Tim Dowling: I spend the morning waiting for Trump to wake up and say stupid things


I have to ration the number of new Trump anecdotes I pass on to my wife

Several days into my Greek holiday, I am beginning to feel eerily relaxed. This is partly because our children arent with us I cant get used to the fact that when a restaurant lunch comes to 20 a head, I owe only 40 but also because they arent at home, either: two of them are on their own separate travels abroad, so the house is comparatively safe.

This state of affairs leaves me with a lot of spare psychic space. When I am not swimming or reading or eating, I occupy myself by hating Donald Trump. Its not just a holiday thing Ive been hating Donald Trump for years but in my present untroubled state, it has become an obsession. I check my phone repeatedly to see if Donald Trump has said anything stupid, or untrue or stupid and untrue in the last half-hour. If he hasnt, I feel crushed. But usually he has.

Donald Trump is now insisting his call for the assassination of Hillary Clinton was just sarcasm, I tell my wife, following her from kitchen to pool, phone in hand.

Huh? she says.

I have to ration the number of new Trump anecdotes I pass on to my wife. Shes not really interested, and believes the existing evidence for Donald Trumps stupidity is ample.

It wasnt sarcasm! I say.

My wifes silence carries the tacit implication that perhaps the most outrageous part of the story is not that Donald Trump doesnt understand how sarcasm works.

Illustration: Benoit Jacques for the Guardian

That night, I cant sleep because of the heat. Just before dawn, I get up and sit by the pool with my phone, but nothing is happening. I spend the morning waiting for Donald Trump to wake up and say stupid things. I look up sarcasm online, so I can be certain I know what it means. After lunch, exhausted, I fall asleep with a book on my face, not rising until the cocktail hour. Im so relaxed, I say. I cant believe its Wednesday already.

Its Thursday, my wife says.

Is it? I say. Are you sure?

Later that evening, the middle one texts to say that hes run out of money in Amsterdam, fully four days before his scheduled return. I spend an hour trying to transfer funds into his account while sitting at a beach restaurant, but its dark and I havent got my glasses, and I end up locking myself out of my online banking. Later still, when I cannot sleep again, I read about Donald Trump telling a Florida crowd how excited he was to be in Miami on a Friday night. The crowd shouted back that it was Thursday, but he took no notice. I think: idiot.

Illustration: Benoit Jacques for the Guardian

Over breakfast the next morning, while waiting for my banks helpline to open, I review the previous days stupidity. Donald Trump now says he was also being sarcastic when he claimed that Obama literally founded Isis, I say. No one at the table comments.

Any more gold medals? my wife asks. Her question starts a lively conversation about the Olympics that leaves me behind.

My wifes phone rings. I can tell from her bright hello that its the youngest one calling from Italy. As she holds the phone to her ear, her smile fades and her eyes narrow. She seems to be focusing on the distant horizon. You missed your flight?! she says. How did you miss your flight?

He didnt, I say. Did he?

Dont panic, my wife says. Go back to the check-in desk and do your big eyes. You might have to cry a little.

I love going on holiday without my children, I say. Its so stress-free.

Now that, I tell myself, is textbook sarcasm.

Read more: www.theguardian.com


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