NASHUA, New Hampshire. Seeking to soften his image after revelations from his divorce papers hurt his image among female voters, presidential candidate Donald Trump today visited the second-largest city in this state where a first-in-the-nation primary outweighs its small size and population.
“What does S.O.B. stand for Mr. Trump?”
“I have always been for women, especially bodacious women,” Trump tells reporters as he exits his black livery vehicle and enters Robert Frost Consolidated Elementary School, where Girl Scout Troop 10947 is gathered to hear a new, focus-group-tested version of his standard stump speech designed to reverse the free-fall in his polling numbers among women.
“Hey everybody!” Trump said as he descends the steps into the school’s basement, where the girls have been meeting on a weekly basis during the summer months to keep their scouting skills sharp before they leave for Camp Winnipesaukee next Saturday.
“Good morning Mr. Trump,” the girls announce chorus-style, having been trained by Scout Mistress Evelyn Deneen to be polite to all guest speakers, even former reality TV-show hosts.
“What are you all working on?” Trump asks with apparently sincere interest as he gathers around the worktables where the girls are learning boating safety, knot-tying, and boy-ignoring skills.
“Whadda ya want? A merit badge, or a chest to pin it on?”
“I’m building a log cabin,” says Emily Switzerlin, showing the real estate developer and hotel magnate her handiwork.
Trump sizes up the humble structure, then gives the little girl the sort of hard-nosed business advice that he normally dispenses only upon payment of $1,495 for one of his seminars.
“You need to build in a lot of penthouses and corner units,” he says, looking at the square, boxy design. “People will pay through the nose for luxury.”
“It’s just a mommy and a baby and a daddy,” the little girl says, but the mogul who uses Chapter 11 to stiff his creditors is having none of it.
“You don’t want to rent to families. They ruin the carpets, make a lotta noise in the hall and cram the elevators with their stupid strollers,” he says before excusing himself to deliver his prepared remarks.
“Now that’s more like it!”
“Girls,” Scout Mistress Dineen says, and the chatter that had filled the low-ceilinged room just a moment before ends as the girls form a circle at her feet. “Today we have a very special guest speaker, Mr. Donald Trump, who has come here all the way from the Mexican border where he was busy creating an international incident.”
Emmy Carroll, the daughter of a local insurance agent, raises her hand.
“Yes Emmy?” Dineen asks.
“Why didn’t you go to the Canadian border to offend people? It’s closer,” she asks.
“Excellent question,” Trump replies. “I went to the Mexican border because the Canadian people are our friends. They don’t come to America and open Canadian restaurants that give us gas like the Mexicans.”
The girls giggle at Trump’s campfire humor, but the Scout Mistress restores order. “Girls, Mr. Trump is a very busy man, so let’s let him give his speech so he can get back in his limousine and get to his next meeting with the ordinary Americans who love him so much.”
“Thank you, Scout Mistress Dineen, and thank you girls, for allowing me to spend some time with you today.”
A hush falls over the room as the girls settle down, prepared to give the man with the coif that has inspired millions their undivided attention.
“You know, when I was a boy, America was a great nation. And America was great because it was big, and tough, and didn’t take any . . .”–here Trump struggles to find a suitable word to replace the vulgarity he had in mind–“guff from anybody.”
“Thanks Mr. Trump. That talk was a bargain at only $1,495!”
“What’s guff?” an olive-eyed girl with dark hair asks quietly.
“It’s–backtalk. None of you gets ‘flip’ or ‘smart’ with your parents, do you?”
The girls giggle, and some hide their faces in embarrassment.
“What I’m saying is–America can’t let other countries push us around. So I’m going to give you Trump’s Rules, the three principles I live by, the ones that should guide us as a nation even though they’re not in the constitution.”
“Are they in the Declaration of Independence?” a red-headed girl with pigtails asks.
“Nope, they’re in the course materials for my seminars, which people like your parents and grandparents max out their 401k’s and spend their life savings on. But I’m going to give them to you girls for free, just because you’re so freaking cute!”
“Did I tell you to waste your time on some stupid knot-tying merit badge?”
The girls squeal with delight, and Trump launches into the peroration that has brought crowds of middle-managers and independent contractors to their feet across the country when he delivers it as the last five minutes of a three-day seminar at which attendees were promised his personal attention.
“Rule No. 1–always go first class.”
“Like how?” the pig-tailed girl asks.
“Like your Thin Mint Cookies. They’re the best cookies in the world. Whadda you think about somebody who’d try to save a buck buying Keebler Grasshopper Fudge Mint Cookies?”
A chorus of “boo!” goes up from the audience, and Trump resumes.
“Rule No. 2,” he continues in a slow, serious tone. “If somebody bleeps you, you bleep them back. Hard!”
The girls look confused, and Emmy Carroll raises her hand. “What does ‘bleep’ mean, Mr. Trump?”
“Ask your big brother, he’s probably watching adult movies on his laptop right now. Finally, and most importantly . . .” Here Trump pauses for effect.
“Yes?” the girls say when it becomes clear that Trump is deliberately delaying his final words to build suspense.
“Always get a pre-nup! Thanks–you’ve been a great audience, be sure and check out my audiotapes at the sales table when you leave!”