RAMONA ON CORONA and….The Truant in Chief
A humor series on navigating this difficult time
Today, for my Wake-Up Call newsletter (subscribe here!), I’m sharing another installment of a humor series from my friend Pam Goldman, centering on a woman named Ramona, who tries to help… in her own way. If you’re new to this series: Here’s the previous installment. Read on.
Have you ever been in the hospital? I have, but never, I’m relieved to say, for anything as potentially life-threatening as coronavirus. I’ve had two Cesareans, life-affirming experiences that produced my two daughters, and I’ve had two elective surgeries, one for a torn meniscus and the other for a frozen shoulder.
I’m trying to imagine what my doctor would do if I jumped out of my hospital gown, changed into street clothes, Dialed 777–777–7777 car service, had a driver pick me up and take me to the nearest Haagen Dazs for a double-dip mocha chip ice cream cone just because I had a craving. I am certain that upon my return to the hospital he would have me transferred to the psych ward.
And yet…our infectious President was able to indulge his craving for adoration by leaving his hospital bed for an ego boost from supporters.
Could this caper be the basis for the next Judd Apatow blockbuster? A sequel to the Hollywood director’s boffo hit movie, Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer? Who can make this stuff up?
I’ve always dreamed of being a screenwriter.
Screenplay: TRAINWRECK II
Act I/ Scene 1
Interior: Walter Reed Military Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland. The Presidential Suite. Wall to wall windows overlooking the Lincoln Memorial. A shelf with photos of the entire Trump family except for Mary Trump, niece and best-selling author. The president of the United States is laying on an incline in a hospital bed watching Fox News on a 95-inch flatscreen T.V. on the wall opposite him. He wears a hospital gown with a small American flag pinned on front and a red tie that is way too long. He is on his cell phone.
POTUS: Hey, Hannity. Sorry to interrupt the show, especially while you’re trashing Mamala as a Commie but I’m at Walter Reed as you probably know. I’ve got this damn Chinese plague thing and….
HANNITY: Sir, I’m sorry to interrupt you. King Don, I mean Mr. President …I’ve got to cut to a commercial. Do you mind if I put you on hold?
POTUS: Excuse me? Excuse me? Excuse me, Sean? I’m the President of the United States, the leader of the free world and the King of all media so skip the commercial. I need your take on this.
HANNITY: Certainly Mr. President, go ahead. Our sponsors will just have to wait. What’s on your mind?
POTUS: Sean I’d like you to do me a favor.
HANNITY: Whatever you need Mr. President.
POTUS: I’d like you to help me get the hell out of here. Biden’s out there on some whistle-stop train campaigning like a banshee and I’m stuck in this hospital room. I need to get out of here and get the message out that I’m still alive and kickin’ ass.
Can you call Christie and Guiliani? Tell them I want them to hire some extras from a casting agency and send them over here with Trump signs and flags, whatever, to stand outside the hospital and look like they’re dyin’ to see me?
HANNITY: I’ll see what I can do, sir.
POTUS: I love extras Sean. You know they’re great people. Beautiful people. Oh, and make it a diverse group if you can. I love diverse people. They’re great people. Terrific people. I love them very strongly.
Act 1, Scene 2
The President gets out of bed and winces as he removes the IV needle from his left arm. He finishes his Regeneron cocktail and as a chaser chug-a-lugs Remdesivir and Dexamethasone. He changes from a hospital gown and tie into a navy blue suit and open collar white shirt. He picks up his cell phone and dials.
POTUS: Jared it’s the President. Get the car out of the garage. And 5 or 6 motorcade cars. Listen my doctor gave me permission to do a drive-by to satisfy the crowd outside clamoring for me. Can you send them over to the rear loading dock of the hospital in about 5 minutes? Great. Thanks. You pull this off, I’ll pardon your dad if he’s ever convicted again and I’ll give him 2 comps to the inaugural.
President tiptoes past the nurses’ station. He exits the hospital by an emergency door and gets into a waiting black Suburban. The motorcade follows to the north side of the hospital where a hundred extras are chanting “Four More Years.” The masked President gives the royal wave out the back window like Queen Elizabeth (without the purse). His car and entire motorcade make a U-turn and head back to Walter Reed. President sneaks back upstairs to his room, undresses and gets back into a hospital gown and tie. He rings for the nurse to re-insert IV.
End Act 1
This was no “SNL” skit starring Alec Baldwin or a frat party stunt. This was The not-so-Great Escape by the Truant in Chief. The 74-year-old obese president took a joy ride with a ‘compassionate care’ cocktail coursing through his system.
This is not a Keystone Cops comedy. This is the stuff of Greek tragedy with an antagonist whose hubris, like Sophocles’ Oedipus, suffers from excessive pride. He defies not the Gods, but The Science and ignores warnings that result in him becoming the thing he fears most……being human!
He belittled the compliant masses who took the CDC mitigation guidelines seriously. Now he deserves a global, finger-wagging “I-told-you-so!” He did not accept that Covid-19 does not discriminate between mere civilians and royalty, red states and blue states, black people and white people, presidents on pedestals and supporters down below.
He continued to breathe out toxicity as his unmasked base breathed in. He did the same in the Rose Garden at an assemblage of guests attending the ceremony for his Supreme Court nominee. And ditto on cross-country flights with family members and staff. Breathing in and breathing out droplets of the coronavirus, aerosolizing as they schmoozed, drank and enjoyed the trappings of Air Force One.
Not one bit funny.
Hey, listen. I know this is supposed to be a humor series and believe me I try hard every week to find something funny to lighten things up but each week the world (read: POTUS) gets weirder and weirder and my job gets harder and harder. Please send jokes!
The latest: POTUS changed his mind. Not going to do a virtual debate. And he called Mamala a monster. This man needs a four year time out.
The last word: VOTE!
Pam Goldman is a writer, therapist, wife, mother and (young) grandmother. Her work has been published in The New York Times and VIVA Magazine. She is completing her first book, titled LEFT.
This appeared in Katie Couric’s Wake-Up Call newsletter. Subscribe here.