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trump meets pope

Monday, 8 May 2017

Dear Mr President,

For the last week or so my letters have not been getting through to the Contact the White House site, I think. Apparently, they’re being blocked for “including emoji” which I can totally understand, because when I asked Big Lester down at the Retrofit what they were, he said they were dirty pictures made with punctuation. Who knew? He offered to show me the “grabbing pussy” emojus, but I declined.

I’m Secretary of the Gatos Gordos Trumpistoleros and the guy who drafted our commendation of your executive order (or did you allow Congress to help?) restoring concealed-carry rights to the mentally ill.

Anyway, when I took out all the punctuation, including the periods and commas, my messages were still being rejected, but when I had friends forward them they went through fine, so I guess it’s just something about my computer. Because it can’t be me, can it? when I’m Secretary of the Gatos Gordos Trumpistoleros and the guy who drafted our commendation of your executive order (or did you allow Congress to help?) restoring concealed-carry rights to the mentally ill. Big Lester really appreciated that one.

(And speaking of the Trumpistoleros meeting, we had a lively discussion about the joke Stephen Colbert made Friday night about your sexual relationship with Putin and decided it was definitely out of order – the joke, that is – the actual relationship is none of our business. When we compared it to your remark about “grabbing pussy”, we found no similarity at all because, 1) you were talking about normal, healthy male-female relationships as they have been historically practiced, while Colbert was (apparently) insinuating some perverted male-male thing we’d rather not think about, and 2) Colbert has no way of knowing for sure about what he was insinuating, while you were speaking from actual experience.)

Anyway, I hope that I haven’t been blocked because some toady like Sean Spicer or some zealot like Stephen Miller is intercepting my letters in the belief that I’m just making fun of you, because I assure you I’m quite serious about all this.

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Catch all of Dan's daily letters to the President here.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Dear Mr President,

I’ve just heard about your planned trip to the Vatican later this month. There are, as the papers are already saying, reasons to anticipate awkwardness in your meeting with the Pope, but the problems can be dealt with by preparation. I have a few pointers.

The key thing to remember is that there a lot of American Catholics, more than 1 in 5 actually, so some of them voted for you – not the Hispanic ones, of course – but still, you want to protect your base. So don’t dis the Pope the way you did Merkel. On the other hand, a lot of your basest supporters are Kick-Butt, Born Again, Evangelical Protestants, and they mostly despise the Pope (Hell, they don’t even like Mormons), so don’t kiss the Pope’s ass – figure of speech only, as far as I know you’re not into that, with popes I mean – never mind, sorry. I wouldn’t kiss his ring either, it’s symbolic in Latin. And especially don’t bow to him. Actually, as much as you can, try to act like you’ve granted him an audience.

The Pope is an educated guy, so stay away from religion, history, politics, philosophy, literature, science, sociology, art, war, peace, and even geography.

There are a few – you should pardon the expression – facts, that you might try to keep in mind without saying anything about them. The Vatican is pretty small by your standards, in acreage about like one of your mid-sized golf courses – is anything of yours mid-sized? But it has some showy bits – the basilica and all. The trick here calls for nuance (a new word, I know): try not to look overly impressed, while avoiding open contempt. St Peter’s is 448 feet tall, only two thirds of Trump Tower (even without the 10 imaginary floors) at 666 feet – but absolutely do not mention this number, as it will make the Pope go ape-shit, never mind why, it’s history and theology and numerology and stuff like that. Just look up at the dome in a quiet dignified superior way, like you were Prince Charles or somebody, and then look away.

I’d keep to small talk, if I were you. The Pope is an educated guy, so stay away from religion, history, politics, philosophy, literature, science, sociology, art, war, peace, and even geography. Stick to subjects you’re familiar with like the electoral college or . . . just stick to the electoral college.

And don’t assume that the Pope is Ted Cruz or some slump whose mother you insulted last week, but who will forget it all if you offer him a job as Secretary of Something. The Pope is all in to eternity, so he remembers what you’ve said about him. He remembers everything – that’s more or less his job. And this job is his last one.

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Dan Embree