By Warwick McFadyen
Scene: The Oval Office.
Time: After midnight.
US President Biff Trump is pacing the room. Back and forth, Back and forth. He is alone. He is agitated. He constantly swaps his mobile phone from one hand to the other. At times, he stops mid-step and starts to send a text, then halts, his fingers frozen. He resumes pacing. He is talking to himself.
‘No one will miss it. What did Sweden ever do for the world? Tucked up near the North Pole, funny accent, one pop group, fjords and pine forests. Nah. Give the world time, they’ll come round to my way of thinking. I could say it was a slip of the fingers, but that would be fake. Best that there are no more Swedes. I can do without the embarrassment. So I said something that wasn’t quite right, not that I’d ever admit that. I was just giving an alternative fact, not that the Swedes saw that either. They were too pedantic for their own good, and making fun of me. Me! The most powerful leader in history. Now where are they? They’re nowhere on this Earth. Hahahaha. And it only took two bombs. That’s what I like, and it’ll play well with the crowd. Two bombs. That’s time, motion and labour efficiency for you. Didn’t even have to leave the US. No billions of dollars spent on invasion. No messy deaths and injuries, no endless funerals to attend, no flags to salute, no shaking hands or hugging strangers, errggghhh. Nothing. Press, bingo, gone. Now who’s the celebrity? Pay attention to that do-gooders. Look and learn world.’
A song comes into Biff’s head. It’s catchy. He starts singing along:
‘No one likes us
I don’t know why
We may not be perfect
But heaven knows we try
But all around
Even our old friends put us down
Let’s drop the big one
And see what happens
We give them money
But are they grateful
No, they’re spiteful
And they’re hateful
They don’t respect us
So let’s surprise them
We’ll drop the big one
And pulverize them.’
Ah yes. Who’s the boss now? I’ll drop the big one… Who’s going to throw one back? I’ve got thousands, thousands of them. What’s the point of having something and not using it? It’s dumb, just plain dumb. And I’m not dumb. I’m a smart guy. I’m the President of the most powerful country in the history of the world! Haha. You can’t get to be standing where I am by being dumb! (He bends down and whispers into his hand, ‘Hehehe unless you just actually outsmarted them hehehe.’) Smart? Outsmart? It’s the same deal, mostly the same letters anyway, he shrugs.
Still, there will be the press conference this morning. If anyone asks did I have anything to do with the disappearance of Sweden, I’ll just reply, No. The disappearance of Sweden is fake news. It’s fake news everybody. I’ll tell them I had a look at a world map just before coming in and Sweden was still there. So I think my alternative fact trumps yours. I mean where would we be if maps lied? You wouldn’t know where to build a wall for instance. I’ve been consulting my world map for my wall with Mexico, and it’s going to be so great that it is going to be seen, so I’m told, from space. Can you believe that folks? From outer space.
Biff’s phone rings.
‘Hello, Vlad. Yes of course this is a good time. Always good to hear from you. Have I heard Sweden no longer exists? No I didn’t. It’s very later over here. Everyone is asleep. Except me of course; heavy is the burden of those who wear the crown eh Vlad always having to keep an eye open. What did you say? Did I know which way the wind was blowing? Isn’t that a Bob Dylan line? Who’s Bob Dylan, oh never mind, a third-rate hillbilly commie folksinger we seem to have too many of over here. You put all yours in the gulag haha. What’s this about the wind? What, the wind is blowing very strongly west to east and some very large mushroom clouds are blowing in your direction from where Sweden used to be? That’s terrible Vlad. Are you sure they’re not fake clouds? Yes, sorry, of course I believe you’re telling the truth. Yes, this isn’t a cheap reality show. Of course of course Vlad. Any help you need. Just ask. Vlad, I can’t hear you. Is that coughing? You should get to a doctor. Vlad?
The call ends.
Biff can’t control the compulsion. He must tweet, something, anything:
@therealbiff Our fine-tuned machine will defeat the enemy of the people!
@therealbiff All news is fake! HAPPY PRESIDENTS DAY – MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
‘There, I feel better now.’ Biff starts to sing: ‘No one like us, I don’t know why….’
Warwick McFadyen is a freelance writer and editor