Listen, I’m not sure how this happened but it did. Not that I was embarrassed. But, it’s always a shock when your work is in the news. It’s not as though I doubted the quality of my services. I mean, I had more than proved myself in that sticky business with Elon Musk. He came to me and said not to believe a word I read in the papers. He told me SpaceX was insolvent. There was no money in rockets. Even cool ones that landed. Sure, he had been fudging the numbers to make it look good but he was out of pocket just to keep the lights on.
“There’s already too much crap up there. We’ve got satellites bumping into each other so that no one wants a new one in orbit. Some TV company doesn’t want to be on the hook when their satellite scratches a fancy space telescope’s lens, you know?”
He needed a new revenue stream.
So, I put some of the lab boys on the case. Diagrams, feasibility reports, you know the thing. The lads, bless them, weren’t much help. I was nearly at wit’s end myself. Then it struck me: Dating services. Rather, ex-dating services. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, right? The plan was straightforward. We’d build an app like any good disrupter. The idea is you can pull up your comprehensive dating history on your phone. See every Jack and Jill you ever shacked up with. You could then select one, pay the fee, and have one of your exes strapped to a rocket and fired off into the dark vault of heaven. We called it Space Ex.
Elon loved it. He’s making money hand over fist. The other day he sent me monogrammed silk socks with “innovator” and “disruptor” embroidered in gold, on the left and right foot respectively. Sent me a fruit basket too. I knew I had my foot in the door now but I wasn’t expecting this.
I sensed trouble when the new client insisted on anonymity prior to our meeting. Clients get a guarantee of maximum discretion, naturally, but a pseudonym was highly irregular. When I got into the office, I saw Candice hand-penciled in a meeting on my agenda with “Tonald Drump.” I had no idea what to make of it. Candice couldn’t tell me much. It was booked over the phone. The client disguised his voice and could only assure us he was “loaded” and “a real world-class client.” Whatever. I was excited to get another rich client on the ledger so I didn’t push it. I found myself sitting opposite a man in a suit and mask. He had a power tie and an orange floppy toupee over his balaclava.
“Mr. Drump?” I ventured.
“Please, call me Dona– I mean Tonald.”
“Forgive me, Tonald. What can we do for you?”
He wondered, hypothetically of course, what I would do if I were running for president and I was tanking in the polls. If I wanted to try to pull off a surprise win or at least salvage my reputation. Suppose, again this is all hypothetical, I had a serious, but undisclosed, head injury. Suppose it caused brain damage. The kind that results in a compulsive need to alienate everyone around you. In poor impulse control to the point where you run for president without any experience. Where your whole pitch is that you can solve everyone’s problems by building a wall and you already build condos, and a wall is just a really wide condo no one lives in, right? There’s no plumbing and every other thing you’ve built has at least four walls, so just one should be easy! But now people weren’t buying and what’s worse they hate you. Everyone thinks you’re the devil incarnate and people cross the street when they see you. Your wife won’t even share a bed with you, and you might need an easy way out. All hypothetically, of course.
After seeing some cash up front, I had Mr. Drump in for a physical to verify the head injury. Dr. Winters had a hell of a time with it because Mr. Drump wouldn’t take off the balaclava. She gave me a full diagnosis. The prognosis wasn’t good. Harm reduction was the way. Prevent him from hurting himself. The problem seemed easy to address. I drafted the blueprints. It was some good work that still allowed for comfortable eating and drinking. I had Candice book him for a fitting. I haven’t heard from Mr. Drump since.
You can only imagine my surprise on debate night when Donald Trump showed up on stage wearing the special headgear I invented to keep a big fat mouth clamped tightly shut.
Sean Stone is a lover of the idiosyncratic, esoteric, and obscure. An old soul born at a young age on Vancouver Island, he now lives in Ottawa. He has a degree in Political Science and still finds that sort of thing interesting. He’d like to find some stimulating work to pay for new suits and old books.