The entire nation is transfixed like a litter of kittens in front of a fishbowl of hyperactive minnows as the screwy shenanigans known as March Madness unfold. And mad is right. It’s crazy out there. Totally zany. Nuttier than the hospitality suite at a squirrel convention. As kooky as a skateboard rack in the foyer of an assisted living facility.
The productivity of offices has sunk to 4 a.m. levels as Americans find it impossible to turn off our devices and look away from the streaming spectacle of backcourt body slams, missed lay-ups and crowd hysteria.
The howling of normally disinterested bystanders periodically shatters the quiet hum as we watch amateurs get smoked and lambasted in the face of daunting odds.
But alas, this isn’t about a bad case of hoops frenzy. We’re talking about the wild, weird and wacky machinations emanating from President Donald Trump’s White House.
Most administrations try to hit the ground running, this one careened out of the tunnel tripping over the ball rack, hoisting crazed half-court hook shots while backpedaling into mascots and playing defense. Badly.
Instead of a fast break after his opening tip, both POTUS’ Muslim bans got blocked. Trump stomped up and down the court railing against the refs for banning the ban, and the media for calling his Muslim ban a Muslim ban.
One announcer wondered why Muslims wouldn’t enter the country simply pretending to be Christians, as that’s what most of us do. They’d fit right in.
Next, in what should have been a slam-dunk, Trumpcare, was criticized by both teams, the crowd, shoe manufacturer reps, beer vendors and even some cheerleaders, for looking suspiciously like Obamacare, without any of that “care” part attached.
Although Trump has plastered his name on chocolate bars, vodka, eyeglasses and barstools, he objected to calling the replacement health care bill Trumpcare, which sort of made even his own trainers and assistant coaches wince and do a double take.
With the clock winding down on his credibility, both the House and Senate intelligence committees announced they found no evidence to Trump’s accusation that his phones were tapped by former President Barack Obama. He said he heard someone on Fox News making the claim, but even Fox News said, “You’re kidding, right?”
White House spokesman Sean Spicer whiffed on a series of free throws, trying single-handedly to keep the ball in play but got caught double-teamed on the baseline with nowhere to pass, because Kellyanne Conway was back in the locker room nursing a strained microwave or some other subversive kitchen appliance.
Trump himself was of little help, demanding to play point guard, power forward and center without any knowledge of the playbook, game, opponent, what was at stake or on which bench the rest of his team was sitting.
Setting records for unforced turnovers with fumbled rebounds, errant passes, double-dribbles, traveling violations and a flurry of airballs, D.J. Trump committed so many flagrant offensive fouls it was a miracle he wasn’t hit with three or four technicals and kicked out of the game, if not sent back to the team hotel on the company bus.
But he wasn’t, because, as those of us watching at home know: he’s also the coach. And the sponsor.
— Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comedian and former Pizza Hut assistant manager syndicated by Cagle Cartoons. Click here for videos and a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, Elect to Laugh: 2016, appearing every Tuesday at The Marsh in San Francisco. Follow him on Twitter: @willdurst and click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.