Appointment to the Toy Bench
This week, the internet was ablaze with outrage over Donald Trump’s latest appointee to be a district court judge. Anyone that the Human Dumpster Fire appoints to ANYTHING is typically underwhelmingly qualified to even be town dogcatcher, but Matthew Peterson was a spectacular example of a dude who shouldn’t be allowed to go to the corner store alone. What kind of judicial appointee has never taken a deposition by himself, let alone never actually tried a case? Say what you want about Justin Trudeau, but he just had to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice, and the guy he picked, after a lengthy consultation process, is an actual, highly experienced judge and NOT a guy who thinks “getting to bang a gavel would be fun and whatnot”. OK, Peterson didn’t actually say that, but he might as well have, since even HE didn’t seem clear about why he should be appointed. The guy is so dumb that he didn’t even have the courtesy to act embarrassed that he was so blatantly lacking any kind of courtroom experience. But it’s typical of what’s happening in the U.S. these days, and I won’t make my American friends feel any more sh*tty about it by pointing out the other horrors. Instead, I’ve created a scenario fit for the holiday season. It’s called “Appointment to the Toy Bench”.
Santa: I’m not sure what’s going on here. One of the elves retired, and I have to replace him, but I just got told that the American President is demanding that I take some chosen appointee.
Chief Elf: The American President? Why would Hillary Clinton do THAT?
Santa: No, not Hillary—it’s the loudmouth on the naughty list who lost the popular vote. He seems to think that he can run Toyland too…oh dang, here he comes.
Trump: Hello, Santa Claus. I hope you got the message about my appointment to the Toy Bench. I make all the best appointments. My appointments are so awesome—it’s a pretty wild scene.
Santa: Well, I got an email—it took a while to translate it from Russian, but if I understand it correctly, you’re trying to appoint an elf to replace Twinkles, who recently retired. I have to tell you though, we already HAVE a replacement. His name is Tiny.
Trump: You mean “Itty Bitty” Tiny? That guy’s a loser.
Santa: Why are you calling him “Itty Bitty”? He’s Tiny.
Trump: I know, right? I’m giving him one of my fun nicknames, like the way I call Hillary “Crooked” or Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas”. I think I’m going to call you “Eskimo Boy”.
Santa: That’s extremely offensive, not only to me but to the Inuit peoples.
Trump: In your what? Stop stalling, Fat Man, and interview my appointee. His name is Frank and he’s a yuuge donor to my campaign.
Santa (under breath): Fine, if it will get you out of here, so I can get back to making toys. (out loud) Bring him in.
Santa: Hello, Frank, is it? You seem a little large for an elf…
Frank: Elf? What the f*ck are you talking about?
Trump: Never mind his size. He’s a close personal friend who has never grabbed anyone’s…”toys” inappropriately and definitely does NOT need to hide out here until the stink wears off.
Santa: Sigh. OK Frank, tell me a little bit about your experience. How long have you been making toys?
Frank: I don’t make toys.
Santa: You’ve never made a toy?
Santa: Do you—can you put the cigar out? This Pole has been non-smoking even since it turned out that my pipe was making the elves sick.
Trump: You can’t say “Pole”. It’s a forbidden word. So is “polar”—it reminds too many people of dying bears. FAKE NEWS!!
Santa: Anyway, Frank—do you even like children?
Frank: No. Children are stupid.
Santa: Then why do you want to take this job?!
Frank: It’s a lifetime gig with full benefits. Plus, I hear the lady elves are smokin’.
Santa: Enough! I refuse to hire this naughty person. Tiny, the job is yours.
Tiny: Wheeee! Time to make some toys for girls and boys!
Trump (tweeting): “Eskimo Boy Santa REFUSES to hire Qualified Frank and gives an important post to Itty Bitty Tiny who is a FAILING loser. SAD!!! LOSER!!!
Santa: Sigh. Get out of here. And just so you know—all you’re getting in your stocking this year is coal!
Trump: Excellent! Coal is the new solar power.
Frank: I got the job, right?
Santa: Fake news.
Two Quick Stories:
1) A couple of weeks ago, I had to go to Napanee. Never mind where it is. Just know that it took me three hours to get there by train. When I finally arrived at 8 pm, everyone ran out of the train, got into their cars and left. I looked around. The train station itself was closed, the lights off. The parking lot was deserted. It was minus 10 degrees Celsius. I had the number of a local cab company so I called them. The dispatcher was really pissy, and when I told her I was going to the Hilton, she said, “Hampton. There’s no such thing as the Napanee Hilton,” and I was like, “OK, I guess I’m going to the Hampton.” She replied that the cab would be “at least 20 minutes”. I had no choice, so I said “Fine” but I was wondering exactly how big Napanee was if it took that long for a cab to come to the train station. In the meantime, I did what any normal person would do—I called Ken.
Me: It’s freezing and the train station is closed. I forgot my mittens.
Ken: You forgot your mittens?! What am I always telling you…
Me: It’s really windy and dark. There’s a bar across the street and it sounds dangerously rowdy.
Ken: Stand in the shadows where no one can see you.
Me: A) I’m not a vampire and B) I don’t want the cab to miss me. Just stay on the line.
At any rate, the cab finally showed up, a little over 20 minutes later. The driver, a jolly older fellow, got out and looked at me:
Driver: What are you doing? Why didn’t you go inside?!
Me: The station’s closed.
Driver: No, it’s not. Didn’t you read the sign on the door? You go in and the lights are on the left. You just have to remember to turn them off when you leave.
Me: It was too dark to read the sign on the door.
Driver: Well, you’ll know for next time.
The cab ride to the Hampton took under two minutes. He charged me 10 dollars. Napanee, everyone.
2) Over the last three weeks, I have been obliged to attend meetings where I watch a man fill in a very long flow chart. It can be super-suspenseful, because sometimes he has to move one of the boxes in the flow chart, and then we’re all like, “Where will he put it?! What will happen now?!” The other day, I looked up and realized that there was a sign on the door at the back of the room that said, “No Exit”, and I was like “Preach.” But sitting there in silence for hours on end has made me a little giddy, and on Thursday, I was in another meeting, and one of the directors said, referring to a new software app, “Touch this and then it happens” and I almost yelled out, “That’s what SHE said!” I mean, I actually had a moment where I seriously considered saying it and wondered if everyone else would laugh. But I didn’t say it—I just tried not to giggle uncontrollably. As one does.