“I’ve seen this guy [Trump] throw a dead spiral through a tire. I’ve seen him at Madison Square Garden with a topcoat on, he’s standing in the key, he’s hitting foul shots and swishing them, okay? He sinks three foot putts. I don’t see this guy as a guy that’s ever under siege.”
–White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, 7/21/17
Madison Square Garden
A thin line of sweat bloomed on Donald Trump’s brow.
Though thousands of spectators were looking on, an eerie silence had fallen on Madison Square Garden. The air was hot, like the late night breath of a Russian prostitute. Trump could feel the crowd’s eyes on him. It had all come down to this.
He glanced at the scoreboard. 80–79, with mere seconds left. If he could hit these foul shots, it would bring his team over the top, and they would win the game. There would be so much winning. All he had to do was pull this off.
He bounced the ball once, twice, and arced it through the air. Swish.
The crowd erupted, like the late night urination of, say, a Russian prostitute. Then, just as suddenly, the ball was back in Donald’s hands, and they were silent again.
Anthony Scaramucci, from his courtside seat, watched with his mouth agape. Nobody had ever done this before. Nobody had ever stopped an NBA game to walk on the court in their topcoat and start shooting foul shots. Nobody had dreamed it was possible.
Trump palmed the ball for a moment, took a breath, and fired away. Time seemed to slow. In a graceful curve, the ball flew through the air, higher and higher – almost too high – before dropping, elegantly, through the hoop.
Trump National Golf Club
Hole 13 on the Championship Course was a tough par 4, with a mean left turn if you wanted play on the fairway instead of in the rough. Donald Trump always played the fairway, of course. And he always came in under par.
Now, three feet from the hole, that seemed like it might change. Donald crouched on the green, like a Russian prostitute crouching over a 70-year-old man. The line across the green looked like a straight shot, but this hole was a tricky one. He knew that. He knew it down to his bones. It was his course, after all.
On his caddy’s advice, he took his putter, and lined up his shot. He lined it up straight and true – then stepped six inches to the side, aiming his third stroke just to the left of the cup.
Anthony Scaramucci gawked under the brim of his golf visor. What was Trump doing? The hole was just three feet away – not even a very impressive distance, really. But it looked like Donald was about to throw it all down the tube. He tugged at his caddy gloves nervously.
Trump tapped the ball with his putter, and it rolled the three feet. To the left of the cup, to the left of the cup, still to the left – and then, hitting the subtle grade of the green, it curved right.
White House Rose Garden
President Donald Trump tossed the football from one hand to the other as Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus hung a tire from the tallest crabapple tree. He glanced at Greg Hayes – CEO of United Technologies, parent company to Carrier – and gulped. Not nervously, of course. But not not nervously.
“Remember,” said Trump, “you gave me your word.”
“Yes, yes,” said Hayes dismissively, only looking up momentarily from his hot dog. “If you throw that football through the tire, I will keep jobs at our Indianapolis manufacturing plant. But if you miss – even a little bit – it’s ‘goodbye, Indiana, and hola, Mexico.’”
He bit into the hot dog with relish. Then he wiped the relish away with a $100 bill, laughing.
Spicer and Priebus jogged up to Trump, sweating. They glistened in the morning sun, like Russian prostitutes glistening in the morning sun.
“Are you sure about this, boss?” asked Spicer.
“Yeah, boss, are you sure?” asked Priebus.
“Yes,” he said, narrowing his eyes at the tire. “I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.
From deep within a nearby rose bush, Anthony Scaramucci held his breath. Nobody had ever done this before. People’s livelihoods were hanging in the balance, and the President of the United States was about to gamble it all on a football throw. God, it was an amazing time to be an American hiding in a rose bush watching a septuagenarian.
Trump stared hard at the still-cackling Greg Hayes, then turned to the tire with a hot fury in his eyes. He didn’t think. He never thought. He just threw.
It was a perfect dead spiral. Straight and true, like the flight path of a MiG. Just the way Donald liked it – nothing but hole. Spicer and Priebus squealed with joy, like horny pigs.
Hayes choked on his wiener. “Curses!” he shouted. Hundred dollar bills flew from his pockets as he flailed about. “Curses and fie!” He stomped away, towards the edge of the groundss.
“We have a deal, right Hayes?” Trump shouted after him. He could only turn and nod his assent.
He cursed Trump, and the tire, and the American Worker. It really was, it seemed, a new day in politics. Things were going to be different with this new guy.