How to Make a Puppy into Mittens, by Steve Bannon

Amateur glover Steve Bannon

During a recent layover (at an airport that has asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution), I happened upon White House Chief Strategist and the last person you would ever trust alone with your children, Steve Bannon. Having read sportswriter Marc Tracy’s piece on his own Bannon airport encounter, I decided that Steve must be a pretty approachable guy, so I went up and said hi.

After some generic introduction, I asked Stevie-B what he thought of all the shade that has been cast his way as of late. He laughed and told me, “I bet if you reported that I carve puppies into mittens, people would believe you.”

“Puppies into mittens?” What a suspiciously specific example. “Are we talking small breed or the big howlers?”

Bannon smiled and rubbed his paws together. “You don’t know the half of it. Puppies make tremendous mittens. The best. Unfortunately the only place that manufacturers them is in the Far East.” He gave me a knowing look. “And as you can probably guess, I only buy American. So if you want puppy mittens here, you have to make your own.”

“Make your own, you say?” I said.

“It’s very easy. Easier than you might think.” And he went on to explain it to me.

Step One: Start your own publication.

“It can be a one sheet school newsletter, or an online mega-hub. Whatever the case, you need a platform if you’re going to kill those little dogs.”

Step Two: Give voice to the Nazis.

“Now, this point is very important: it’s gotta be Nazis. People have tried amplifying the voices of all sorts of other people. Women. Blacks. Poors. They’ve tried all that. Didn’t result in puppy mittens. To get the mittens, it’s gotta be Nazis.”

Step Three: Find a vain, easily manipulated billionaire. Put him in the White House.

“Again, it’s gotta be a him — no hers. It’s the only way to kill those puppies.”

Step Four: Through a series of more or less transparent maneuverings, consolidate executive power and set the stage for authoritarian takeover.

“Don’t let so-called judges stand in the way of your so-called mittens.”

Step Five. Authoritarian takeover.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t see that one coming?”

Step Six: Step six is rather simple.

“Now you can have mittens made of whatever you want. Puppies. White rhino. Three Doors Down. I’m telling you, it’s the best. Right now, the world is my mitten. And I’m slipping my hand right in.”

Just then his boarding announcement squawked through the air, interrupting our mitteny reverie. He said he should probably get ready to board, and I said yes, I needed to go use the toilet, wash my hands, and then have some drinks — perhaps not in that order.

“Trust me about the dogs,” he advised. “You’ll never wear mittens of anything else again. I guarantee it. Next time you see me, ask me where I get my belts.”

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Nick Hilden is a travel, culture, and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, the Oregonian, Vice, Men’s Health, and many more. He’s spending 2018 traveling the world. Check out his progress at, see photos on Instagram @theDisembarked, or say hit on Twitter @theDisembarked.