORN STARS and we can all agree that Trump is the least racist person ever born on earth in all of human history, then maybe… maybe we can pretend everything is okay between us. It’s like I promised you during the campaign: I alone can save you.

From ME!

After all, it’s not like the Republican congress is ever going to!

G’night everybody!

(Balloon drop. Or fireworks? Definitely smoke and lasers. Exit music: “Eye of the Tiger.” No, “Final Countdown.” No, that Lee Greenwood “Proud to be an American” thing. Rubes eat that patriotic crap like it’s pancakes.)

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