The Art of Manliness …

“Are we there yet?”

It was the fourth time in two hours the Tyrumposaurus Jr. had asked his father. The T-Rump had yet to answer. Their father-son retreat in the Buddy-Feller Badlands was not off to a good start. They could barely keep up with the Flynnhasbeen and his son.

They soon found a small clearing in the grassland beside the rocky ridge of a butte that towered over them. They squatted on their haunches, all eyes following the T-Rump’s every move. Their leader nodded at the knee-high grass around them.

“Grasslands. Look at it. The tallest ever seen. Fantastic growth. The greatest.”

The Flynnhasbeen Jr. turned to his father.

“Why are we here again?”

“It’s a retreat.”

“Stop calling it that. It sounds weak,” said the T-Rump. “I don’t run from anything.”

“He means, what happens on a retreat,” said the T-Rump Jr.

“How should I know? Who set this up anyway? Was it you, Flynn?”

“I did.”

The voice was deep, Slavic and mostly Machiavellian. It’s owner appeared from behind a huge horehound bush. It was the Putinodon, with a younger dinosaur in tow.

“Hey! If it isn’t the Putinodon. So happy to see you again,” gushed the T-Rump. “And who is this?”

“My son.”

“But … you don’t have a son.”

“For father-son retreat, I have son.”

“Great. We can call him the Putinodon Jr.”

“No, there is only one Putinodon. He is the Acornfromtreedmitri.

The dinosaurs nodded hello to the Putinodon off-spring cut-out, who stood tall and mum, well-trained in the art of resolute stoicism.

The Putinodon took in the dinosaurs before him with a lecherous grin. He would play these buffoons for the food chain failures they were.

“Thank you for coming. There are three parts to father-son program. Building team, priorities and solving problems.”

The T-Rump nudged his son.

“Forget everything I told you. Just listen.”

“Building team,” continued the real Trumpassic boss. “Trust. No trust.” He scanned their faces for answers.

“Trust?” said the T-Rump Jr.

“No trust. Never trust. Trust is dust in wind. Trust will get you killed.” He looked at the Flynnhasbeens. “Do I have need of repeating myself?”

The Flynnhasbeens shared a gulp.

“But we still need to communicate, don’t we?” asked the elder Flynnhasbeen.

“You, comrade, have 15 million reasons to stay silent. Now for priorities. You all work for Moscovian Bluffs, which means you work for me.”

The T-Rump leaned toward his son.

“Did I tell you how much I like this guy?”

“T-Rump, you interrupt again, I make you into little dinosaurs that go inside each other.”

The T-Rump humbly dragged a claw across his overhanging lip to zip it.

“Let me get this right,” said the Flynnhasbeen Jr., “we put you ahead of family?”

“Of course,” said the Putinodon, nodding to the Acornfromtreedmitri. “What is family? No family, no worries.”

The Flynnhasbeen Jr. and the T-Rump Jr. nervously eyed their fathers, who gave helpless shrugs in response.

“Finally,” said the Putinodon. “Problem solving. Go ahead, ask me.” He nodded to the T-Rump Jr.

“Uh, what is the problem?”

“Very good. What is problem?”

“That’s what I said.”

“That is answer. There is no problem. Hmm. Perhaps, I speak too soon …” He stared down the T-Rump. “There is one issue that is not problem. Yet.”

The T-Rump’s saggy knees began shaking.

“Oh, what is that?”

“You have not yet killed the Sanctionsaurus. When will this happen?”

“Oh, well. It’s a beast. It’s a disaster!”

“Disaster is problem. Make problem disappear.”

“But I’m short of dinosaurs. Who’s going to do all the work?” The T-Rump paused, finally understanding the Putinodon’s true meaning. “O-o-o-o-h. That kind of disappearing.”

He turned to the Flynnhasbeen.

“Can we do that?”

The Flynnhasbeen turned to the Putinodon with a questioning look of his own. The Putinodon smiled almost apologetically.

“What is another 15 million?”

The T-Rump swallowed hard.

“I’ll have my dinosaurs get right on it,” he said, having no idea what he was going to do. The Putinodon relished the T-Rump’s discomfort.

“We go now,” he said, nodding to the Acornfromtreedmitri, who dutifully fell in behind. Fifty yards away, out of earshot of the others, the fake son finally broke his silence.

“Putinodon, can I have sister?”

“No, I trade you now for niece. Last one worked well.”

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