Donald Trump stormed around his office. He knew that storming around your office was how you convinced people that you were important and a big shot, so he was always storming around. Jeffrey, his ghostwriter, was sitting on the leather sofa. It was the finest leather sofa in all of Manhattan.
“Read it back to me,” Trump barked.
“So, Mr. Trump,” Jeffrey read flatly, “please tell me how you mange to stay so youthful.”
Trump looked out over Central Park. He put his hands into his silk pockets. Writing an infomercial was hard, but writing the finest infomercial in all of Manhattan, well, that was a task that only a king of men, a king like himself, could accomplish.
“No,” he said, finally.
Jeffrey looked at him with what Trump knew was fear and awe disguised as boredom. “What do you mean, no?”
“It’s got to be bigger, Jeffrey. People are going to be watching this infomercial, the finest infomercial in all of Manhattan, and they’re going to be expecting the finest business tips and wealth secrets in all of Manhattan. And in order for them to believe they’re getting that, which they are, they need to trust that I am the most successful person in all of Manhattan. So it needs to be bigger, Jeffrey.”
Jeffrey sighed. “But you’re not even the most successful real estate mogul in Manhattan much less the most successful pers–“
“How about this: So, Mr. Trump, please tell me how you manage to stay the most youthful person who has ever lived.”
Jeffrey put down his pad of paper. “If you don’t mind my saying, sir, that doesn’t even make any sense.” Jeffrey took a sip of diet soda, a drink of the weak as far as Trump was concerned. Winners drank Trump Ice, losers drank what was left. That was good, Trump thought. He should copyright that. He would call his lawyer and have that copyrighted, and then he would call his assassin and have Jeffrey murdered.
“Is there any crying, in the script?” Trump asked.
“Yes, the young woman who will be interviewing me with the finest interview questions in all of Manhattan. Shouldn’t there be somewhere in the script where she cries?”
“Why would she cry?”
“What do you mean, why would she cry? She’d cry just by being in my presence. Like the way you cried the first time we met.”
A look of disgust crossed Jeffrey’s face. Trump knew that this was the face people made when they knew they were in the talons of an unrelenting predator. “I didn’t cry, Mr. Trump.”
“You cried like a baby. Everyone does. Put in some crying.”
“You want me to put crying into the script for your infomercial.”
“It has to be believable. Put in some direction, Jeffrey. You’re the writer, I don’t have time to busy myself with all that, although I’m sure if I did I would be the best at it. But put in something to let this young woman, who must be beautiful, put beautiful in there, Jeffrey, but put in something so she knows how to play it. How about DIRECTION: the finest tears in all of Manhattan, that ought to get the point across.”
Jeffrey knew that back home his young wife was waiting with their newborn daughter, and he used that image to give him strength.
“Did you put down that she has to be beautiful, Jeffrey?” Trump picked up a stack of thousand dollar bills and threw it in the garbage. He would get them out later, that was good money, but he wanted to impress upon Jeffrey how rich he was. He knew all the tricks.
“Yes, Mr. Trump.”
“Read back to me what you have.”
“It says ‘Actress must be pretty.'”
“Put most prettiest.”
“You want me to put most prettiest?”
“Are you afflicted with some kind of poor person’s disease that affects your hearing, Jeffrey?”
“I think that will be all for now, I have to close a bunch of deals. Major deals. Mostly with companies and people in Canada you’ve never heard of. I’m the mayor of Canada, did you know that Jeffrey?”
Jeffrey stood up and left the office without saying a thing. Trump picked up his phone and stared blankly at the keypad waiting for the door to close behind Jeffrey. He swiveled in his chair and thought about throwing himself out of the window. He wasn’t really going to do it, but if he did, it would be the finest suicide in all of Manhattan.