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Blog Number 33 [Wednesday 24th June 2020]

At breakfast, M read me the latest Trump diatribe. Having walked unsteadily down a ramp, he is now convinced there’s a conspiracy to make ramps steeper than they were under Obama. Orchestrated by George Soros of course. This was in a New Yorker piece. It ended:

Trump told reporters that he was also considering signing an executive order requiring all ramps to have an incline of zero degrees, rendering them completely flat.

“Those would be perfect ramps,” he said.

Responding to this proposal, CNN’s Jim Acosta asked if, by making ramps flat, Trump would in effect be making the nation’s ramps no longer ramps at all.

“You’re a terrible person,” Trump replied.

You couldn’t make it up. Except the writer of the piece is Andy Borowitz, described as author and comedian [hint there]. The problem with Trump is that it is entirely believable. Like his assertion that too many tests are being done for coronavirus which makes America look bad. The more tests you do, the more infections you find, he declares. So ramp down [sorry] on the testing. Did he really say this? Yes, more than once. Is he serious? Yes. “I don’t kid,” he said when asked by a journalist if he was kidding. It makes sense in Trumpington, USA, where the way things look is more important than the way things are, which is why the empty seats at his campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma must have hurt. My old friend Colin, who may or may not have squared up to Clive James in 1968 [see Mini-Blog 5 and ensuing correspondence], posted this little ditty,

Over this side of the pond, mini-Trump tells us from July 4th – deliberate choice this date I guess – we are all free to go out and catch the virus [I summarise]. Apparently we have been in hibernation. Well, the government has in any event. Things have not gone all that smoothly [a candidate for the understatement of the year]. Mattie has had to set up a new Test, Track and Trace system to find out where the old Test, Track and Trace system has gone. Last seen heading towards the Isle of Wight, it seems. I just hope he’s not going to propose another App. The last one cost £12 million to fail to appear, which is enough dosh to respray 5 planes and build 2 new yachts for Queenie [model yachts actually as Philip wants a change from the toy ducks he plays with in the bath]. Now no more from the gloomsters and doomsters as Bojo would say, there is some really good news. The pubs will be opening. Hooray! But there are some caveats. Sit back, close your eyes and imagine going to your local…

A customer about to enter the Rose and Crown is stopped by the landlord, Andrew. He’s wearing a Union Jack mask and brandishing a gun, a cap gun admittedly but it looks like the real thing.



‘Your name.’

‘I just want a drink.’

‘Yes, I know. The rules are you have to give me your name and a contact number before I can let you in.’

 ‘Boris Johnson.’

‘Sorry, already have a Boris Johnson. Try again.’

‘Margaret Thatcher.’

Andrew glares. ‘You’re a man.’

‘I might be trans.’

‘In which case I can’t let you in. I only have a Ladies and a Gentleman’s Loo.’

‘Keir Starmer?’

‘Fuck off.’

Even if you get into the pub, you have to follow guidelines like not leaning on the bar, surely the inalienable right of all pubgoers, and there is to be “limited contact with staff”. 

Man ordering a round of drinks. ‘Two pints of Old Hooky, a hugely expensive glass of Chardonnay, a gin and…’

‘Sorry, time’s up.’


‘You have exceeded your limited contact time with staff.’

‘But I haven’t finished my order.’

‘Sorry. That’s it. It’s the rules.’


‘If you persist in talking, I will have to ask you to leave. Next.’ 

It will pub going but not as we know it.

Antidote 33

A youthful Nigel Hawthorne as Sir Humphrey on the proper function of government.

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