“Hope! Hope! Where are you, my lovely Hope?”
The Tyrumposaurus was on his knees, clutching his short arms together in prayer. Three shutdowns. Oval Dwelling ineptitude not seen since the Fubar-Filibuster Period.
“Excuse me,” said the Mickmulvaney, poking his head into the Oval Dwelling. “What are you doing on the floor? You weren’t praying for the return of the Hopehicksbagotrix again, were you?”
“No, of course not. I – I just dropped some food on the ground.”
“Since when do you eat food off the ground?”
“Oh, I suppose you’d call that simplistic and absurd and almost childish. And while you’re at it, you could call me a terrible dinosaur species again. Well, all that, times ten back at you, Sick Mick.”
“I said I was sorry … and you probably don’t want that nickname to get out. My job title isn’t even official yet.”
“Why did I hire you as my Chief of Staff? You’re supposed to say nice, gushing things about me. You have seen the Mincepencenow, haven’t you? Yet you haven’t knelt before me once today. Where’s your loyalty, dammit! This is my operation.”
“I’m working on it. Really. Reaching such depths of groveling takes time. Uh, did you want me alert the Mediacircustops that we’re laughing off my old remarks again?”
“Never mind. Anything new on the shut-down?”
“It’s a partial shut-down, T-Rump.”
The T-Rump slammed his tail against the wall.
“Read my nostrils. I want the entire Milkanhoney Preservation to believe it’s a full shut-down and it’s all the Donkeykongrus’s fault. All three of them. In one year. Disgraceful.”
“Except you recently said you would take full responsibility for this one.”
“Mick. You must be sick. That was 10 days and a hundred lies ago. We have walnuts for brains. Walnuts! No dinosaur is going to remember what I said yesterday. Try and remember that!”
The Mickmulvaney found sanity in a corner and sighed. It was the holiday season and he couldn’t help but notice the dozens of Pet Rocks scattered about the Oval Dwelling. It had been a popular gift idea decades before and the T-Rump simply refused to let it go. Like his Great Tex-Mex Divide — the main subject of the government shutdown. Thousands of dinos would not even receive lumps of coal in their doorways, largely because coal still fell into the T-Rump’s domain of shiny objects.
The Mickmulvaney turned back to his boss.
“The shutdown will unfortunately extend through the holidays. Thousands of dinos will not be getting their weekly moolah-moolah leaves.”
“Why do you even bring that up?” snapped the T-Rump. “There’s NO place in greed for guilt. None. Is that clear? It’s bad enough I’m stuck here when I could be out flogging. I don’t care what working dinos think. All that matters is that the Rushlimbaugh and the Annecoulter have my back.”
“Didn’t you just quit speaking to her?”
“Of course I did. She called me gutless. Can you believe it?”
“Now, now. You have a fine gut, T-Rump.”
“She’s never known the pain of bone-spurs. Oh, the horror.”
“I’m sure it was an apocalyptically debilitating experience.”
The Mickmulvaney cringed inside. It was true. He’d only been in the Oval Dwelling a few days and yet he knew already the debilitating embarrassment the Marinegunkelly had finally succumbed to. He was the new adult dino in the room. More 24-7 hand-holding. More verbal abuse. Cue the disgust. Ugh. He pondered his breaking point.
The T-Rump tossed a Pet Rock at him that conked him in the head.
“Did we get the Patrickshanahan to replace the Maddogmaddis?”
“Yes, we used that, um … phrase you borrowed from the Putinodon.”
“It’s a job to die for. Great. Just great. We only hire the greatest. Great dinos should be hard to find.”
“Speaking of ‘great, hard-to-find dinos’ …”
“Oh no you don’t, Sick Mick.”
“Afraid so. The Brettmcgurk up and left the Middle Eastlands. Something about not having a strategy there now that we’re bringing all our dinos home. He said something about staying there the day you show your face in a war zone.”
“I’m not listening. And don’t tell me that the Obamarus brought the dinos home and I complained about it. Just. Don’t.”
“C’mon, give me some good news, Sick Mick. Even if you have to make it up.”
The Mickmulvaney puzzled for a moment. His face brightened.
“The Randpaul said he’s very proud of you. There’s that.”
The Randpaul had of course recently taken up residence in a new cave — with no grazing grass outside — after he was mauled by a hungry neighbour.
The T-Rump shook his head.
“I’ll never figure him out. But keep a cave with grass ready. Next to a deranged diplodocus. We’re gonna need every distraction we can find.”