The Art of the Snuff: Donald J. Trump’s Blueprint for Fighting Forest Fires in the Now Great Again America

Jeff Phillips
Published in
8 min readSep 8, 2018


Photo by Matt Howard on Unsplash

This summer, forests all across California, spanning Orange County on up to Redding, went up in smoke. July clocked in as the hottest month in California ever, with an average temperature of 79.7 degrees. By the time our president chimed in on August 6th, at 4:53 PM, the fire protection agency known as CAL Fire, reported that some of the major wildfires had already ripped through more than 433,664 acres, engulfing 1,000 plus homes and structures.

My first instinct was to Tweet at @RealDonaldTrump “what the fuck do you know about fighting fire? Did bone spurs give you extra reading time to study as many existing fire fighting manuals as you could get your little hands on?” But I took a deep breath of our smoke-free air out here in the Midwest. Well, there was that BBQ down the street that smelled of cheese-stuffed bratwursts charing away, but it reminded me for a second of what the republicans in our lives asked of us immediately after the election. “Just give him a chance.” I’ve been frustrated by 45 at every turn, but what if this was his chance. Maybe he did have some brilliant ideas on fighting forest fires that we haven’t tapped into yet, and instead of scoffing at his late afternoon Tweet, this could be an opportunity to probe him further for this hidden wisdom. So I called some people, who called some people in the Trump administration, and implored him to rise to the occasion. Trump could be the hero who makes our forests great again.

His team responded, yes, Trump would like to be that hero who fights fire before fire can become fire. They came back to me with a plan, and asked me to show my loyalty toward his graciousness in solving a problem in a blue state. Suddenly I’m the nation’s Forest Fire Czar, because though I may not look it, I’m one of the Floor Search Wardens during fire drills at my work. Apparently this is enough of a qualification. I have been directed through a series of Snapchats that Trump himself has issued to me while he takes his first poop of the day, to do anything and everything I can to drum up support for a series of executive orders that will be signed off by the end of next week. After drinking a gallon and a half of the Kool-Aid, it is my honor to present to you an 8 point plan, The Art of the Snuff: Donald J. Trump’s Blueprint for Fighting Forest Fires in the Now Great Again America.

Photo by Evan Wise on Unsplash
  1. First of all, we need to rally behind a true leader. It’s about time we fire that clown Smokey the Bear. He’s been doing absolutely nothing since 1944 when he was appointed by that lib FDR. What a waste of taxpayer money! With a government salary he could at least afford to put on a damn shirt. Sleezy Smokey is such a low class pig! We need someone who will be tough on forest fires, not weak. Which is why he will be replaced by the stuffed lion in Barron’s room.

2. Then we need to stop fires at the source. It is so obvious, ISIS is dead set on destroying our beautiful American land because they hate trees and want this place to be a desert by the time they take over. Not gonna happen! From now on, only legal citizens of the United States will be allowed entry into national, state, and local parks. Parks will be heavily regulated using surveillance, security checkpoints, and walls! We’re letting terrorists camp out in our own backyard. To make matters worse, there are far too many who have embraced witchcraft, and are stirring up super powerful demon-backed fires. Our rangers must survey the land with the blessing of Jesus Christ himself, which is why we will deploy highly trained warrior priests; the paladin will emerge as a force to be reckoned with in a morally bankrupt society.

3. A sad thing happened to our country when we banned asbestos back in 1973. Once again big government overstepped and made a house fire much worse. We will begin rebuilding these houses using asbestos again, which is one of the most heat resistant substances on earth, and what you’re seeing now will never happen again. Snowflakes are so scared of this beautiful, flame retardant stuff, but Donald Trump has been dipping his ice cream cones in it since he was 4, and he is literally the healthiest president we’ve ever seen.

4. Because right now you can’t build on state land, you don’t have anyone who is going to care for it like a proud franchise owner would. We can guarantee you, if there were more McDonald’s out there in wine country, you’d have more fire extinguishers on hand. And that assistant manager who values his job is going to care more about stopping that fire than some hippie working summers for the parks department. Not only will a strip mall clear out some of that tree density — we should have given that timber to the logging industry a long time ago — but that bitch of a fire will meet its match when it comes up against the arctic blast of an open freezer at a Cold Stone Creamery.

Photo by Dev on Unsplash

5. Everyone is so uptight about plastic water bottles. The Trump administration took a major step to tackle the problem of access to water in National Parks when it overturned Obama’s ban on the National Park Service’s ability to sell plastic water bottles. If they only looked at the big picture, years of evidence shows us that most of the time these bottles are tossed on the ground, there’s a little bit of water left inside. We’re killing ourselves by not having any of these on hand. If a fire were coming at you, wouldn’t you much rather have some litter lying there with something you could splash at the hot beast?

Photo by Simson Petrol on Unsplash

6. While many people in our country are swept into demonizing Vladimir Putin, thanks to the fake news media, if we were a little nicer to him, he’d be up there helping put an end to this madness. He’s been known to commandeer Russian fire fighting aircrafts, because God bless him, he is a world class hero and it’s about time we recognize that he can do no wrong.

7. These firefighters use so much cell phone data to track fires, it’s not even funny. It’s expensive. Verizon was unfairly criticized for throttling the Santa Clara County Fire Protection District’s data. Liberals are crying that Verizon should have provided them unlimited data in an emergency situation. The only way such a company like Verizon can afford to provide the services the fire fighters need, is to charge more. The end of Net Neutrality is going to be the secret ingredient that helps us win, as long as these firefighters pay their fair share, and pay it on time. We’ll have gargantuan cell phone towers erected in no time, and fire won’t be a threat to these structures because they will be coated in thick globs of asbestos-laced paint. Do we expect telecom to build fireproof cell phone towers out of sheer goodwill? One thing you should all note is that telecom lobbyists are much nicer to Trump than any of these do-gooders. They play golf with him and let him win. They snap selfies with him and proclaim how his golf technique is the greatest. President Trump once saw Smokey the Bear at a golf event and said hi, and this goofy bear snubbed him so he could take photos with little kids like these little twerps were more important than the 45th President of the United States. Trump challenged Smokey to 9 holes but the idiot bear just made a show of his soundless laugh. Let’s see him laugh like that when he’s fired.

8. Finally, we’re missing the best opportunity in such a bigly way. We could be absorbing all that heat and creating such a delicious campfire treat at the same time. We need our finest men, hoisting massive skewers, pierced with what would be considered bitesize to the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, to bob above the blazing treeline. We need to be putting our defensive might behind this. Which is why President Trump has asked the Pentagon to initiate a new branch of the military. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for Smores Force! We will bring dignity once again to all of the forgotten workers in the marshmallow industrial complex.

Roasting is better than hosing!

This is an unprecedented time in our history. We are faced with a crisis, but we have a ruler — I mean — president with actual ideas. The Art of the Snuff will be implemented regardless of Democratic support. But rest assured, if you walk away critical of these ideas, you are anti-American. If Democrats choose not to embrace this plan, they can kiss goodbye the nickname of tree huggers; Trump and his loyal followers will forever brand such obstructionists as “tree cucks.” Let’s take a much needed break from sparring with and distracting our leader, and instead encourage him to truly think outside of the McNugget box, so that the fires will be contained at a percentage of a 150%. An impossible percentage point that will be made a reality by an administration that does not fixate on the bullshit boundaries of sad science.

The “Art of the Snuff” was performed as a PowerPoint presentation at The Skewer, a monthly live-lit show at Cafe Mustache in Chicago, on September 5th, 2018.



Jeff Phillips

Co-founder of Zizobotchi Papers, a literary journal dedicated to the novella, & contributor of stories at DWWP Chicago.