Saturday, October 31, 2020

Where Your Money Goes

Helium is one of the most popular elements in the whole universe but here on our home planet it's hard to come by. Most of it is buttoned up somewhere under the Great Plains. It was first isolated on Earth in 1895 by Sir William Ramsay, who was actually looking for argon. (Sir Ramsay was the Christopher Columbus of chemistry.) And what with its usefulness in party balloons, and fancy medical devices, and talking funny, and suicide, and blimps that don't blow up, and freezing people's heads, and the like, people have been busy liberating it for about a hundred years.

Problem with that is once you pull it out of the planet, it goes flying into space and you're not getting it back again. You're just not.

So it's like money. In fact it's so much like money, we've got a stash of it Fort Knoxed away in Amarillo, Texas. That helium reserve got underway in 1925 so that we'd have plenty of juice for airships and then later it became important as a coolant during the Cold War, in case you were wondering how we kept it Cold for so long. And it's so much like money that even though it was calculated we would run out of it right around now, the US Congress directed that our reserves be sold off to private parties as quickly as possible, in the hope maybe we can print some more.

Money, of course, is only as meaningful as we can all agree it is. We all have to agree, wink-wink, that our slips of paper, or whatever ethereal magic happens between our phones and our bank accounts, are worth something; that they represent something. For instance, work. You dig me a moat for my castle, I give you money in some nice portable form, so you don't have to be paid in melons and bags of barley. If money does represent work, it does not do so in a logical fashion. If it did, immigrants bent over in the bean fields would be rolling in champagne and caviar, whereas hedge fund managers would be clutching cardboard signs on freeway ramps. One of the problems with it is that the people what have the money write the rules. 'Twas always thus, but it's been a lot starker in the last forty years.

Kids! You might not believe this, but it's true. When I was your age, we could pay for college as we went, with summer jobs and part-time work. We could study philosophy and art history, and then we could tumble into some job somewhere that may or may not have anything to do with our education, but more with how close it was to where our boyfriends lived. We didn't necessarily make much money, but we could at least live comfortably with a roommate or two (in Boston) or have a complete one-bedroom furnished apartment (in Portland) with no first-and-last, no references, no job lined up, and nothing but a credit card to our name. And still have food and beer and go to the movies. Later, maybe, if we saved, we could buy an actual house. Nobody lived in their car or under a tarp on the median strip.

Then Ronald Reagan came around and decided to tap the work reserve. He told us our union brothers and sisters were holding us back, and that we could send our money uphill to the hedge fund managers and instead of everyone making a living wage and exchanging money with each other, we'd have a shot at the big time. There were a lot of taxation rates changed and legislation passed and all of it was real real good for the people who already had money, and our own work was worth less and less, because the wealthy decided to take more of the fruits of our labor for themselves, and they write the rules. Fifty years ago, we could make a living. Now, our money has been diverted to the billionaires, and no matter what they tell you, it's not coming back. It's flying into space.

If we were wise, we'd quit sending all our money into space. We'd treat billionaires like the moral failures they are. And everyone would get a balloon.
Vote. Vote like a person who knows how much is enough, and how much is too much.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Big-Eyed Beaneaters From Venus


There was a time people imagined Venus would be a beautiful place to live, and maybe it once was, but now we know it's hotter than Phoenix and the atmosphere is big-boned enough to squash you into a tortilla. Carl Sagan suggested, sixty years ago and to the general derision of his now-nameless peers, that if there is life on Venus, it would be found in the atmosphere. That viewpoint has been validated of late but it still doesn't sound like a great destination, on account of the giant fart layer.

That is, in fact, what makes people believe there is life on Venus now, if only microbial. The discovery of lots of phosphine indicates to most researchers that something has farted it out, because that's just about the only way you can get phosphine, the reduced form of phosphorus, in a highly oxygenated environment. You can eke out a little using lightning and maybe volcanoes but if you've got yourself a whole stinky swath of it, something along the lines of bacteria is presumed to be pooting it out. On Earth, you just don't find a lot of phosphine except in oxygen-depleted environments such as sewage ponds and the bowels of badgers. Weirdly, even here we don't know which microorganisms make phosphine.

There have been plenty of attempts to get closer to Venus. In fact, we've been sending doomed ships to the planet since the early 1960s. Most of them were never heard from again. One did land and got smashed into a potato chip and burnt up in about two seconds. Then they got one to eep out information for a couple hours. That's been about it. But now it is being proposed we send something that looks like the Stealth Bomber to sneak up on the planet and orbit in its atmosphere, examining alien flatulence. It is expected to last maybe a year and with any luck it will get some identifiable microbe splat on its windshield.

I certainly have a passing interest in a planet that smells like farts, but only from 25 million miles away. I'm not personally eager to land on any of them and would prefer the rest of us stay home too. The robots are plenty cool enough and the manned missions strike me as pure hubris. The gas giants just irritate me. What the hell. You want to land on them, not through them.

I'm not sure why all the planets are named after Roman gods, with the exception of ours, which comes from the ancient Ankle-Slackson for "dirtball." In fact I also don't know why the Roman gods just shanghaied the Greek gods. It must have been a case of that famous Roman efficiency, the same organizational skills that created elaborate aqueducts and conquered the world. Why bother to whomp up a bunch of new gods and goddesses if you can get used ones cheap? Round up the whole pantheon, slap your own labels on them, and call it a day. Anyway the Greeks got them started but the Romans had them last, and so we use Roman names: Mercury (Greek "Hermes") through Mars (Greek "Ares") right up to Pluto (Greek "Goofus").

So Venus ("Aphrodite") is the goddess of beauty, and she certainly is lovely from here. I'm hoping for the best for the proposed probe and I hope it finds life. My money's on tardigrades.

Saturday, October 24, 2020


God Bless America, the World Series is on! It's been a year since we learned that Juan Soto became the first player to make an error on his birthday in the World Series since Atlanta shortstop Rafael Belliard in 1995. And this is not the sort of baseball statistic that is likely ever to gain an asterisk: the next time it happens, it will be every bit as newsworthy.

Statistics gain asterisks when it is felt some sort of exception should be noted in order to keep the players' egos in check. For instance, Modern Player A might technically have surpassed Beloved Yesteryear Player B in home runs scored in a season, but will gain an asterisk if he got to play more games than B or if it was determined that he got more yolk in his egg as an embryo.

At any rate, 2020 is, as you may have observed elsewhere, not a normal year. And so it's generally agreed that virtually any notable achievement that occurs this year should have the hell asterisked out of it. Just lean on that key, scribes. Because, in deference to our plague, we're getting only sixty games out of the teams this season instead of the standard 162. They were thinking of not playing any at all, but by mid-summer they realized the steroid use alone would probably have a prophylactic effect, and it was over-delicate to worry too much about players that hawk loogies and twiddle their nuts all day long anyway. Something else was going to get them. And so a cardboard audience was propped up in the stands in July and the season got underway. For the World Series itself, a smattering of living fans was invited to load up their face masks with Cracker Jax like blinkered donkeys and bray their hearts out.

The sixty-game season is not, however, unprecedented.

It last happened in 1878. Although, really, that was before baseball began. It was Protobaseball. It was a baseball homunculus to the strapping lad with the tight buns baseball became a few years later. Pitcher Tommy Bond won forty games out of that sixty, a spectacular achievement by any measure, but he* had* some* advantages.* The pitching mound was only three-quarters the current distance from home plate. And he threw underhand, even though he was not technically considered a lesbian at the time. Overhand pitching wasn't allowed until 1884, and that's been the convention ever since, although it's not against the rules to pitch underhand even to this day. In fact, someone pitched a perfect game underhand in 1922, but no one has attempted it since, because of the lesbian thing.

Tommy Bonds was on the Boston Red Caps team. The current Boston team was founded in 1901 and named Red Sox in 1908. Previously they had been the Boston Red Stockings but it was deemed prudent to shorten it so it could fit in a standard newspaper headline, an innovation that had already doomed the original Boston Red Fishnet And Garters. Similar adjustments had to be made for the New York Knickerbockers, the Bloomington Bloomers, and the Scranton Panty Shields.

At any rate baseball has remained pretty much the same since it was perfected early in the last century. Nobody really knows where it came from. Some Brit weighed in that it evolved from the game "Rounders," which is similar in some respects, but after you run from first to second to third, you have to make it to fourth base, which is nowhere near home. It's like out near the concession stand. There was enough contention over the provenance of baseball that a commission was appointed to determine who invented the sport; finally in 1903 it concluded it was developed by Union General Abner Doubleday, who fired the first shot in Fort Sumter and famously fought at Gettysburg, but died unaware of having invented baseball, in spite of the fact that a Colorado mining engineer shwore he was there when it happened.

The point is, though, it was not British. That's the main thing. It's the best dang game in the whole whole world, and we all hope it's back to normal for the 2021 season, when we'll be welcoming the post-COVID expansion clubs the Austin Asterisks and the Fort Worth Phlegm. Play Ball!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Essential Salt Shaker, And Other Myths


When I was working and paying off a mortgage, I bought a lot of doodads. Doodads gave me a little lift for not much money. Each one seemed to promise to make life that much easier, or that much more adorable. A plastic box you put your bagel in to slice it so that you don't cut your finger off? Must have. A ceramic egg separator that looks like a human head and the whites drip out the nostrils? Must have.

Before the internet, gobs of catalogs came through the mail. I had a postal patron who once received--I counted--67 catalogs in one day. Drop those babies through the mail slot all at once and you could startle urine out of her dog. Catalogs were wonderful. You'd page through them and find just the thing you didn't know you needed. Wind-up salt shaker that walks across the table, eventually? Must have.

I never spent much for any one thing, so ultimately I got my mortgage paid off and had a fully-paid-for house full of cheap entertaining plastic crap and things that looked useful but never got used, like the plunger stick with fingers on the end that picks olives out of the bottom of the jar.

And now that I can afford whatever I might want, I never get anything. Even if I could make a case for needing it. I can admire a doodad in a store and see how it could be useful, but I won't pull the trigger on it. I'm horrified by the thought of bringing more stuff into the place. Apparently you can develop a case of late-onset Depression-era attitude even if your background didn't involve that much scarcity. I don't even get things I know I could use.

For instance, right now, there are three items I use frequently that all have the same flaw: they've come off their handles. The other word for that is they's busted. One is a cheese slicer that I use literally every day. I jam the slicer end onto the handle and hold it on with my thumb as I peel off cheese. If I don't press down hard enough the handle comes off. It wouldn't cost much to get a new cheese slicer, but I can make this work.


A little worse than that is my meat pounder. Handy little item. It's come loose and slides up and down on its wooden handle too. Plus, water gets in the handle-hole now. The other day I brought it out and an earwig crawled out of it. I just flicked it in the sink.

Which is also how I have to use our mattock. Handy little item. Big old heavy thing with a blade that, yes, now slides around on the handle. You can swing it over your head and bring it down two or three times but then you'd best pound it on the ground to get the blade down so it doesn't fly off the handle, which is not just an expression.

I could make a solid case for replacing all three of these items. Nobody really wants to be sliced out of the gene pool by a mattock blade to the back of the head. But I can make them work. Hey, don't throw out that grocery receipt! We can still write notes on the back.

Okay, thanks for listening. I'm going to go finish my flour sack dress. Fetch me the button jar. It's next to the string jar.


Saturday, October 17, 2020


There are lots of things no one has quite figured out about evolution. Is it gradual, or not? Why is there a relative lack of intermediate forms in the fossil record? Some species is happily cavorting or barking or ruminating away and then it's gone, and evidence of a later form pokes out of the stone, something smaller or pointier or more burrowy. What happened in between? I believe it was Stephen Jay Gould who observed a caterpillar that looks like bird poop and wondered how that particular adaptation gradually evolved: sure, it keeps predators from wanting to eat it, but where is the percentage in looking just a little bit like a turd?

It was Gould and friends who postulated something he called "punctuated equilibrium," in which a species could be expected to remain pretty much the same for a very long time, and only an abrupt change in environment or circumstance would cause the various mutations rumbling away in the margins of the population to surge. Dog-sized critters didn't gradually inch up into horses. In this scenario, mutations are happening all along, but in a large population well-adapted to its environment, those little accidental genetic ideas are overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of standard-issue traits. One creature might show up with an adorable little horn between her ears and say "Look! I can drill holes with this thing!" and everyone else is all Yeah, that's just weird. And that's it for the horn until something happens in the environment that makes hole-drilling really handy.

It's suggested that these little developments lead to species changes only in the edges of the population, where a group might break off from the main herd and get isolated geographically, and at that point some of those accidental ideas get more of a hearing. Things could then change in a hurry, in a matter of generations. And if the diverging population meets up with the original species again, they don't even recognize each other anymore. "Ew, horns," they hear. "Gross."

"Yeah? Drill you," they say back.

Some events are more consequential than others. You get a lot of tectonic mayhem happening and all of a sudden you've got the isthmus of Panama, and everything changes. Marine species discover themselves in separate oceans. Llamas move into South America. Porcupines pass them going north. Warm Caribbean waters can't play with the Pacific anymore and now there's a serviceable Gulf Stream gyre affecting things in Northern Europe. It's a big deal.

That's what I think happens in politics, too. Things don't change too much and then there's a big event, or a series of them, and minds change, and things that weren't possible before are suddenly inevitable. Gay people are persecuted and killed in one decade, fighting unsuccessfully for basic civil rights in the next, daring to demand the right to marry in the one after that; it's too soon, they're told; it's too much; some county allows marriage on a Wednesday and yanks back the licenses by Friday. But the push is on. And more and more people are willing to come out to their family and friends. And they talk to other people. It's a cascade of truth. And all of a sudden gay marriage is legal. "Ew, horns," some people still say, but nobody reallly cares what those people think anymore.

We are now in a very unusual time. A formerly well-regarded nation can't keep its people healthy, or housed, or even fed, and we're on a fast track toward an unlivable planet, yet nothing seems to change. Billionaires are still isolated in their own country called Money and we're caught in the same gyre of power and greed that has dominated the world for centuries. On the edges of the population, ideas emerge: the rise of the commons, the rejection of racism, the deliberate restructuring of a world economy toward a just and sustainable future. The ideas are shouted down. Too radical. Too soon.

But a global pandemic reveals the fault lines in the system. Hurricanes and fire and drought lay their fingers on ever more people. Women speak up about their mistreatment at the hands of men and are heard. Cell phone video reveals how much Black lives still don't matter, and citizens finally listen, and learn, and march, and keep marching. Facing disasters all around, Americans begin to imagine life with adequate health care, with livable wages, with compassion toward each other and the stranger.

The ground is quaking. We're poised to tumble toward a more sustainable existence. It's a Panama moment.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Right Rock


I'm making rock walls again.

I've made a bunch already: rock-lined gravel paths meander through the garden. We're all about basalt here. I mean, half of Oregon is basalt from repeated lava flows so massive they shoved the Columbia River all the way up to Astoria even before Astoria had been properly invented. We've got shit-tons of basalt.

And it makes good walls. So I started looking for nice chunks of basalt lying around on the side of the road and Dave got used to me slamming on the brakes and hopping out to toss rocks into the back of my car. At least he was decent about it. Not sure he got used to it. Because at some point he just called up a gravel quarry and asked if we could pop in there and toss rocks into our pickup truck. (Dave, famously, likes to "knock a job out," whereas I am a fiddle-farter.) Doggone if the quarry operator, who had never had such a request, thought maybe we could, and we drove up there and checked in and he sent us to a remote portion of the property and we started lobbing in as much basalt as we thought we could safely drive home. The quarry operator looked at our haul and said, Hmm, how about ten bucks, does that sound fair? And we thought it did, and in fact we came back at least three more times, because I really, really like rock paths. At some point the quarry guy must have heard from a lawyer or something because he turned the spigot off, but at that point I was pretty much done.

It takes a while to put a nice rock-lined path together, particularly if you aren't shaping the rocks in any way, and aren't real strong, and have standards. You sit on your haunches and pick out one rock after another and turn it every which way until you find one that fits just right. The right one goes in chonk and it makes you so very happy. I do not know why I enjoy this so much but some part of my brain was set up to be a teeny tiny mason. I like to see things go chonk.

It feels a lot like writing, for me. I can toss off a sentence with the rest of them but I'm always revisiting it and trying out different verbs and turning them this way and that until something goes chonk.

    "Soon, all over town, we were seeing the improbable new style phenomenon called the muffin-top." Nope.

My rock walls aren't professional-looking,but they're still pleasing to the eye, and so satisfying to build that I don't care how long they take. They're not built to be walked on, but try telling a four-year-old that. Especially the first ones I made, when I'd put in a rock with no solid base at all because it fit so well with the next one over, and I'd back-fill it with dirt and strategic pebbles and hope it wouldn't pop out, but of course it eventually did. Later I worked harder at using good solid rocks with a fat base and those have stayed put better. 

    "Soon, all over town, people were perching size-eighteen buttocks on top of size-twelve jeans like their pants were an ass pedestal." Nope.

This spring I decided to cut in a new path. It's going all right. But it's a lot harder because the rocks I have left over are all the rocks that didn't work out the first time. They don't have good flat facets, or the shape is wrong, or there are too many roundy bits, or things stick out. It's like putting a jigsaw puzzle together when pieces are missing and a third of them were swapped out for Parcheesi pawns. Or like having an old brain that won't supply the right word when you need it. But I've got time. I intend to prevail, however long it takes.

    "Soon, great rolling cumulonimbus mounds of flesh were thundering out of pants all over town."


Saturday, October 10, 2020

A Few Neurons Shy Of A Clue


It's not easy for a young person to fully appreciate short-term memory loss. I know because I still have a dim recollection of being a young person.

I remember being really good at Concentration, where you place cards face down and match them into pairs. Used to beat my own mom at that, even as a preschooler, and that makes a kid feel neat. It is exactly the same skill required to be a stellar mail carrier. I could walk up to an unfamiliar sorting case and within an hour I had all the slots memorized. I could make that case my bitch.

Every now and then we'd get a new hire. Some old guy: like, in his fifties even. They'd be so slow. It was hard to watch. They'd stand there with a letter pointed at the case and not move. We used to call it the "Postal Wax Museum." Poor old man! Kind of stupid, I guessed.

So here is a helpful visual depiction of Short-Term Memory Loss. Note the lump on the forehead. This was from taking a small item of trash to the trash can. In order to reach the trash can I have to duck under a vine maple branch. The depositing of the trash takes no more than two seconds, then I turn around and walk back. BAM.

Two seconds is too long to remember to duck under what you just ducked under two seconds ago. 

Short-term memory loss is the real reason we lather, rinse, and repeat. It's why the ends of our sentences go missing. It's why we end up walking into a room and standing there for no reason. It's why we don't interrupt people in conversation as much as we used to. You thought we'd just gotten more considerate? Hell no. Our clever rejoinder sailed away.

Short-term memory loss is why you make an eggplant parmesan and when you're all done eating it you find a big pile of parmesan on the counter. All grated and ready to go.

It's why it seems like I'm looking right through you. I'm searching for a word, and your head is in the way.

Short-term memory loss, to take an example from someone so close to me she may in fact be me, is why you walk a half mile to the grocery store, bag up your produce, and discover you have left your money at home, walk back home, go inside, have to pee, pee, and return to the store, and still don't have your money.

It's complicated. I can recite my library card number, which has eighteen digits. But that's only because I always forget to bring my library card.

Short-term memory loss is why I still don't know the name of our neighbor but he's known mine for twenty years and I can't ask now, but I do remember it's one of an old duo's names, either Chad or Jeremy, or Jan or Dean, Hall, Oates, or possibly Starsky.

If I haven't called you by name in twenty years, be kind. Figure out a way to work it into a conversation. Say "I cannot believe that I, Chad, of all people, lost my keys again!" In fact that one will earn you double points.

You think we've gone stupid, but it's just short-term memory loss.

Although I will be damned if I can tell the difference.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Soul, Man

There are things everyone says, so they're assumed to be true.

This is why I keep some things to myself.

Don't speak ill of the dead. Don't wish ill on the living.

That whole notion--that all human life is precious, that our souls make us something special--has never made sense. Perhaps all people are precious to God, but they're not to me. If Beethoven had a soul, it's worth more than Donald Trump's. There are people I will mourn and other people I won't miss at all.

I'm not sure what a soul is. It seems like something you invent to get out of dying. If I do have a soul, I'm quite certain my chickadee Studley does too. In any case, every one of us will die. Our souls will survive us, or they will fade back into fiction.

So I don't, mostly, wish ill on a living person. At least out loud. COVID-19 is purely awful. And I wouldn't, as the mandatory sentiment would have it, wish it on anyone.

But if I did, bingo, he would totally be the guy. I hope he recovers. And lives long enough to go to prison.

Why? Not because I enjoy imagining someone suffering. I don't. I'm at least that much of a liberal. But this man has been jaw-droppingly careless with other people's lives. People of color, immigrants, peaceful protestors, and, in the face of a pandemic, every still-breathing American. 

And now, for him, finally, the shit got real.

It got real for someone who doesn't believe anything is real and has duped half the population with his whims and fantasies and play-acting and ever-flowing fountain of bullshit. I can celebrate that. I do.

Because it's not just a pandemic. We're also well on the way to destroying our planet as a livable habitat for us and most of our fellow travelers. We know exactly how we got here, we know what to do about it--but criminally greedy souls are pretending we don't, and are blithely sacrificing their children. And yours. And Studley's children too. They are willing to risk it all, for a little bit of money. It makes no difference if half the people are willing to swallow their lies whole and ask for seconds. It doesn't make it less real. Shit needs to get real. If it takes a dead man to do it, I'm good with that.

I do not particularly believe that human life is sacred, or at least any more sacred than other life. But tonight, I was thinking about our souls and our pretense to immortality, and I put on a recording of Beethoven's Ninth, second movement. I cranked it way up. I lost my breath.

The top of my head tingled and dissolved and lifted off until it soared with the angels I don't believe in. It was as real as anything I know.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Up For Nomination


I'm looking at a full-page ad here for Primal Max Red, the latest and greatest entry in the swelling male sexual performance market. Says here there have been over 200,000 studies of the enhancer, and that dude says it totally works. PMR results in a quicker, stronger, and longer-lasting "performance."

Performance! It puts me in mind of a puppet show, with the star in question popping up on the stage! Boy howdy! A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants! Let's call it seltzer.

The new pill is a combination of nutrients and nitric oxide, and unlike the famous blue pill's 5,000 mg of product, PMR contains "a bigger 9,000 mg dose." With the increased girth of the improved dose, researchers report a whopping 275% boost in blood flow in five minutes. Customers interviewed after regaining consciousness are enthusiastic. Side effects include light bruising of the torso.


Nitric oxide is the key to all this. Nitric oxide is what got the balls rolling and no one seems to care that its formula is "NO." According to the ad, nitric oxide won the Nobel Prize in 1998. That's the first time a molecule or atom bagged the big one since radium, which was awarded the prize in 1911 because otherwise it would have had to go to a girl.

Winning the Nobel Prize is a big deal and our little molecule should be proud. It's a much bigger deal than merely being nominated, as Donald Trump was earlier this year.

He's eligible because being nominated automatically proves your eligibility, and a ton of people are allowed to nominate, including politicians, cabinet members from an Earth nation, university professors, associate professors, adjunct professors, unpaid interns, and janitorial staff; members of l'Institut du Droit International, or members of the court of The Hague, or Barack Obama--he can nominate too. He didn't nominate Trump though. That honor accrued to a lutefisk-white fellow named Christian Tybring-Gjedde, who has been stinking up the Norwegian parliament for fifteen years. Christian loathes immigrants, idolizes Vladimir Putin, and believes climate change is a hoax--that the Arctic ice just melts every now and then because God loves us and wants us to have more oil. He was unavailable for comment as he was off to the North Sea to get photos of himself stabbing a whale with his shirt off.

There have been 318 nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize this year alone. Trump also shares the honor with Adolf Hitler and Stalin (twice). It is considered unlikely that he will in fact win the prize, although he can take heart in the fact that Woodrow Wilson scored it in 1920. Mr. Wilson was fĂȘted for getting the League of Nations started, but he is also renowned for significantly reducing friction between the races by keeping them the hell apart. He re-instituted segregation in government agencies, which had up till that point been appointing Black statesmen to positions of leadership in unacceptable numbers. He also innovated Regular and Colored toilets in federal buildings. White workers, he explained, felt very strongly about toilet-seat contamination by Negro and this was a way to bring peace to the work force. When Black leader Monroe Trotter brought a delegation to the White House to whine, for some goddam reason, Wilson, complaining bitterly about his tone, had him removed. Wilson, furthermore, was a pioneer in introducing the concept of achieving peace between racial groups by favoring one and incarcerating the other. He was ahead of his time.

For his part, Trump tweeted that if Anyone should get a Piece Prize it should be him, and he has been up for it for Years, thanks to a friendly fascist from Norway, and probably nitric oxide. 

This post was written before the announcement of Donald Trump's miracle encounter with the hoax virus, but I couldn't think of any reason not to publish it anyway.