My Week 64: Donald Trump Meets Justin Trudeau, Titus–Weapon of Mass Destruction

A Challenge

This week, our new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was subjected to the infamous MacLean’s magazine “60 second” pre-interview interview, where the interviewee is asked several questions in rapid-fire succession and has to answer in under a minute. Justin did well, from my perspective, but there was one gaffe regarding the existence of the Balkan States. I didn’t really notice, since I have ZERO knowledge of world geography, but other people were a little up in arms, including a lot of Balkan people, and my own beloved brother. He’s not a huge fan of Justin Trudeau, and he emailed me from the airport with his own short but hilarious pseudo-interview of the new Prime Minister. I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing an short excerpt here:

Q:  What about great explorers? Do you have a favourite?
A:  Well, my kids love Dora. She seems pretty cool.
Q:  Now, about those Baltic States…have you settled on a favourite yet?
A:  I sure have! I think that Latviania is totally awesome.

He then suggested that I do my own MacLean’s style interview with Justin this week, but I couldn’t do it, mostly because A) I like Justin Trudeau, and B) my brother already did a pretty stellar job. But there was a lot of potential for humour here, and as a result, I decide to recreate (or create, actually) the first meeting between Justin Trudeau, politician and person extraordinaire, with Donald Trump, neither of those. So here goes:

Donald: So what am I doing here again?
Aide: You’re meeting with Justin Trudeau, the newly elected Prime Minister of Canada. He’s interested in meeting with all the candidates for the American presidency. Just to be fair.
Justin: It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Trump.
Donald: So what, you’re like the King of the Arctic or something?
Justin (laughs gently): No, no, I’m the Prime Minister of Canada. Canada is the second largest country in the world after Russian in terms of landmass. It’s the world’s most educated country, and it has more lakes than all the other countries in the world combined.
Donald: What the f*ck ARE you, a geography teacher or something?
Justin: Well, I do have a working knowledge of geography. For example, the Balkan States definitely exists. In fact, though, I used to be a drama teacher.
Donald: All actors are gay, and I don’t give a sh*t about the Balcanadians. Save the drama for your mama, pretty boy. Now, what exactly do you want?
Justin: Well, you’re currently the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. I was just interested in your campaign platform, you know—what are your issues?
Donald: Well, I have a lot of issues–
Justin: Mm, yes, I’ve heard.
Donald: –but what I really want to do is bring American back to the Americans and dig it out of the hole that Muslim from Alaska put it in.
Justin (confused): Are you talking about President Obama? He’s not Muslim and he’s from Hawaii.
Donald: That’s what the Democrats would HAVE you believe. Anyway, who else have you met with?
Justin: I met with Jeb Bush…
Donald: Putz!
Justin: What?
Donald: Jeb Bush, not you.
Justin: Oh. Also, Ben Carson…
Donald: Ass! Again, Ben Carson, not you.
Justin: Why are you so derogatory about your colleagues? I quite liked Carly Fiorina… Donald: Woman! Again, Fiorina, not you, Justine.
Justin (rolls eyes): I feel like we’re not making much headway here. Why don’t I introduce you to some of MY colleagues? This is Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport. He used to be an astronaut, which is pretty cool. And this is Harjit Sajjan, my Minister of National Defence.
Donald (sotto voce): You know he’s wearing a towel on his head, right?
Justin: That’s a turban, Mr. Trump—he’s a Sikh.
Donald: So deporting him, then?
Justin: What?! NO. He’s a trusted member of my cabinet!
Donald: That’s what JFK said about Lee Harvey Oswald, and look how THAT turned out. Justin: I don’t think JFK EVER said that, and I find your comments racist and divisive.
Donald: Fine. But don’t come crying to me when he sneaks into that condemned row house you call an official residence and tries to blow you up in your bed.
Justin: 24 Sussex Drive isn’t a “condemned row house”. It’s a historical monument. I lived there as a child.
Donald: Holy sh*t, you’ve been Prime Minister since you were a kid? Why the hell have I never heard of you?
Justin: No, no, that was when my father was Prime Minister. There were others in between. Remember the guy in the sweater vest?
Donald: It rings a bell, although I don’t remember his name. Nice hair, though. By the way, have I told you my plans for my OWN official residence? I’m building a new Trump Tower on the grounds of the White House. Ivana is turning the White House into a retail store for her clothing line. Or is it Ivanka? Or Melania? Or Marla? God, I love the letters “I” and “M”. That’s why I’m so pissed at the Muslims. Islam stole my two favourite letters of the alphabet. What’s yours?
Justin: I like all the letters of the alphabet equally.
Donald: Jennifer Lawrence or Jennifer Lopez?
Justin: Uh…I’m a fan of theatre AND music…
Donald: No kidding, Justine. Scandinavia?
Justin: That’s a thing—wait, this is starting to sound really familiar. Are you working for MacLean’s magazine, by any chance?
Donald: Is that like Vogue or Cosmo? Oh hey, look who’s here! It’s my running mate, Kanye West!
Kanye: I’m the greatest living rock star!
Justin: You picked Kanye West to be your potential vice-president?!
Kanye: I named my new baby “Saint”. Saint West. (drops mike)
Justin: OK. First, where did you even GET a microphone from, and second, that wasn’t a dropworthy moment.
Kanye: Start learning the words to “Golddigger”, fool. It’s your new national anthem. Justin: Oh my God, I need a drink.
Donald: Attaboy. Just be drunk all the time. It works for me.

Friday: Titus, weapon of mass destruction

Titus has been having some issues of his own lately, mostly involving damage and injury to both people AND household items. Last month, he enthusiastically jumped at K, and they cracked skulls hard enough to give K an actual concussion, confirmed by our family physician. Then he punched Ken in the head during a particularly exciting wrestling match, leaving Ken with a large gash on his forehead. Living in Toronto has exempted me from much of the carnage, although he DID whack me in the face the other day while trying to give me a “high-five”. But apparently, he saved the best of himself for the moment I came home for Christmas holidays. Yesterday morning before Ken left for work, he told me this:

Ken: Titus threw up this morning.
Me: What? Is he OK?
Ken: I think so. He ate breakfast, then he had “sexy time” with his dog cushion. I think he just got carried away and overdid it.
Me: Oh god—I didn’t need to know ANY of that.

Later though, he was acting a little weird. I came back from an eye doctor’s appointment and was in the middle of making lunch, when he wanted to go outside. I let him out, and saw him do some “business”. 5 minutes later, he wanted out again. More business, this time “number two”. He should have been good for the next couple of hours, but no—within 5 minutes, he was back at the door again. I told him that I wasn’t running a flophouse, and it wasn’t a revolving door, so he could just stay in for a while. He looked at me strangely, then threw up all over our breakfast room. I mean ALL OVER. Piles and piles of ALL OVER. I freaked out and put him outside where he did it again. So I did what any reasonable person would do—I called Ken.

Ken: Hey. I’m driving back from lunch with some people from work. You’re on speaker phone.
Me: Titus is really sick. Come home! I’ve never seen so much vomit. It’s like he’s been saving it up for DAYS. The rug by the patio door is a complete write-off.
Everyone: Ewwwww.
Ken: I have to work until 7 tonight.
Everyone: No, you don’t, Ken.
Ken: Ok, I’ll be home soon.

Right before Ken came home, the phone rang. It was a telemarketer. Within the next two minutes, the following happened:

1) The telemarketer tried to convince me to sign up for an On-Star plan for my car.
2) Titus started to heave by the door.
3) I screamed into the phone, “Titus, NO! Not THAT rug too!”
4) The telemarketer said, “Pardon? Were you talking to me?”
5) Ken came walking towards the house.
6) I screamed “Titus! Go outside!” and I opened the door and pushed him towards Ken, but he wouldn’t budge. I said to the telemarketer, “My dog is about to throw up. I can’t talk now.”
7) The telemarketer offered to call me back AFTER the dog had thrown up. I apologized to the telemarketer for screaming in her ear.
8) Titus vomited all over the floor.
9) Ken said, “Why are you on the phone when the dog is puking right in front of you? You don’t even drive the car enough to pay for an On-Star plan. It’s not worth the money.”
10) I informed Ken that I had no interest in discussing the prudence of an On-Star plan at that moment, because I was too busy cleaning up dog puke. I believe my exact words were “What the F*CK, Ken?!!”
11) Ken took Titus outside.

We still have no idea what caused this extraordinary episode. For dinner, I made him steamed rice (Titus, not Ken), and he seemed to be fine. Today, I made him homemade natural dog cookies, and he drooled excitedly. Things seem to be back to normal. Except that I’m down one small Persian rug, and I felt so bad about the telemarketer that when she called back, I signed up for a hardware update. The universe works in mysterious ways.

My Week 63: I Have Holiday Inadequacy, A Stream of Consciousness Religious Moment

Thursday: This holiday season is making me feel incompetent

I’ve always considered myself a fairly creative person. My house is decorated nicely, I write middling well, I can paint a little, and make craft-y type things when the mood strikes. But lately, I’ve come to realize that there are people out there who are WAY more creative than me. Case in point—in the last couple of weeks, people at work have been decorating their cubicles for Christmas. It started off with just a few co-workers hanging snowflake ornaments and tinsel on their fabric walls. I was feeling pretty satisfied with my design—a miniature stocking that I grabbed out of the closet at home, and a paper snowflake that a colleague made for me one afternoon—he was practicing making them from instructions from the internet so he could impress his wife on the weekend. So I ended up with something like this:

Bare cubicle

Not bad right? Understated and elegant, with a homemade touch. Added bonus—I found a red pushpin on the floor, and I used it to secure the snowflake in keeping with my colour scheme. Brilliant planning, I’d have to say. Sure, I could have gone a little more crazy, but I didn’t want people to think I had too much time on my hands.

But then, I came in on Thursday morning to discover that the people in the department up the aisle from mine had decorated THEIR cubicles. Here are a few examples:

Cubicle 2



Cubicle 1

Cubicle 3 version 2

A Reindeer stable?! An entire Christmas house, held up with yardsticks?! An “homage” to the ugly Christmas sweater?! One woman had gone with the theme “Christmas in the Tropics”, having made palm trees out of construction paper and coconuts out of brown balloons. Suddenly, I was feeling angsty, but I comforted myself that at least my display was cost efficient. Then I happened to remark to one of the women, “Oh, you guys have really gone all out!” and she cheerfully replied, “Oh, this is all from the dollar store— it just took a few bucks and some imagination!” So while I have a ‘few bucks’, apparently I’m lacking in the imagination component of the holiday season.

And to make matters worse, there’s Secret Santa. You may remember that I’ve had issues in the past with this torturous aspect of the workplace, but this year it seems that I may be the ‘Bad Santa’. I’ve been doing all right myself, having received some decent little tokens from my ‘giver’, but I’m starting to feel that I’m not doing enough for my ‘receiver’. I organized several treats for my SS, based on her list of likes and dislikes, and thought that it would be enough to wait until she was away from her desk, then run by her cubicle and toss something on her keyboard without getting caught. Holy sh*t, was I wrong, based on the mayhem around me. One woman came back from lunch and discovered a half-dozen red roses carefully arranged in a vase on her desk. Another colleague was sent on a scavenger hunt (which started with a poem, 6 stanzas long, written in iambic pentameter and mounted on a piece of yellow shirtboard) and ended with her finding an assortment of clues and goodies scattered throughout the office and all tastefully wrapped in yellow tissue paper. The icing on the Christmas cake was the cubicle that was decorated some time in the night as a representation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The entire space was domed with red tinsel garlands hanging from the ceiling. There was a sign on the outside of the cubicle which read “1. Shelter  2. Fire  3. Food  4. Drink” and so on, with ‘Shelter’ crossed out. We were simultaneously amazed and jealous, and more than a little worried about how Fire would be represented the next day. But fear not—her Secret Santa created a campfire out of construction paper, and a bundle of handmade twig pencils, complete with a giant marshmallow on a stick. Seriously, WTF? I mean, how are the rest of us supposed to compete with THAT? The best I had done so far was scribble “I hope you like this chocolate” on a post-it note and stick it to a pack of Lindor. It’s not that I don’t WANT to be more clever—I have great ideas but I just don’t have the energy to put them into action. For example, I had this brainstorm that I would take the box of fruit-flavoured mini-candy canes I got her and strew all 60 of them around her cubicle, then put the empty box on her desk with an Elf on the Shelf in it, like HE’D done it. But I couldn’t find an Elf, and it was late, so I just tossed them around, stuck a couple in her shoes, and went home. I don’t think she was impressed because by the time I got to work the next morning, there wasn’t a single candy cane in sight. Then I worried that maybe she was a real neat-freak, and that instead of being charmed, she was pissed that she had to clean up the mess. Then she spent the rest of the day eating oranges and apples. I know this, because I kept sneaking by her desk to see if she was enjoying the candy canes, but I never saw them again. I know it’s all supposed to be in fun, and everyone keeps saying, “Oh, it’s the thought that counts,” but why can’t people just be as mediocre as ME? When the bar is set too high, we ALL suffer. Except the people who have time to write sonnets. My only hope is that when we have our big ‘reveal’ next week, she’s able to see that my intentions were good, and that if I’d had the time, energy, and wherewithal, it would have been…well, something amazing, I’m sure. Plus, there’s a bag of potato chips waiting for her on Monday morning—maybe I’ll get wild and put a bow on it.

Friday: I have a stream of consciousness religious moment

On Friday, we were talking at work, and someone mentioned that Kanye West and one of the Kardashians (I can never remember which one is which—they all look alike thanks to the wonders of cosmetic surgery, and they all seem to be pregnant all the f*cking time) had another baby. You might remember how I ripped Kanye West for naming his first baby “North”—that’s right, North West. North West of where I am is Manitoba, which seems to me to be a much better name for a baby than a compass direction, but if you think I have no imagination, I’m feeling pretty good next to old Kanye. Especially right now. Because my first reaction was, “Did he name this baby ‘South’? It’s a great theme—two more kids and he could easily find his way to his own ass.” But alas, no. This baby, he named “Saint”. Yes, Saint West, the patron saint of stupid parents everywhere. And then I was confused, because it seemed a little sacreligious, but a friend pointed out that ‘Santo’ was a very popular boy’s name in Italian, and it means ‘Saint’. Which got me to thinking about how other cultures have no trouble naming their children after religious figures. For example, there are a LOT of Hispanic men named Jesus, which I believe is pronounced ‘Hey Zeus’, and which I also think is an awesome name—it kind of channels ‘Son of God’ and ‘Lightning Bolt Guy’ all at the same time. And this seems to work for them, but how weird would it be if I had named my son ‘Jesus’, like the actual ‘Gee Zus’ pronunciation? I come from a Scottish/English background, and I know people would have thought I was being a little presumptuous, like I thought my kid was the next Messiah or something. Which got me to thinking about Jesus, and the fact that the church across the road recently had their doors redesigned. On one door is an angel, painted in gold, hovering in mid-air. The other door is where things get weird. It’s supposed to be Jesus on the cross, but whoever painted it did Jesus in REALLY dark gold paint, and the cross in light gold, so from across the street, it looks like Jesus is standing on the edge of a diving platform, getting ready to do a double pike, three and a half turn twist. It’s very disconcerting. In fact, I can see him right now, and all I can think about is Jesus getting the gold medal at the Olympics, which would have been a much nicer thing to happen to him. And then churches would be full of swimming pools instead of pews and ALL the water would be holy. Oh yeah. See, maybe I am more creative than I thought.