Paul Berger: Imaginary conversation between two distinguished leaders
The scene: a tiny planet of a solar system in a galaxy too close to you for comfort.
The plot: conversation between two plump autocrats, each with a penchant for machismo, braggadocio and hyperbole. Let’s call them Donald Trump (DT) and Kim Jong Un (KJU).
KJU: At last, we have perfected nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. We can now hurl mass death and destruction on American cities at will. You bastards had better be scared of us, or else!
DT: Don’t you dare, you little creep! If you utter even a single threat, we will reign fire and fury on you like the world has never seen. In fact, I like that phrase so much I will repeat it again. Thank you.
KJU: You are a crazy fat American slob. You are so fat you make me look thin and I’m, you know, really fat.
DT: You’re a stupid little boy, KJ. I’m gonna call you Lil Kim, from now on. Yeah, that’s a catchy nickname and I’m the world’s greatest nicknamer. Who cuts your hair, Stevie Wonder?
KJU: We are going to obliterate you. We will ignite a sea of fire around your tiny little island of Guam. Your soldiers will die a thousand deaths of unknowable misery and pain!
DJ: Don’t make me laugh. You are nothing but a tin horn dictator, playing with your nuclear toys. You think I’m afraid of you?
KJU: All right, you big galoot, you have crossed our red line. We are preparing to launch our precision-guided missiles as we speak. We will smash your country and your allies. We will turn all your Big Macs into Little Macs. There will be nothing left of the U.S. when we’re done. Except maybe a few Starbucks.
DT: Ha, you puny pipsqueak. We are locked and loaded. If you try anything, if you even breathe funny, we will turn your country into an all-night Korean barbecue. With extra spicy sauce.
KJU: Sticks and stones, you big oaf. Sticks and stones. Nothing can stop the supreme leader of the Korean people from annihilating the big bad American wolf. Nothing!
DT: Are you doubting my manhood, boy? I can and will turn your crappy little country into a crispy, burned marshmallow with a single flick of my wrist. Hmm, let me see, what’s this little red button over here?
KJU: Wait! Stop! I was just kidding!
End of conversation. End of planet as we know it.
Paul S. Berger lives in Nevada City.
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“There is a cult of ignorance in this country … nurtured by the false notion that ‘my ignorance is as good as your knowledge.'” — Isaac Asimov, 1980.