The Tyrumposaurus squatted at the flat rock lectern, looking out at his latest audience, a few dozen Royaldutch Shellplanters in the Beaver Beltlands of Pennsappalachia. The T-Rump’s gaze passed over their slobbery mugs one at a time. He frowned. He knew full well gatherings like these were captive audiences but the dinos here genuinely looked like they’d rather be somewhere else.
The T-Rump sniffed. Too bad. This was an official Oval Dwelling event and they’d just have to live with it. He picked out a particularly sour-looking puss in the front row and leaned over him.
“You there. Let me guess. You absolutely have to be here, don’t you?”
“We all do. The boss said if we don’t show up, we won’t get our moolah-moolah leaves.”
“He said we can’t boo you. Or be disrespectful. Or even gnash our teeth, like menacingly. I mean, that’s a natural instinct.”
“Hmph. A smile now and then wouldn’t hurt, y’know.”
“Boss didn’t say anything about smiling.”
The T-Rump sighed. This was why he didn’t spend much time with the little dinos. They didn’t pump his ego enough. Or even know how to flatter him properly. He straightened and looked out at the rest of the crowd.
“You’re all here. That’s good. Okay, alright already. So you have to be here. Of course you have to be here. I’m here. Love me, hate me. You need me, believe me. And I’m going to be speaking to some of your union leaders to say, ‘I hope you’re going to support the T-Rump.’ Okay? And if they don’t, vote them the hell out because they’re not doing their job. It’s true. It’s true. Vote’em out.”
There was a low rustling in the audience as each dino shifted awkwardly from one foot to the other. The T-Rump grinned broadly and continued.
“Let’s talk about the booming economy. BOOM-ing. Pay no attention to those lies from the extreme radical left Donkeykongrus. The Chopstickchowmein are eating those Tariffraptors. Eating them! We’re helping the Combinefarmer dinos with big Tariffraptor moolah-moolah coming in. Billions coming in!
The audience stared back at him stupefied.
“T-Rump. How can you squat there and say that?”
It was the Jaketapper. The T-Rump recoiled in surprise.
“There’s a Minnesotafarmer dino, the Garywertish, who says his dinos are hurt and struggling, that your words and your Trollertweeties are not helping matters, that this problem is self-inflicted by you and after a year of this, you don’t even have a plan ‘B.’ What do you say to that?”
“What do I say?”
“I say … I say I have the best dinos on top of this. Like the Peternavarro. Peter! Get out here and tell this Jaketapper and these dinos about all the things we’re doing to the Chopstickchowmein. All the things. There are so many things, aren’t there? Go ahead and tell them. The things.”
The Peternavarro strutted out from the shadows to take the T-Rump’s place at the lectern. The T-Rump took two steps back and stood there silently, working his jaw like he was chewing on something important. The Peternavarro raised a short arm in the air.
“First off, I want to say that the T-Rump has the backs of all the Combinefarmer dinos in the midwest. The moolah-moolah leaves the Tariffraptors are gathering goes straight back to the Combinefarmers. So the Combinefarmers are behind the T-Rump.”
“The Combinefarmers are starting to lose patience,” said the Jaketapper. “You say that the entire burden of the Tariffraptor war is being borne by the Chopstickchowmein.”
“And that is absolutely true.”
“But a study by Harvard Harbour dinos — you did go to Harvard, didn’t you?
“So this is your old school that found that Milkanhoney Preservation dinos are paying 95% of the difference here and the Chopstickchowmein only 5%.”
“That dog won’t hunt. Let’s do some math here.”
“No, Peter. You’ve dodged every one of my questions, so I don’t have time for your math. But I do know someone who does. I believe you know the Johnbrinkley.”
Uh-oh, thought the Peternavarro. Not the Johnbrinkley. The Peternavarro’s confidence was swallowed in the sand like a raindrop in the desert.
The T-Rump had sent in his relief dino and now the Jaketapper his. And the Johnbrinkley was no slouch. The veteran Forbesmagaziner crunched numbers as a late night snack. The Johnbrinkley stepped to the fore.
“Yes, let’s do some math, Peter.”
“Uh, yes. Okay. Well, you see now. Our dinos here spend 14 trillion moolah-moolah leaves per year. And ten percent of 300 million is, uh … 30 million.”
“You’re just noise, Peter. Just noise. You need to stick to the subject. That 14 trillion number is global. We’re talking Chopstickchowmein here, who we have a deficit of 560 billion with and we owe over one trillion. How do you like those numbers? Do you know how long it takes a dino nation to collect one trillion moolah-moolah leaves? I didn’t think so. Why would we want to be siccing our Tariffraptors on them?
“I, uh … we see no such data,” he coughed.
“Because you’re reading the data wrong. After his being in the Oval Dwelling for two-and-a-half years, you might want to tell the T-Rump how a Tariffraptor war really works. The Tariffraptor moolah-moolah coming into the Dino Treasury? None of it comes from Chopstickchowmein. Not one leaf. It all comes from our own dinos paying for Chopstickchowmein goods. The Milkanhoney Preservation are the dinos picking the tab. Just like the 24 billion you’ve now given the Combinefarmer dinos to keep them from starving.”
The T-Rump stepped forward.
“I want some fake news, I mean, good news and I want it now.”
“Sorry, T-Rump. You’ve also conveniently forgotten or failed to understand that the Xijinping can put stimulus moolah-moolah into the Chopstickchowmein without asking for approval and he doesn’t have to worry about an election next year. Oh, and he did not devalue his moolah-moolah. That was your 12,000th lie, wasn’t it?”
“One more thing. The Chopstickchowmein dinos are coming for a visit in two weeks. If you can’t iron things out, what then?”
The T-Rump and the Peternavarro shared an uneasy look.
The Johnbrinkley shook his head.
“Y’know, you’d better hope they show up. If they don’t, you may be without a deal for the remainder of your days in the Oval Dwelling. That’s not a good look. Can you say reptile recession?”
After the meeting, the Royaldutch Shellplanters filed out of the gathering area. One dino turned to his co-worker.
“And to think you almost stayed home. Do you feel better now?”
“Do I? I’m gettin’ paid and I’m votin’ Donkeykongrus!”