I spent a day acting presidential and this is what happened.
To understand Trump, you must first be Trump.
Say what you like about Donald Trump, but, at the time of writing, he’s the President of the United States and you’re not.
I’m not either, so in an attempt to turn my life around, I took the President’s message to his Ohio supporters — “it’s so easy to act presidential”— and tried it out.
You’ll never guess what happened. (Spoiler — I’m still not President.)
8.00 am — my kitchen
My wife, tottering in the high heels I bribed her £250 to wear in my company, asked if I wanted white or brown bread.
‘White,’ I replied. ‘Obviously.’
8.20 am — my living room
Tom Jr smashed Jim over the head with the Nintendo Switch because he wanted to see what would happen. He also called Jim a ‘poo poo head’.
Jim was crying. Tom Jr was rolling his eyes.
So, having stood on the Nintendo Switch, I sent them both to their room.
‘What happened?’ asked my wife.
‘There were problems on both sides.’
8.30 am — the street
I was taking Tom Jr to school. Gill and John were standing outside their house. And I knew they were talking about me because it’s all they do.
‘Get a life, losers!’ I called as I walked past, offering an ironic thumbs up.
Gill said something I couldn’t make out. I stopped. I turned. I did an impression of her whiny voice. Very accurate.
‘Dad?’ asked my 5-year-old as Gill began to sob.
‘They’re lame,’ I told him. ‘Forget it.’
As we got into the car, I sent a quick tweet describing how Gill could do with losing weight and that John had weird teeth.
8.45 am — my front door
Back from the school run, someone knocked at my door.
It was Geoff. He invites me to his BBQ and compliments my kids. I like Geoff.
‘Hey, Tom,’ he said. ‘Just a word about the ivy on our shared fence.’
‘What about it?’
‘I’ve cut back the stuff on my side. I think you’re going to need to do the same on yours. It’s starting to block the light.’
‘No,’ I said. Geoff frowned. ‘Not my fence. Not my ivy. Not my problem.’
Geoff blinked twice.
‘But we’ve chatted about this. You agreed to cut it down. Your wife …’
‘My wife’s not part of the decision making process. And, anyway, there’s no ivy and there’s no fence. Not belonging to me, anyway. Fake rumours, Geoff.’
And I lied about needing the toilet and I closed the door as Geoff asked whether this was one of my jokes.
9.25 am — my workplace
I spent twenty minutes at work before telling our receptionist that if anyone needed me, I’d be at the trampoline centre.
‘Trampolining gives me an opportunity to think through all the daily decisions I’ve got to make. It’s important to make space for that.’
‘But you’re a teacher,’ she said. ‘What about your classes?’
‘What are those things on paper that are like films but like infinitely more boring?’
‘Right, they can read them.’
9.40 am to 5.30 pm — Soar Trampoline Park
I took 20 minutes out to eat a lunch pizza. It was nice. But I felt a bit nauseous during the afternoon trampolining.
6.47 pm — my kitchen
I touched my wife’s bum.
‘What are you doing?’ she asked.
‘Touching your bum.’
‘I know that. Why?’
‘I’m acting presidential.’
She shook her head and left me.
‘Women can be so touchy,’ I tweeted. ‘And not in a good way.’
7.10 pm — my upstairs toilet
The headteacher, my boss, called.
‘Are you OK?’ he asked.
‘Just acting presidential.’
He made a noise halfway between a burp and a laugh.
‘Julie tells me you left this morning without setting cover for your classes. Something about … trampolining?’
I cleared my throat and, in by best Russian accent, answered:
‘Tom iz an OK man, da? You have no vorries, Mr Headteacher.’
And I put the phone down.
7.46 pm to 10.14 pm — my sofa
For dinner: McDonald’s. Big Mac meal. Large and with a strawberry milkshake. When I returned home, my family were no longer there. I turned on TV and watched Fox and ate fries. Soon, I was asleep, zonked out on the sofa with special sauce dribbling down my front.
What did I learn? Acting presidential can be great fun but it also upsets people. As I write, I’ve received two court orders from neighbours, my wife has left me, taking my children (who think I’m a bad man) with her. I’ve lost my teaching job and my favourite t-shirt is stained.
But I am British. I’m sure if I were American, things would be a lot different. I’d be winning. Because that’s the American Dream, right?
And Trump’s still the President.