“You have a bright future, son, I’m proud of you, and so is your mother,” the older man declared, one arm pulling the gangly teen into a playful hug.
“Thanks, Dad, many people are saying that, but I can’t tell you how much it means to me to hear it from you.”
“Aw, you’re welcome, Donny boy, though I have to admit there was a time your mother and I did have our concerns,” he said with a chuckle.
“What do you mean, concerns, Dad?” the boy’s smile dissolving. “And by the way, I prefer Donald,” he said sharply.
“Oh, Donald, Sh-monald,” his father scolded, “the only men hung up on long-form names are short or gay.”
“The concern I’m talking about,” he continued, “is the bullying kerfuffle you got yourself into in the eighth grade – remember, when we had to pull you out of Kew-Forest? Though, now that I think of it, the military academy was probably a better place to sort you out anyway … you’re not gay, are you, Donald?”
Visibly irritated, the boy sniffed deeply before responding curtly: “Wrong.”
“Wrong, what?” his father asked, eyes narrowing.
“I was not a bully, the investigation was rigged, I was just a little rambunctious,” the boy explained. “Besides, those nasty girls were shooting spitballs at my hair; they were disgusting pigs. Let me tell you, these were terrible, terrible people … and no, Dad, I’m not gay; I don’t know any gays; I don’t like gays; gays are a disaster, total disaster.”
His father grinned as he corralled the boy into a headlock, disheveling his exuberant mane with an extended noogie. “Ah, you’re too sensitive, Donny boy, you need to have thicker skin,” he said with a laugh.”
“I still prefer Donald.”
“Before you head off to Pennsylvania to bring home that economics degree, there are three pieces of advice I want to give you, my boy.”
“First, never underestimate the power of wealth. When your bank account is flush, doors will open for you … and it also pretty much takes care of number two.”
“I’m going to ace that business program at Penn, Dad, then I’ll get back here and make a million,” the boy said, excitedly. “What’s number two?”
“I like your spirit, son. You will indeed get that degree, but I think we both know, you’re not the sharpest knife in the drawer. That doesn’t matter, though, like I said before, doors will open.”
“And when you do graduate, I’m going to give you that first million dollars, myself. Then, you go out and buy some of your own properties and work that winning rental formula I’ve been teaching you.”
“Colour-coded applicant screening!” the boy blurted, proudly.”
“My second piece of advice, Donny, is always have an attractive girl at your side. When you have money, and especially when you’re famous, you can get anything you want. You can just grab them by the, ponytail and …”
“I can do one better than that, Dad,” he interrupted, “when they say Hi, I go low.”
“Well, the point is, son, it really doesn’t matter if they’re smart, or how many girls you have on the go; just remember, unattractive or overweight women reflect poorly on you, it’s a sign of weakness.”
“And they’re disgusting, like those slobs back at school,” the boy added with a sneer.
“Listen carefully now, son. The third and most important piece of advice I have for you is this: a good lie will always trump a bad truth. People like us are bound to get into a spot of trouble from time to time, but we have the power of intimidation and manipulation on our side. We must remember to always live by the three D’s.”
“The three D’s, Dad?”
“Yes, boy: Deny, Deceive, and Deflect,” his father explained. “If ignoring the accusation doesn’t work, deny, deny, deny. Lie your face off if you have to. If you still can’t shake it, blame it on someone else.”
“Thanks, Dad. I won’t let you down.”
“And one more thing, son: you need to do something about that skin of yours. The people who succeed in this world have colour … well, to a limit, of course. My point is, if you look sickly, you won’t be respected in the boardroom. Get yourself some sun, son.”
“Thanks, Dad, I promise I’ll follow your advice, and someday I’ll be President of this country. Look at Johnson, he’s a disaster. Last year he opened up immigration when he should have been building a wall. Now we’re crawling with bad hombres. How stupid is this country?”
His father laughed, heartily, “you might be right about that, Donno, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves with this President stuff; when I said bright future, I was talking about business, not politics.”
“Well, Donald, I give you full marks for dreaming big,” his father conceded after recovering from a lengthy chortle, turned hacking cough.
“I love you son, but I’m afraid you’re euchred on that count. This country will vote a black man President before you’ll ever get the job. Hell, Donny, I dare say even a woman would have better odds of becoming President!”
… We can only hope.