“Black crows in the meadow
Across a broad highway
Though it’s funny, honey
I just don’t feel much like a
~ Bob Dylan, “Black Crow Blues”
Meanwhile, in Donald Trump’s White House… Episode 5.
Few in the White House paid notice to the first six crows that congregated in the Rose Garden, just outside the Oval Office. It was only 8:00 am.
By 8:35 there are twenty-five crows.
At 9:15, Chief of Staff Reince Preibus counts at least fifty crows. All cawing loudly, creating a great cacophony of ear-splitting noise.
“What the fuck is going on?” President Trump asks his staff as he looks out the Oval Office windows.
9:30. Close to a hundred black birds have completely overtaken the Rose Garden. Some of the murder of crows have begun pecking at the White House windows. Three slam into the Oval’s windows, testing their strength, knocking themselves out in the process. The noise is deafening. Some of Trump’s staff are rolling Kleenex into wads to try and plug their ears.
9:40. Another fifty crows swarm the White House grounds. More birds attack the White House windows, smashing into the glass with a loud bang.
President Trump says, “Someone call and wake up Nugent. He’s in the Lincoln Bedroom. Have him blast these motherfuckers.”
9:45. Ted Nugent stumbles onto the Truman Balcony in his loincloth, his hairy beer belly sagging over the front, loading an AR-15 with a 100 round high-capacity drum magazine.
The crows continue swooping and cawing and slamming into the Oval Office windows. Ted Nugent raises the AR-15 and begins firing rounds as fast as he can pull the trigger into the murder of crows.
Four crows are blown to feathery bits by by the high-powered bullets right away. The crows turn towards the Truman Balcony, recognizing where the threat is coming from.
Then the crows attack.
Dozens of angry crows swoop and swarm Ted Nugent like he was Tippi Hedren. The AR-15 sprays bullets wildly into the air as the crows engulf Nugent, pecking and biting the former rock star wherever they can. Nugent screams out in terror, “Help me! They’re killing me! Help me, Jesus!”
One of the crows rips out Nugent’s left eye and flies off with his trophy to feed and enjoy his reward.
Inside the Oval Office, President Trump and his senior staff stare outside in silent horror. Before his smartphone can be wrested away from the President, he manages to fire off a Tweet: “Nature is so biased against me! Sources tell me Obama trained these birds! UNFAIR!!!”
Ted Nugent expires, dying of blood loss from the crow attacks. The hundreds of carrion-loving birds spend the next five hours picking Nugent’s bones clean.
Later in the afternoon, CNN’s Jake Tapper has the renowned folklorist Dr. Geoff Hurley on to discuss what happened this morning. Hurley says, “Jake, crows often are bad omens and symbolize death. They tend to predict war, death, and misfortune. This is a bad sign for this floundering, hapless White House. Something dark and ominous is surely coming. To paraphrase Creedence Clearwater Revival, I feel a bad moon rising soon.”
“Thank you, Dr. Geoff Hurley, Endowed Professor at the University of Washington. What a weird morning. One has to wonder what comes next after this display from Mother Nature. We’re back with more of The Lead after this commercial break,” Jake Tapper says.
Only two United States Presidents — James Polk and Andrew Johnson — have lived in the White House without a pet. Some presidents were actual animal lovers, others had pets as public relations tools. It’s believed a pet “humanizes” a President. Fala, Checkers, Socks, Barney, and Bo are all part of the American pop culture lexicon. There’s been many dogs and cats, but also horses, a blue macaw, a raccoon, two bear cubs, a pygmy hippo, a bobcat, and William McKinley’s parrot that could whistle “Yankee Doodle.”
The public perception of President Trump being what it is, it was suggested by his children, especially Ivanka, that a pet dog would help soften his image.
Three dogs were given a trial period. All three hated the President. A Dalmatian pup named Salty bolted every time someone tried to take him outside. It took five Secret Service agents to catch him after each escape. Humphrey, a chocolate lab, loved everyone except for Trump. Dogs and children have great instincts, they sense what kind of a person you are. Humphrey bounded around the West Wing, greeting everyone on the staff, but when Trump approached, the lab barked loudly, spun around twice and took a dump on the carpet. The third dog, a West Highland White terrier named Angus tried to bite Trump whenever possible. When he couldn’t get a bite on Trump , Angus latched onto the pant leg of the President’s baggy suit and wouldn’t let go until bribed with a bacon-flavored treat.
“This obviously isn’t working, Mr. President,” Chief of Staff Reince Preibus says. “Maybe we should either try a cat or bag the idea.”
President Trump holds up one of his tiny index fingers to silence Preibus. “I want a monkey,” Trump says.
“Sir, you can’t have a monkey, they’ll—-“
“A monkey. Get me a monkey. Great for ratings. Lots of TV shows will get a monkey to boost ratings. Remember that show Friends? Tremendous show. They had a monkey. That Rachel was a piece of ass, right? Remember her?”
“Mr. President, this isn’t a television show. It’s a White House administration and we’re struggling.”
“It’s a TV show, Reince. All of this is a TV show. Get me a monkey.”
With the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus shutting down after 146 years, all of the animals are being distributed to “reputable sanctuaries.” Among those beasts is a two-year-old chimpanzee named Joni. The ape was named after Joni Mitchell.
Already trained and comfortable with humans, Joni bounded into the White House residence happy to meet the staff and First Family. Reince Priebus presented what Trump thinks is a “monkey” saying, “Mr. President, this is your new pet. Her name is Joni but the Communications Office thinks we should change it to something presidential or patriotic. They were thinking Mary Todd, or Eleanor. Maybe Betsy after Betsy Ross.”
“Titties,” President Trump says.
“Titties. The monkey’s name is Titties.”
Ivanka says, “Daddy, I don’t think that name is a good idea.“
“I know what I like, sweetheart. The monkey’s new name is Titties. Great name.”
Titties quickly becomes ensconced in the West Wing of the White House. She poses for glossy photoshoots with Us Weekly and People magazine. She makes cameo appearances at Sean Spicer’s press briefings, welcomed by the cynical media with rapturous applause. The ape sits in on most senior staff meetings, and like legends of Caligula’s horse Incitatus, Titties has become a trusted aide to President Trump. Trump values her loyalty.
During a meeting in the in the East Room, Chief of Staff Reince Preibus tries to inject his opinion on concessions or compromises that could be made to the most-likely-dead-on-arrival new health care legislation. Barely three sentences come out of Preibus’s mouth before he is hushed by the President.
“Yeah, yeah, Reince, fuck that. That sounds like I’m soft. Titties, what do you think? Ignore those ideas?”
The chimp grins wide, showing her teeth and nods enthusiastically.
“There you have it,” Trump says. “End of discussion. Reince, Titties is gonna take your office. You can find a cubicle in the Communications Offices.”
Preibus can barely stammer out the words, “But, sir, I’m your Chief of Staff. I need to have acce—“
“You retain your title, Reince. But your office is now Tittie’s office.”
Over the next few days, President Trump’s new pet receives a new personal tailor and a new title. Titties is officially First Pet and Senior Advisor. The tailor, who previously has worked on Victorian era period dramas for the BBC, makes Titties a jewel-incrusted purple satin cape. Two of the Washington D.C. orphans that were sewing Make America Great Again hats in the White House sweatshop are reassigned to carry the train of Titties’ purple cloak. Also, Trump commissions a custom sold gold scepter from Tiffany’s for the First Pet. Rare red diamonds decorate the scepter that Titties like to hit Reince Priebus in the ass with, much to the President’s amusement.
In his dark, bat-filled basement office, Steve Bannon twists open his second bottle of Rebel Yell bourbon as deliveries are brought to him. There’s only one parcel he’s looking for. The box from Alexander Historical Auctions in Chesapeake City, Maryland.
Bannon opens the box with a Nazi, swastika-emblazoned dagger with an ivory handle. That implement is fitting for what’s inside. Bidding anonymously, Bannon paid $243,000 dollars for Adolf Hitler’s telephone. The auction house billed the item as “arguably the most destructive weapon of all time,” since it was from that Bakelite phone thousands of death orders were given. With drunken tears in his eyes, Steve Bannon carefully takes the paint-chipped red phone from the box. He takes the receiver off the hook and smells the mouthpiece, hoping to get a faint hint of The Führer’s breath. He’s overcome with joy, which is them magnified as he watches Reince Preibus carrying a cardboard box filled with office supplies from his former office to a cubicle in the Communications Offices. Also on the monitors, Bannon sees a team of movers bringing in the new decor for Titties, the First Pet’s new office.
“What a great day,” Bannon slurs out loud.
Knowing that President Trump has been feeling cooped up in the White House that he routinely calls “a shithole,” the Senior Staff has arranged a treat. As the sun sets to the west, Trump spins donuts in a fire truck on the South Lawn. The whole time blasting the siren and yelling self-congratulatory exclamations into a megaphone.
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Johnny Wright is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. He is a beef jerky enthusiast and wishes Bigfoot was real.