FLY ON THE WALL IN HELSINKI

  FLY ON THE WALL IN HELSINKI 

“Mr. President, The-Donald! Welcome to Mother Russia. Excuse me …Finland. Not Russia, yet.

“Vladimir, my man. Good to see you again. Just call me ‘Donald.’”

“‘Just-Donald?’ No, not as good name as ‘The-Donald,’ like they call you back in America. I give everyone nickname, like your George W. do. Dubya, his name. Sit down. Sit down.” 

“Sure.”

“Thank you for meeting privately, The-Donald. No press. No interpreters. No pesky staff who always interfere. We don’t need no stinkin’ staff. We know what we want, right?”

“Yes, sir, we do. I want a deal.”

“Da. Da. We need deal. I know you are expert in these matters. I read your book. Well, my people read your book, Fire and Fury.

“What?”

“Hmm? Oh, no, no. I meant Put Art in the Deal. I would suggest rename it Putin’ Art in the Deal.”

“Sir, I think you mean The Art of the Deal.”

“Yes! Yes. That. You are great writer.”

“Thank you. I wrote every word myself. I am a master writer.”

“Well, I propose deal for you, but I know you will have huger hand.”

“‘Huger hand’? Oh, ‘upper hand.’ Well, sir, not with you. I have too much respect for you to take advantage. So impressed with what you have done with your fabulous country. Folks don’t mess with you. No special prosecutors, no nosy press. I should follow your example and annex Western Canada—you know, the White parts. Probably need to include Quebec. Cool city and Melania loves French. I like the Canadians, so polite, so friendly like my supporters in the middle of my country. Canadians—no trouble; of course, they’d have to give up their health care.”

“The-Donald, since we talk real estate, I mean to ask what would you take for Alaska? We sold it to you for $7.2 million in 1867. You had very good return on that investment. We think now is time to reclaim our property . . . for the right price, of course.”

“$7.2 million? That much? Is that the deal they called Seward’s Folly?”

“Yes, you understand real estate. Think of Mother Russia as the original owner of Alaska, the landlord, and we allow you sublet for 151 years. Maybe like your Monopoly game. You trade Alaska, I give you exclusive franchise for all new six star hotels in entire territory of Soviet Union.”

“Hmmm. How would that work? Well, I mean you are Russia now, much smaller than the former USSR.”

“The-Donald, no matter. Wait. New borders are coming. Soon . . . trust me.”

“Oh, I do. Our President Reagan agreed. ‘Trust, but verify,’ he said. I already trust you. No need to worry about “verify” details. That’s for staff. Did you know I have the best staff in the history of the United States? Maybe the world?”

“Nooo, The-Donald. I did not know this. I am not surprised. Your moves—so bold, shutting down that money-draining NATO and creating tariffs. Giving tax breaks to the rich so that they create more jobs. The proletariat cannot create jobs. And, bringing back cheap coal and all those high paying jobs underground. Brilliant.”

“Vlad, we should talk. I don’t like Alaska. Cold weather, no place for golf courses, can’t work on my tan. But I need a package deal.”

“Package? What in package?”

“You know. The tape from my little Moscow escapades. There’s only one copy, right? You promised.”

“Of course, only one tape. I have back in desk drawer in my KGB—I mean—Moscow office. We can do deal.”

“Great, Vlad. If you ever think about retiring, I can fix you up with great property management jobs.”

“You are too good to me, The-Donald. But, first I must count my fingers, after shaking your hand. You are so deal-maker.”

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