Elliot: Situation normal, with rogue elephants

In the grand scheme of things, the new normal is gobbledygook. As usual.


DI columnist Beau Elliot

Beau Elliot, Copy Chief

Like most normal people, I like to listen to baseball on the radio. Especially with the World Series, involving the Red Sox, coming along.

Yes, radio. You know, that electronic device that was the most amazing wonder in the days of Marconi.

(No, radios don’t have tubes anymore. That ended the day Bill Mazeroski hit the homer that sunk the Yankees in the 1960 World Series. Many millions of distraught New Yorkers threw their radios out their windows, and the vacuum tubes exploded in the crashes on the pavement, setting off a citywide panic because the populace thought the Russians were invading. Before order could be restored, such as order is ever in store in New York, the vice president reportedly said, What? The Russians are invading New York City? Let ’em. New Yorkers all vote Democrat.)

The vice president, if you’re keeping score at home, did not win the election.

You should be careful about that. Keeping score at home will soon be outlawed, because the Buffoon will reason that keeping score is journalism and journalists are public enemy No. 1. That he can’t actually make laws the Buffoon won’t consider a hindrance in the slightest.

Then Saudi journalist (and Washington Post columnist) Jamal Khashoggi disappeared. In Istanbul. That’s talking Turkey to you. In the Saudi consulate.

The Saudis scrambled for an explanation of for the Khashoggi’s disappearance.

He didn’t disappear, the Saudis said. Which might have worked fine, except that Khashoggi kept not appearing. Over and over, he kept not appearing.

Which was a problem. So the Saudis said he was just fine when he left the consulate. Which continued to be a problem, most likely because the Saudi spokesman twirled his mustache and snickered in that Snidely Whiplash sort of way when he got to the word “left.”

When that didn’t work, the Saudis whisked Snidely away, after allegedly amputating his snicker, and said they were pretty sure Khashoggi had run away with the circus.

Around here, the Grand Buffoon stepped in and said he believed the Saudis because their protestations of innocence were full-throated. That didn’t do much beyond reminding everyone that just a few months before, the Buffoon had sat next to Vladimir Putin and told a world packed with TV screens that he believed Putin more than his own intelligence community because Putin’s protestations of innocence were full-throated.

The full-throated defense was rather quickly gargled away because, let’s face it, there’s ridiculous, and then there’s ludicrous, and then there’s the full-throated defense.

So the Saudis said, well, yes, perhaps Jamal Khashoggi died, but it was an accident during a fistfight. And the Buffoon said, perhaps there was a rogue elephant.

Yes, said the Saudis, rogue elephant, and they immediately arrested 18 people, though no elephants. The Buffoon decried the death of the journalist Khashoggi. Then he went to Montana and praised a Republican congressman who assaulted (body-slammed) a journalist.

The Turks remained somewhat irritated, to understate in the fashionable British fashion, and wanted to interrogate the 18 men arrested, plus the rogue elephant. The Buffoon went to Missouri and told the people that journalists were public enemy No. 1 and they were the biggest threat to American security except for a group of 7,000 bedraggled refugees on the Guatemalan/Mexican border who were planning on invading the U.S. using their children. Inscrutable refugees.

The Saudis scrambled and came up, finally, with the Khashoggi solution: “It was the professor in the library with the candlestick.”

Then I woke up. The radio was still on, the World Series hadn’t started yet.

Thank goodness, I told the radio, or semi-garbled words to that effect.

Goodness had nothing to do with it, the radio said, plagiarizing.