“Don’t go Trump on me,” Dad said.
“You heard me.” Yeah, I heard him, but as all too often happens, I had no idea what he was saying.
Perhaps I should backtrack a bit. Last night, Dad was watching the Republican debate. Mom asked him why he was wasting his time with a panel of screaming buffoons who offer no substantive benefit to our collective national condition. Dad replied that this circus, while unalloyed in its stupidity, was of immense entertainment value. And Donald Trump did not disappoint. His bombastic, insulting, demeaning, arrogant tripe while starkly short on facts, was admittedly captivating..up to the point when one realizes that a growing number of the electorate are seriously supporting him. Then, those like Dad began to transition from amused to concerned. At the end of the debate, Mom asked Dad if he enjoyed watching a racist, misogynist, nativist miscreant spout bile for two hours. Dad said that it was impolite to refer to me in that manner, and Mom shot him one of her patented looks which caused Dad to humbly apologize to me. Then Dad explained that he was just as interested in watching Cruz and Rubio and to imagine what the nation would look like as a theocracy where the clock would be turned back on women’s rights. Mom said, “You already knew this. You’d be better off watching a mindless basketball game.” She had a point, but there was something compelling to Dad about watching this bit of Americana..something akin to watching lemmings in the vicinity of a cliff.
So, that brings us back to this morning. On our walk, as we approached a tree upon which I typically micturate, I noticed that another dog – a mixed breed – had just finished using the same tree for the same purpose. I turned my nose up at the tree, and sought out another target. That’s when Dad uttered the Trump comment. He apparently thought that I was shunning my favorite tree because I perceived that an inferior dog had used it. The truth is, I simply didn’t want to soil my paws in the puddle at the base of the tree. After all these years, Dad still didn’t understand dog behavior. How sad. But even more sad is that Dad would even dare to deem my behavior comparable to that of a polarizing bigot.
I think he got the message, because he immediately knelt down and told me he was sorry. “You don’t deserve an insult like that,” he said, “but give me a minute and I’ll think of another which is less demeaning.” Just when I think he can’t get worse, he always seems to trump himself.