The President Plays Ping Pong

If I behave strangely this dog is supposed to attack me. How strangely? Donald asks. Have you ever suddenly checked whether your shoes are tied? You have no reason to. Both feet are snug. But you’re carrying two bags of groceries and check.

Or consider the threshold in dates. Have you ever tried to pick up twenty date pits from a glass coffee table? You will push them into little mounds or try to pinch them one-at-a-time while holding the rest in your palm. You are working one-handed, Donald mentions. Or really the line is better expressed in peanut butter cups. Only a wounded Nazi doesn’t love peanut butter cups. The small ones.

And yet this dog is sauntering to the left, near the ordered stones. I have a stomach ache from the peanut salt, Donald cries. The dog chooses stone seven which feels symbolic and I push this feeling away worrying that kind of dot-connecting will get me attacked. I tip my head back, purse my lips and blow a thick stream of air causing a ping pong ball to hover. I would do that trick for my niece, Donald admits.

But what about the president, he asks. I must know about the president, I tell him. The dog stretches his sour forepaws and trots near me. I hold my candle a little higher. The dog can’t know the president is a fantastic table tennis player. He has watched the president challenge ambassadors, prime ministers, even three games with the pope (2-1) yet am I behaving strangely for believing a dog can’t grasp a president’s winning streak? The president is a whizz at multiplying fractions, Donald points out. 

I took the ping pong ball out of the air and bounced it near the dog. His sour ears perked and he watched it pass with gabled eyes. Tomorrow, I tell Donald. Tomorrow we will elect a new president.