Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Considering how much everybody raves about Germans, it's a shock to discover they're actually pretty fucked up. The trains are always late, the whole country lives on sausage, and there are drunks on just about every horizontal surface here.

Particularly irritating, though, is just how messed up the language is.

Now, there's a correct way and an incorrect way to order words, with no subjectivity about it. You put the important words towards the front of a sentence and the unimportant words later on. The English language is pretty good at this. For example, here's a common English sentence that you frequently hear:

I want to strangle you in the park with a fluffy blanket on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

This is an example of a good word order. The important stuff is up front. Somebody expressing this sentiment says the word "strangle" pretty early on, which gives you time to process his sentiments and start running. If you're anything like me, you're frantically trying to disappear into a passing crowd by the time they get around to the weather.

But here's the German translation (and feel free to pass it through Google translate if you don't believe me):

Ich möchte dich im Park mit einer flauschigen Decke an einem sonnigen Sonntagnachmittag erwürgen.

Let's go over that word for word. I, want, you, in the, park, with a, fluffy, blanket, on, a, sunny, Sunday afternoon --

Weird, right? We're already talking about fabrics and sunshine and everything is sounding swell when an alarm should have been raised by now. Remember, if this guy was speaking English about fifteen minutes ago you'd have found a hiding place under somebody's skirt. Instead, he's speaking German so all the way up to the bitter end you're picturing the sun on your face and wondering which outfit of yours is particularly picnic-appropriate. You may even be flirting: rubbing his hairy forearm and tossing your hair back, daydreaming about what a handsome couple you'll make. Let's see, you think: I'll bring potato salad, dill pickles, toothpaste, and a jar of lube. But wait: here comes the verb.

strangle.

Strangle. Okay. One second: I was expecting "kiss," "caress," or "make love." To be honest, I wasn't expecting any variation on the word "choke."

The reality hits you in stages. "Okay, buddy," comes your first thought. "I am definitely not bringing pickles."

Then the realization of your stupidity whacks you. You were actually picturing having children with this guy. And while you're trying to figure out where you went so terribly wrong, the guy's made a noose out of his shoelace. He's lunging at you while you're still processing thoughts about the picnic. In your last mental picture, you see your gravestone: "HE WAS STILL THINKING ABOUT POTATO SALAD AT THE END."

It doesn't help that all of this comes at you with a horrifying accent. With every syllable there's so much baggage involved. If a guy is French, everything sounds sexy. If a guy is British, everything sounds proper. But when a guy is German everything sounds like a threat.

Imagine all the words that your boy- or girlfriend says to you, but coming at you in Hitler's voice. If Jacques says to you, "Who's got a cute foot?" you giggle and say, "I do!" But if Dieter says the same thing your natural inclination is to say, "I DON'T KNOW SIR BUT I WILL FIND OUT AND I WILL FETCH THEM FOR YOU!"

I spent the first months of our relationship on edge, because everything Heinrich said made me defensive. If your grandma asks, "Did you do the dishes?" there wouldn't be any unease. It would sound almost sweet, since this is the lady who frequently asks, "Who wants cookies?" You say no, you didn't do the dishes, and she'll say, "Okay, I'll do them. Now do you want a Maple Bar or an Oatmeal Spunky?"

When the words are shot at you with a German accent, though, your body reacts even faster than your brain. You freeze up, and shout the first thing that comes to your mind. "I SWEAR I DIDN'T TOUCH THEM!" you scream.

Slowly you realize it was a question, not an attack. Your boyfriend looks at you like you're crazy. "Then I will do them," he says as he walks away.

Aside from the accent, the words can be a problem. We actually argued for two hours about ice. At least, I thought it was about ice, because I was using the word "ice." However, he thought I was using the word eis, which means "ice cream." Which explains why he stared at me like I was crazy when I said that I liked a whole bunch of it in my gin and tonic, that I always had a ten-pound bag of it in my fridge, and that I used to go outside and slide around on it when I was a kid.

We're at a Berlin drug store when I notice pickle cream. "What's this for?" I ask him.

"Pickles," he says. "It's for pickles."

"I know that," I said. "But, like the dill-cucumber things?"

He laughs and points to my face. "No," he says, "you know. These little bump things."

"Pimples," I correct, and I laugh until the thought hits me: Wait, did he just point at MY face?

After that I Google for other problematic words. There are a lot: kittchen means "prison," mist means "manure," and fahrt means "journey." I mentally invent sentences to avoid, like "I love spending time in the kittchen" and "My favorite thing about the British countryside is feeling the thick mist on my face."

I'm not convinced that fahrt would cause any confusion. I could have said to any of my boyfriends, "You enjoy a good fahrt now and then, don't you?" and the answer would have been yes either way.

I can't predict the problem we'll have with the word "eventually." Heinrich lives in Berlin and I live in New York and we're getting tired of flying back and forth. Finally on the telephone we confront the situation.

"We'll figure it out eventually," I say, and the line goes silent on his end.

"Are we breaking up?" he finally asks. "Are you dumping me?"

"No," I say. "I mean, we'll figure it out eventually. Like, some time, hopefully soon."

"Oh," he says with audible relief. "In German the word eventuell means 'possibly.' Usually never. It's what you say when you don't have the nerve to tell the truth."

"That's not what I meant," I say, but from the other end I still hear trembling. "Don't worry; we'll work it out. We'll figure out something at some point, and everything will be okay."

"Really?" he says, and I assure him that it's true.

"You have to know," he says, "if it ever sounds like I am being mean to you, it's not me. It's a problem with the words. I would never ever say anything mean to you, because I love you with all my heart. You will tell me if it sounds like I am being mean to you. You will promise?"

"I promise," I say, tears welling up in my eyes.

"I promise too," he says, his German accent disappearing in the softness. "But now it's very late for me and I have to go to bed."

"Good night, honey," I say.

"Good night, sweaty," he replies.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Google employee recently released a ten-page argument against diversity in the workplace. It went viral, and he got fired. A lot of conservatives are freaking out because from the very first word the man asks people to respect his unpopular opinion.

The whole thing gets convoluted and wordy, so let's cut out the bullshit and see what his writing really says. I edited the original because it was nearly incoherent. That's a male thing, where half the success in your writing comes from making it so lengthy and obscure people read eight words and go, "Oh, fuck this shit!"


Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.

I get it. But people generally aren't "shamed into silence" unless they think a diversity seminar is a good place to whip out the old "two nuns and a black guy" joke.


At Google, we’re regularly told that biases hold women back in tech and leadership. Of course, men and women experience bias, technology, and the workplace differently and we should be cognizant of this, but it’s far from the whole story.

Blacks also say they're discriminated against at Google, but sometimes I feel discriminated against if the Google cafeteria cook forgets the bleu cheese in my salad, because what is salad without bleu cheese, and don't get me started on croutons.

I hope you're smart enough to keep up with my tangents.


Men and women differ biologically in many ways. These differences aren’t just socially constructed: they’re universal across human cultures.

BOUDICA, QUEEN OF THE ICENI: Go fuck yourself. [CUTS HIS HEAD OFF WITH STONE AXE]


Women generally have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men.

BAD GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: Hey! Good to see you. How are you today?

GOOD GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: How's that sweet Camaro running today? Man, I'd love to supercharge that puppy and take it for a few spins around the track.


These differences in part explain why women relatively prefer [Siri says, "Nope, not English!"] jobs in social or artistic areas. Men like coding and women like working on the front end, where you deal with both people and aesthetics.

MALE GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: Sara, there's a recursion fault in your zero-sum logirhythmic simulation loop.

FEMALE GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: Brad, I just won't be able to concentrate until you let me do something with your hair.


This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading.

TYPICAL GOOGLE BOSS-EMPLOYEE INTERACTION:

FEMALE WORKER: Boss, I'd like a raise.

MALE BOSS: Wow! An assertive woman. Hang out here a second, honey, and let me get my camera.


We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism. But men are more strongly judged by status and women by beauty. Again, this has biological origins and is culturally universal.

Okay, got it. So when you meet a female who wants to be successful, shove her sharply backward while shouting, "BUT YOU'RE A GIRL!"


Note, the same forces that lead men into high pay/high stress jobs in tech and leadership cause men to take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting.

FEMALE IN BAR: So what do you do for a living?

MALE IN BAR: I live on the edge. I'm that stereotypical man's man who can't be held down, always reaching for that brass ring and jumping off that mountaintop without a parachute. You've probably guessed by now: I'm a trash collector.


I’ll go over some of the differences in traits between men and women and suggest ways to address them without discrimination. First, women show a higher interest in people and men in things

Which is why the Home Shopping Network just sells carburetors and jock straps these days.


We can make software engineering more people-oriented with more collaboration. Unfortunately, there may be limits to how people-oriented certain jobs can be and we shouldn’t deceive ourselves or students into thinking otherwise.

AVERAGE FEMALE TECH EMPLOYEE: I'm just not interested in this code. Is there some way you can, like, put more Kardashians in it?


Women on average are more cooperative

I never, ever thought I'd say this: somebody needs to watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.


Women on average are more prone to anxiety.

Maybe because men don't wake up every morning to find a new rant by some smug tech female about why Google shouldn't hire dudes?


Women on average look for more work-life balance while men have a higher drive for status on average.

Wow. Is this smart-guy talk for "motherhood"? Because I don't know of any other "work-life balance" that females require.

FEMALE GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: Boss, can I take off the first week of September? I want to have a cappuccino and try yoga.


The male gender role is currently inflexible. Feminism has made great progress in freeing women from the female gender role, but men are still very much tied to the male gender role.

At least that's what my dad said after he stopped crying when I told him I wanted to dance professionally.

What "men" are we talking about? Is this whole sentence about peer pressure?

LITTLE GIRL #1: I want to be a nurse when I grow up.

LITTLE GIRL #2: I want to be a football player.

LITTLE GIRL #1: Wow! Good for you!

LITTLE BOY #1: I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up.

LITTLE BOY #2: I want to be nurse.

LITTLE BOY #1: Faggot.


If we, as a society, allow men to be more “feminine,” then the gender gap will shrink, although probably because men will leave tech and leadership for traditionally feminine roles.

Because there's no way tech can learn to value female traits. Nobody wants to ask, "Siri, what's six times eighteen?" and have Siri reply, "Why are you bugging me? Math is hard."


I don’t think we should do arbitrary social engineering just to make it appealing to women. For example, people working extra hours or taking extra stress will inevitably get promoted, and if we try to change that too much it may have disastrous consequences.

Crazy thought: why don't we get some of those women wives?


I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices like programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race.

Things I hate:
  • Women in tech
  • Things that help women in tech
Stay tuned for my next 82-page memo, "Special Ed? Special RIGHTS!"


We’re told by senior leadership that helping women in the workplace is the morally and economically correct thing to do, but without any evidence this is just harmful left-wing ideology partly based on the fact that humans are biased towards protecting females.

Dude, enjoy being married to that HP calculator, and say hi to your best friends, Mr. Microwave Oven and Mr. PlayStation II.


Nearly every difference between men and women is interpreted as a form of women’s oppression. As with many things in life, gender differences are often a case of “grass being greener on the other side."

I'm not sure I understand this. He attacks females for sixty pages then says guys think they're better off?

FEMALE: Oh, man -- I really wish I was a dude. Then maybe I'd be taken seriously in tech.

MALE: Oh, man -- I really wish I was a chick. Then I'd look better in stretch pants and nobody'd freak out if I ate a salad.


The same compassion for those seen as weak creates political correctness, which constrains discourse and is complacent [Siri says, "That word doesn't mean what you think it does!"] to the extremely sensitive PC-authoritarians that use violence and shaming to advance their cause. The frequent shaming in our culture has created the same silence, psychologically unsafe environment.

MALE GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: Chicks shouldn't work at Google! They're prone to anxiety and aren't as dedicated as dudes.

FEMALE GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: Dude, you need to shut up, because that is seriously messed up.

MALE GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: Really? Now you're creating a toxic work space!


Suggestion: De-moralize diversity. As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the “victims.”

Translation: I've got a scientific reason for firing all the chicks. Don't get mad at me.


Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently.

GOOGLE EMPLOYEE #1: Seriously, the earth is flat, and there's been a massive coverup for two thousand years to make us believe otherwise.

GOOGLE EMPLOYEE #2: Interesting. Let's go deeper into this.


Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races.

MALE GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: Seriously, if I can't get a mentor I'm calling my lawyer NOW. [PAUSE] It's a lady? Oh, HELL no!


Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for women’s representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts.

Google is trying to create equal opportunities for women who want to work. This statement only makes sense if women are also struggling to be high-school dropouts who are killed in jail.


De-emphasize empathy. I’ve heard several calls for increased empathy on diversity issues. Relying on affective empathy causes us to focus on anecdotes and harbor other irrational and dangerous biases.

Got it. So if predominantly white male police forces kill unarmed blacks five times more often than unarmed whites, those are just anecdotes prompting shit like "diversity" and should be ignored.


Being emotionally unengaged helps us better reason about the facts.

Okay.

You're an idiot and you shouldn't be let outdoors.

Wow -- now all that anxiety is gone.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Germany isn't weird at all. Just like the rest of the world, kids here love to play with action figures drawn from education and entertainment. Kinder Joy, Germany's top confectioner, recently introduced a line of chocolate eggs with their own action figures hidden inside. While they're currently exclusive to Germany, it's easy to imagine American kids delighting at these toys and devising action-packed dialog just like this:

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: We have been at sea for over two years. We are out of food and water. It is finally time to consider the thought that perhaps the world really is -- wait! Do my eyes deceive me? Is that not LAND?

LEONARDO DA VINCI: I must quickly sketch this before my thoughts are lost to the wind. There! I do believe I've devised a way by which a man can fly.

JOE BASTIANICH: This Béarnaise has entirely too much salt. Did you even taste this before you brought it to me? You're a hack. A HACK! GET OUT!

Just imagine the thrill at Munich slumber parties.

MOM: I brought you girls some Kinder Joy eggs! Just one apiece, though. And you girls get to bed soon!

GIRL #1: Oh boy! Okay. Thanks, Mom!

GIRL #2: Mmm, this chocolate egg is delicious. What's this? Oh. [GARBLED] There's a tiny plastic person in my mouth.

GIRL #1: Wow, what fun! Is it super-cool Cody Simpson? Is it Tori Kelly, who voiced a shy teenage elephant in the movie Sing?

GIRL #2 [EXTRACTING FIGURE FROM MOUTH]: No. Judging from the fedora, the soul patch and the bright red shoes, I'd say this is beloved America's Got Talent judge Howie Mandel!

GIRL #1: You dummy, that's Joe Bastianich. His mom introduced him to Mario Batali in 1995 and three years later they opened Babbo.

GIRL #3: Huh. I'll trade you my Lindsay Vonn for it.

GIRL #2 Nah. [YAWNS] I think your mom is right. I feel like going to sleep.

Despite our initial assumption that Mr. Bastianich is out of his league here, his website convinces us otherwise. "I am a restauranteur, author, sometimes television personality, rocker, runner, husband and a father," he says, perhaps unaware that after the age of fifty the word "rocker" should be deleted from one's biography. "I made the choice to pursue what truly interested me, worked like a dog to open Becco twenty years ago, and I guess the rest is history." Such initiative! Such drive! What perhaps isn't quite so historical is the fact that he opened Becco with his mom, who'd opened and run the wildly-popular Felidia restaurant in Manhattan twelve years earlier.

After following in the footsteps of Mom and Mario Batali it appears Bastianich wanted to follow Anthony Bourdain next:

Bastianich recalls one night during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, when the gregarious [Bill] Clinton loudly tells an off-color joke involving lesbians and Jerry Brown within earshot of journalists, even though Bastianich tries to warn him. The story goes viral the next day. -- NY Post

So the triathlete/rocker/restauranteur/denture wearer and -- what's that? oh, right -- husband and dad is a hero too. Too bad he wasn't a hero roughly eight years earlier when presidential hopeful Bob Kerrey told Arkansas governor Bill Clinton a joke involving lesbians and, yes, Jerry Brown at a political dinner in New Hampshire. It was picked up by a microphone and also went viral, prompting "profuse apologies" from Kerrey.

You'd think Clinton would have learned from Kerrey's mistake, but I'd also have thought that an experienced businessman like Bastianich, who said a restaurant owner's life is “a nickel-and-dime business, and you make dollars by accumulating nickels," wouldn't have allegedly accumulated nickels that belonged to his restaurant help, resulting in a $5.25 million dollar judgment against Batali and him.

Still, with part-ownership in something like thirty restaurants, maybe Mr. Bastianich has the right to boast. It just looks a little painful when, as they say, a man born on third base claims he hit a triple, and when somebody's Wikipedia page, in addition to spotlighting their cameo in an American Girl TV film, reads like this:

Bastianich has received numerous accolades[example needed]."

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Dear Germany,

It's 2017. Can't you use Helvetica for a change?

Thanks,
RomanHans

Superstar Miranda Kerr Marries Snapchat Billionaire Evan Spiegel And Not ONE Person Has A Lint Roller

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I like rock and roll music. My favorite song is Bad Reputation by Joan Jett. My other favorite song is I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow. My other favorite song is Cherry Bomb by the Runaways. I especially like the part where she sings, "Hello, daddy. Hello, mom. I'm your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!"

Perhaps you can tell I like songs about young girls. I write songs too and I have written a classic song that is just like these. If you are a singer and want to put this song on a record you can email me.

I am out of control and I drive my parents crazy.
I won't do my chores and they say that I am lazy.
I date rough old men because they make me feel girly:
I am a 12 year old girl who's gone thru puberty prematurely.

Rebellious boys out there need to give me a call
We can go to Six Flags and really have a ball.
I have an hourglass shape and long blonde hair:
Doctors say pesticides caused this but I don't care.

I climb out my bedroom window and hitchhike into town
not wearing anything except my nightgown.
When the sun comes up then I finally go home.
I am having so much fun with a documented syndrome.

If you have a snake you can clean out my plumbing.
From the noise I make you will know when I am coming.
Or if you have a worm maybe we can go fishing.
I am far too busy to write to a regulatory commission.

So give me a call, any Toms, Dicks or Harrys
if you're hot for a girl whose mom picked strawberries.
We can climb up a tree and start acting really squirrelly,
because I am a 12 year old girl who's gone thru puberty prematurely.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Sofia Coppola's "The Beguiled"

I don’t usually go to movies, but I couldn’t resist seeing Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, sure to be this year’s most-talked-about film just opening across America. I wasn’t surprised it was breaking box office records here in Brooklyn, because the crowd in front of my local theater was abuzz. In fact, I'm shocked there weren't more conversations like this one I overheard:

TEEN GIRL: How about if we go see Wonder Woman again?

TEEN BOY: I don’t know. The flick is good but I kind of feel like it's not, you know, beguiling enough.

The film is about a hunky young soldier (Colin Farrell) who suffers an injury during the Civil War and finds care at a school for young girls (Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning) run by a frigid spinster (Nicole Kidman). Immediately sexual tensions develop and the audience is left to wonder: just who is beguiling whom?

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I’ve got to say that everyone in the audience, regardless of age, income or background, got completely immersed in the film. In fact, just before the film’s startling climax, a streetwise thug behind me shrieked, "Uh-oh, looks like somebody’s getting BEGUILED!“

While who's the beguiler and who's the beguilee is left up in the air, I have to applaud the film for provoking a conversation we desperately need. Leaving the theater I must have heard fourteen couples arguing a variation of this:

TEEN GIRL: I think it takes a certain innocent charm, like that possessed by Elle Fanning, to truly be considered beguiling.

TEEN BOY: What are you talking about? Ain’t nobody beguile like Colin Farrell.

I’ll leave this discussion to more erudite critics and just repeat what other audience members told me.

"Sofia Coppola is such a genius she can literally change language," said Martina D. "I see 'beguile‘ for Brooklyners as that next gotta-have word bridging the gap between 'bewitch‘ and 'dupe.‘"

"Sometimes I do things of dubious legality,“ admitted someone who didn’t want to be named. "I’d like to thank Sofia Coppola for letting me know that since I’m sexy I’m not just a thief.“

"That film was the bomb,“ said Stuart T. "My next tattoo is going to be captioned with the word BEGUILE, if I can figure out a way to illustrate it using dogs."

"I think this film presents an important lesson for kids today," said Samantha R., a schoolteacher. "They already know they can be robbed, cheated or swindled. Hopefully this alerts them to the possibility of getting beguiled, bamboozled or even hornswoggled.“

"That’s it,“ concluded beaming Briana E., a pregnant teen. "I’m naming my daughter Beguile. I can’t believe how stupid Inveigle sounds to me now.“

Anyway, two big claps for Sofia Coppola, and let’s hope this film is the start of a whole new franchise. I don’t dare pretend to inspire the young auteur but I’ll bet everybody in this borough would run to see The Diddled, The Entranced, or Hey, Who’s That Come Hither Girl?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

If I had to pick one person who Donald Trump reminds me of it'd have to be Fred Flintstone. They've got the same kind of confident stupid. Fred would run for president too, mindlessly spouting inanities like "I'm going to hire all the best men, the best people for the job, and everything is gonna be great!"

It's a cartoon so there'd be a miracle: Fred would get elected too. Nobody would really know what happened, but before they'd cut to a commercial we'd see a polling place where one Wooly Mammoth says to another, "I was hoping you could add." "YABBA DABBA DO!" Fred yells. "I'm gonna make Bedrock great again!"

Unfortunately, Fred is no Homo Sapiens. You know he'll go to a ball game or he'll get drunk and fall asleep and at the last minute he'll be like, "Oh shit! I forgot to hire anybody! What am I gonna do? [PAUSE] I know! I'll hire Barney as my Vice President. Betty can be Attorney General. Pebbles can be Secretary of Education, and Bamm-Bamm can be Secretary of Defense. Now that's a great cabinet!"

There's just two flaws with Fred's plan. First, you know, they're not the best people for the job. You're not going to get brilliance out of somebody who wears diapers and goes BAM BAM BAM! all day long, though I'm not here to criticize Jeff Sessions. And second, isn't it a little insulting to Wilma? Everybody Fred ever met is now in a position of power and has moved to Washington -- except for her. Luckily, she doesn't care. She's glad to get rid of the stupid oaf and enjoy spending his money. You know she's home alone trying on all her fancy new clothes, and she's got a sassy talking bird that she asks, "Does this stegosaurus fur make me look fat?"

After a few weeks, though, Fred gets sad. He looks out the window and sees angry people with picket signs that say things like, "GO BACK TO THE BRONZE AGE!", "I THOUGHT DODOS WERE EXTINCT!" and "I WISH YOUR PLEISTO HAD NEVER BEEN CENE!" He gathers his cabinet around the dinner table. "I'm feeling a little down," he says. "I'm feeling like maybe I'm not the best president Bedrock has ever seen. Why don't we go around the table and everybody say a short sentence or two about how I am?"

Betty and Barney say, "Fred, you're the greatest!" Pebbles spouts random baby-talk while Bamm-Bamm hits the ground with his club and the Great Wazoo turns all the protesters into Brontosaurus burgers.

In real life, though -- at Donald Trump's "Let's All Talk About How Great I Am" meeting -- the focus eventually turns to Reince Priebus. He isn't a relative so unlike the other incompetents he can be fired. I feel bad for him: my blood freezes when some omnipotent asshole announces that I have to say something about myself. "My name's Roman. I'm single, I'm a Virgo, and I was born in sunny California!" Eighty percent of the crowd will laugh to themselves and think, "What a fuckhole!" while the other twenty percent go, "I just knew he was a Virgo."

Reince thinks quick. "We're sitting around a table and unexpectedly somebody's making me give a speech. What does that remind me of? [PAUSE] I've got it! GRACE! It's like when I slept over with Dadpappy and Maw-Maw and they made me talk to God before I could eat. I'll say a version of Grace!" He makes a few small changes as it runs through his head:

Bless us, Oh Trump,
and these thy gifts which
we are about to receive from thy bounty,
through Trump, Our President, Amen.

Not bad, he thinks, but a little obvious. He whips up a quick Version Two:

Bless us, Oh Trump,
for the opportunity and the blessing
that you've given us to serve your agenda
-- and the American people --
through Trump, Our President, Amen.

Getting closer! One more try:

On behalf of the entire senior staff around you, Mr. President,
we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that
you've given us to serve your agenda and the American people.

That's it! And not a minute too soon. It's Reince's turn to talk and he repeats it.

Trump is blown away. He doesn't recognize the source material, as he also won't recognize Reince's next speeches that start with "Who's the leader of the club?", "It's a world of laughter, a world of tears," and "I'm a little teapot." He wipes away tears and yells "YABBA DABBA DO!" In the closet, the bird who's been recording the whole thing grabs his ears and says, "I think it's gonna be a looooong four years."


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