The Trump Treehouse of Tall Stories, Treason & Tyranny – Ep #13: "Don Can Call Him Sal"

(The Official Secret Clubhouse of the He-Man Truth & Saudi’s Haters – No, Lovers Club)

Ben Carson: (walking into the mini Treehouse Oval Office)…So I finally cleaned all of the full length mirrors, which was exhausting by the way, and polished the silverwa…

Donnie: ….ssssshhhhh…

Ben: Don’t you want to check my pockets?

Donnie: …sssshhhh!!!!…

Ben: But you always want to check my pockets after I’ve polished the silverware…a kind of throwback thing right?…you say it’s reminder of a better time…

Donnie: …yes, it WAS a better time…clearly defined roles…but shut the fuck up Benfred will ya! Can’t you see I’m on the phone…and long distance…I’m not even sure if I have international in my plan…poor taxpayers might feel this one…

Please enjoy this Verizon Wireless ringback tone while your party is reached

Donnie: Well, that’s weird.

Ben: (holding pockets inside out) See? What’s weird sir?

Donnie: His ringback. It’s usually some sort of Saudiwood sounding stuff, like some uplifting movie dance sequence, not a big fan of the whole uplifting thing of course, against my nature but, I gotta admit, it is pretty catchy and does get my hips moving…not too much though, don’t want to expend any unecessary energy…

Ben: No, you wouldn’t want to do that. You’ve only got a limited amount right?

Donnie: Exactly…and gotta conserve…2020 an all…lot’s of ego rallies…all that walking around on stage or trying to appear menacing behind a podium and pressing my fingers together, pursing my lips and trying to rile up a mob a with a ton of newly manufactured lies takes a lot…especially in as many small syllable words as possible…but it does have a great vibe…and you should have seen those Saudi babes dancing to something just like that the last time he hosted me…man, I love the veils…such sexy mystery…but I didn’t say anything rude about how hot they were…and I didn’t ask for any “company” on THAT night…

Ben: …of course you didn’t. You’re all about decorum.

Donnie: That’s right…what?

Ben: Uh, decorum?

Donnie: That’s three syllables Ben. Don’t fuck with me.

Ben: Sorry…it’s just that you’re respectful like that…proper decorum…I’ve never heard of you ever saying anything inappropriate…wait…who are we talking about here?

Donnie: Salman…”Sal”.

Ben: The Saudi Crown Prince? Mohammed Bin Salman? You call him “Sal”?

Donnie: Yeh, I call him “Sal” in private, came up with that nickname all on my own…ingenious huh? and he loves it…just loves it…tells me all the time how much he loves it…”Oh Donnie” he says, he calls me Donnie, very cute, but very bro, “love how you can call me Sal”…says that nobody before me thought of shortening “Salman” to “Sal”…tells many people the same thing…tried to go with “Fish” at first and then “Mo” but “Sal” really stuck…plus he said “Mo” for Mohammed was a bit of a sacrilege for some reason…I didn’t get it…and hell, he’s got like 17 other names…I can’t possibly be expected to know them all…and why is that anyway? Why so many names? Why can’t it just be simple? You know first name, last name, like all good Anglo Saxons, maybe an added initial, a number or a Junior or even a hyphen for Facebook for women who want you to remember who they were just in case things aren’t working ou…

Ben: …other cultures sir…the world is a complex, complicated and beautiful place…

Donnie: …fucking foreigners…

Ben: Ummm…right that, so right you are…fucking foreigners…(fist bump not returned)…but he’s who you’re trying to call right now?…on your unsecured cell pho…

Donnie: …shut up Ben. It’s not like I’m emailing him from a personal account or something. Sheesh, that can get hacked and there might be hundred of thousands to delete. This is MY cell phone…locktight. But his ringback has changed…all I hear now is awkward silence.

Ben: Weird…but why are you trying to call HIM?

Donnie: To thank him.

Ben: For what?

Donnie: For writing that big statement I read the other day about why I’m taking no action on this reporter thing.

Ben: (incredulous) Reporter “thing”?

Donnie: Yeh…that Katz Yogi…I think he may have been Jewish and a weirdo…damned Soros…(confused look)…what?

Ben: He wasn’t Jewish and it’s Kashoggi. He was a Muslim.

Donnie: Well that’s even worse. Anyway Stephen Miller is off this week on vacation…

Ben: I know. I saw him before he left. He had his suitcase, was wearing that iron cross chain he’s so fond of, had some Tiki Torches under his arm and was sporting a brand new haircut…

Donnie: …so the Crown Prince and his script writers offered to help me draft the statement. I would have preferred Miller, he really knows how to stir the divide, throw blame and shower me with unearned praise…I added a little bit myself though, as always, including the exclamation points.

Ben: I’m sure you did. Did you use CAPS in this one?

Donnie: I tried to get some in but they told me the exclamation points just served the same purpose or something strange like that. That part about “maybe he did but maybe he didn’t!”? Exclamation point? Mine! Sal loved that part. I wanted to CAPS the “didn’t” at the end of the sentence but hey, what can ya do…I deferred to the experts…still, that exclamation point was all me.

Ben: Sounds like you.

Donnie: I do have a style.

Ben: But you do know that Kashoggi was a good man and a journalist that was brutally murdered for speaking his mind right, for being critical of the royal family?…and he was a U.S. resident?

Donnie: Did you catch the part of the statement where the Saudis say that this Katz Yogi was an “enemy of the state”?…love that part…subtlety isn’t usually my thing but I helped them there too. There’s lots of states journalists can be enemies of ya know. Figured I’d send a little message. Nailed it I think.

Ben: …that he was human being, was dismembered and his body disposed of in acid?…and that the CIA is pretty convinced the Crown Prince ordered the whole thing…

Donnie: CIA Shmee I A Benfred. Who ya gonna believe? An intelligence agency who does this sort of thing tirelessly and relentlessly 25 hours a day or my bought and paid for gut? Great business there in Saudi in case you didn’t know…you really should go…big dollars…hell, you’ll make money just by showing up…thankfully people are still buying the story of my Tax Returns being locked up in audit…throw my name around if you need to…plus, Sal told me he had nothing to do with it (Note to self: Un-invite Haspel from the Kahoggi briefing)

Ben: Well (sighing) enough said on that then right? If he told you he had nothing to do with it. Kinda like Vlad?

Donnie: Exactly. Vlad said he had nothing to do with what’s turned out to be this Witch Hunt…(quizzical look)

Ben: What?

Donnie: Did you just put a carrot on your nose again…like last time?

Ben: (removing carrot) No.

Donnie: Shit Ben, if ya can’t trust the word of a despot who can you trust?

Ben: Good point. They are nothing if not reliable in their ability to be despoty. So what are you going to do now?

Donnie: Nothing. But I gotta get Sal something.

Ben: (to self – Jesus, please not another fucking fruit basket).

Donnie: Hey did Cesar Sayoc get that Kavanaugh fruit basket I re-gifted to him?

Ben: Probably not sir. He’s in prison and that pineapple centerpiece has probably gone bad by now. I imagine they don’t deliver fruit baskets in prison either.

Donnie: Well that sucks. It’s the thought though, right?

Ben: Indeed. I’m sure he appreciates it if he even knows.

Donnie: I’m thinking of tweeting a thank you to Sal for gas prices coming down by the way. Nice distraction. The base loves that shit. Show ’em I’m providing.

Ben: Even when they’re thinking of slowing production to drive prices back up?

Donnie: C’mon Ben, Sal wouldn’t do that. I call him Sal for Christ’s Sake, we’re pals. Plus right now they’re low, and that looks good.

Ben: Especially when your tax cuts have been such a bust for the regular folk.

Donnie: It’ll trickle Ben. It’ll trickle. It always does.

Ben: No, actually, it never does…you already tweeted that by the way.

Donnie: What?

Ben: That gas prices have come down.

Donnie: I did? Damn I’m good.

Ben: It was only a by a couple of cents though.

Donnie: Didn’t I make up a bigger number? That’s kind of my thing. You know, like how many American jobs ignoring this Katz Yogi thing was worth

Ben: Yeh, that going from 40,000 right to 400,000 and then eventually to a Million was quite impressive even by your exaggerated exaggerating standards, or your completely imaginary billions of billions the Saudi’s might pour into the states here and, like always, you somehow kept a straight face. But you can’t make up a number in this case sir.

Donnie: Why the fuck not?

Ben: Because it would be too easy to check your magic math to actual numbers the average Joe is really paying at the pumps.

Donnie: I like that.

Ben: Like what sir?

Donnie: The “average Joe”. Has that been used before? “Average Joe”? I should lay claim to that. Just the Joe’s through…keep the Joan’s out of this. Good looking, bare foot and silent is best.

Ben: I think you’ve said that before.

Donnie: Then it must be good. Gotta write that one down…average Joe’s…Joe’s good…Joan’s bad…bare feet.

Ben: But they’ll know the numbers don’t match up when they go to pay.

Donnie: But if I tell them the price has come down to, like, a nickel a gallon because of me they’re not gonna buy it?

Ben: Not if that nickel is really $2.65 or so instead of $2.67.

Donnie: Ahhhh, “yee” of little faith Benfred…that kinda thing also helps keep the evangelicals in line by the way…shit, I’ve even got that nutcase Michele Bachmann praying for Sal…just gotta pepper in a “Yee” here and a “Thee” there and make pretend at prayer breakfasts…ahhhh, YEE of little faith Benfred…and THEE

Ben: Got the point sir. So they’ll think they’re paying 5 cents when it’s really $2.65 and they’ll just endure the pain?

Donnie: It’s what I do Ben and what they keep accepting.

Ben: You really are good at this.

Donnie: Props to me. You can have that fist bump now.

Ben: (smiles) too cool!

Donnie: Did you just add an exclamation point to that?

Ben: I did.

Donnie: Then my work is done.

Ben: Can I rewrite and throw a CAPS on TOO COOL?!

Donnie: Knock yourself out. You can never go wrong when you revision. Empty your pockets by the way.

Ben: It was only a spoon.

Donnie: All good and a fine spoon I’m sure…but really, empty your pockets.

Ben: Awwww sir!

(Canned sitcom audience laughter)

Donnie: (Grins to the camera holding a spoon)

The Trump Treehouse of Tall Stories, Treason & Tyranny – Ep #12: "Re-gifting A Fruit Basket And The Closing Of The Alice Door"

(The Official Secret Clubhouse of the He-Man Truth & Alice Haters Club)

Donnie: (heavy sigh) Well he didn’t sign for it and it got returned.

Ben: Who’s “he” sir and what’s “it”?

Donnie: Kavanaugh. He wouldn’t sign for the fruit basket I sent him and now it’s been returned.

Ben: Oh, I’m sorry, that’s a shame sir. And after all the thought and energy you put into trying to make it just perfect.

Donnie: I know. With a pineapple centerpiece too and like, 3 grapes, an apple, a burner cell and even an Olive Garden gift card…

Ben: …and those bland whitebread muffins with chocolate chips, which I thought was a wonderfully symbolic ‘we can all work together’ touch and the portrait of you glaring for the kicker…

Donnie: Yeh, I called him, he said something about it seeming improper.

Ben: Well, that’s surprising, considering his obviousness in the confirmation hearings. You’d think he’d be right there when it comes to innapropriate gifts and the appearance of graft. Doesn’t bode well for future gifts depending on the court’s cases now does it?

Donnie: No it doesn’t dammit, but he and I WILL talk again. You think I can re-gift it? Ya know, before the pineapple goes bad?

Ben: Well, I guess you could.

Donnie: How about that Cesar Sayoc guy? He could certainly do with a little pick me up. Great American patriot that one, loved my ego rallies, bought a hat, pretty buff too, and did his part to help keep the failing US Postal service afloat. Surely he could use some muffin lovin’ right about now, as opposed to what he’s probably gettin’, and who wouldn’t like that Olive Garden gift card?

Ben: Everyone loves an Olive Garden gift card sir but….ummmm…probably best to steer clear of that particular re-gifting. Pretty bad optics on that one I think. Plus Olive Garden might not even exist when he’s done.

Donnie: Good point, sad, but good point. Speaking of Olive Garden, I’m famished. Care to run for a pick-up?

Ben: Sure.


Ben: (entering while calling into the Treehouse) Sorry sir, apparently unlimited breadsticks is a dine in only thing…sir?…sir?

(sounds of sawing and hammering and cursing)

Ben: Sir? What are you doing? Are you Ok?

Donnie: I hit my ring kiss finger. This is definitely gonna be a boo-boo.

Ben: I can see that…

Donnie: …think you can give it a little smooch…

Ben: That would be a no sir.

Donnie: Miss my mommy…

Ben: I’m sure you do…but, again, what are you doing?

Donnie: I’m closing up the Alice door.

Ben: The what door?

Donnie: The Alice door. The little one that I had for Sessions here after he fell down the hole and ate the small recusal cake.

Ben: Oh, right…sorry, forgot about that…been so long since he was here at the Treehouse.

Donnie: That was his own choice Benfred. It’s not like I didn’t invite him.

Ben: But you DIDN’T invite him.

Donnie: Exactly. He recused himself from this door, but he was always welcome.

Ben: Ummm…and how did that work sir?

Donnie: Never mind. I just wanna close it up, plus varmints could get in. This is a Treehouse after all. Pesky squirells always looking for nuts…

Ben: …good spot for that here…

Donnie: …and media types climbing around always looking for truth. Fucking truth, so overated. Can’t leave any doors untended.

Ben: So now, after you’ve fired Sessions, does that mean Whitaker will use the regular door?

Donnie: Who?

Ben: Whitaker, the guy you unconstitutionally named acting A…

Donnie: Shhhhh…(whispering and head nervously bobbling around)…I know who Whitaker is Ben, but I DON’T you understand…never met him socially…catch my drift?

Ben: No, but I’ll go with it.

Donnie: (back out loud) Never met the guy, but he is certainly qualified. Many Congressman say the sam…

Ben: …but didn’t you meet with him, not too long ago, to discuss the Meuller prob…

Donnie: …(back to whispering) No Ben! Shit! You’re no good at this shhhhssssing to an aside whisper thing!

Ben: Sorry, it’s easy to get lost with you sir.

Donnie: It’s my eyes…and I didn’t fire him Ben…

Ben: Who?

Donnie: Sessions.

Ben: Oh, right.

Donnie: I didn’t fire him Ben, he resigned.

Ben: But only after you asked him to.

Donnie: But he was quitting…

Ben: …at your request…

Donnie: …yes, so I didn’t really fire him, he resigned.

Ben: But only after you asked him to.

Donnie: But he was quitting…

Ben: …at your request…

Donnie: …yes, so I didn’t really fire him…

Ben: Seems we’re stuck in a loop sir.

Donnie: …he resigned.

Ben: But only after you asked him to.

Donnie: But he was quitting…

Ben: …at your request…

Donnie: …yes, so I didn’t really fire him…

Ben: (throws a brand new silver dollar, a flag and a gold cross on the floor)

Donnie: …(scrambles) ooooohhh, shiny…(more scrambles)…and patriotically fluttery…and (eyes lit up)…ooooohhh, evangelically shiny…

Ben: Sir? Come back. You with me now?

Donnie: (confused head shakes but coming around) …ummm, yeh, I think so.

Ben: (to self) works every time. Good. So Whitaker can use the regular door?

Donnie: (back at full strength) Who?

Ben: That’s better.

Donnie: Might have to widen it a bit though, he’s got a really big basketball sized cue ball-like head.

Ben: But it’ll be worth it right?

Donnie: Damn straight! Even though I don’t know the guy (winks)…

Ben: (winks back)

Donnie: …he’ll fit right in here.

Ben: Gotta love someone who thinks you’re all powerful huh? Above the law.

Donnie: Part of my required’s Ben.

Ben: You vetted him personally right?

Donnie: If I had ever met him, of course. And I let him keep the pen. Well gotta run.

Ben: ?

Donnie: Off to Paris with the…with the…with the…damn…

Ben: The first lady?

Donnie: Oh right…Being Best an all…still don’t get that one…and I know all about best…yes her. Gotta talk about WWI or something like that…big war you know Ben…tough war…fought like a war…I almost fought a war…foot hurt…was a big one as wars go…the reason they named it #1…like me, #1…I’m considered an expert on it by the way…not too many people know that…

Ben: No, pretty much no one knows that.  I checked the forecast. You want I should pack you an umbrella?

Donnie: No need.

A Final Friday Night Lights (And Saturday) For The Season

“Ya might wanna avert your eyes sis, cause I’m stripping naked in front of your dryer” That was the greeting to my sis, Rebecca Frankenberry after I arrived sponge-like at her house following a rain soaked game one in my double header weekend. She and the nephews, Jake and Matty, live near Schenectady and were my sleep stop between games on this final weekend of Friday Night Lights (and one Saturday). These Friday football nights have come to an end for this season with Spectrum Sports but I have to say thanks to Spectrum and especially to my good friend Greg Bobbitt for the chance to work as much of the schedule as I was able. My appreciation of always being considered by Greg when it comes to games/events and the ability to get some work is something I don’t think I could ever offer enough of. The games in the Albany area were new to me this season, and a bit of a drive and my arrivals at whatever field we were at for these recent Friday nights were usually greeted by crew mates with something akin to “Jesus, did you just drive the two hours up here for this AGAIN?” along with surely an internal aside “you silly bastard” followed, then, a tired good number of hours later, by a game finished/breakdown done “You heading home two hours again…you silly bastard?” (no internal asides at end of game by the way – everyone’s WAY too tired for that nicety shit by then).

Now I realize I’m not hitting the lottery with these jobs, but the money is still a pretty good dollar that I didn’t have and can always use, four hour round trips nothwithstanding but, really, it’s more than that. It’s just that tongue in cheek “Jesus did you drive up here again?” comraderie and hand shakes and fist bumps that makes the trip worth it – plus we get fed. Anyone that knows ME and anyone that knows a regular radio or TV production life knows that getting fed goes a pretty long fucking way.

But it’s being part of a crew of really good, accomplished, hard working and funny, sarcastic sometimes playfully caustic folks who you can call friend and who are really good at what they do that makes the gigs worth it. It’s the knowing pride of producing a top notch broadcast that you would gladly stack up against anyone else’s, somewhere else, doing the same.

Plus for me it’s always been a welcome break from the daily, a place to ignore the emails and the phone calls and the demands and expectations of the regular life/job gig, instead, just getting to concentrate on the game at hand, damning any obligations…and get paid for it. You can’t go wrong with that and Friday Night Lights have always been the best of the sports for me to enjoy this break.

Over the years with Time Warner to now Spectrum (I’ve been doing this for 12+ now I think…thank you Jack George) we’ve done lacrosse, basketball, soccer, others I’m maybe forgetting, badmintton? Quite possible, but it’s football that I enjoy the most. I’ve mentioned this in posts before, but there is something, as we all know, about the fall and football, something about the love and fervor and dedication of the fans (family, students, local pride) and the passion of the players and the coaches in the warm Septembers that lead to the cool Octobers and then to crisp Novembers. I eventually get to layer up (which I enjoy until the first snowflake), see my breath, use my phone only as a camera and enjoy the solitude of a Friday football sideline’s wonderfully loud football cliche’d but passionate shout/grunt chorus of coordinated chaos.

And I also get to feel a bit creative in this “solitude” and write some posts like I have of this, new to me, northern New York, like discovering that Guilderland is NOT of Middle Earth though it sounds as if it should be, of noting that a Ville of some type is pretty much the go-to town designation in these here parts and of being painfully obvious and juvenile in pointing out that Ballston sounds like a place with a ton of balls.

I was able, for instance, while patrolling the sidelines with my parabolic mic, to notice that a number of players for Shenendahowa were just a letter away from being something completely different. “Lasher” was a beginning “Sh” away from being hunted by the authorities, “Belott” was almost a Mel Ott but playing the wrong sport, “Altenburger” was just an “I” in place of a “T” from aliens opening their own other universe burger joint, maybe 5 Eyes Burger and Fries. “Blowers” possibly came from a family of glass makers, or noticing that there was a “Trump” and an almost McCain (“McCane”) proving that up north here does have it’s red spots. There was, as well, a “Beach” to lessen the cold a “Hill” for something to inspire you to take and, my favorite, a “Fubare”…FUBAR with an extra “E” for maybe “E”verything that might come after being FUBAR.

No, on this last weekend for us, a couple of teams were excitedly crowned champions while a couple of teams were left in tears, tears I genuinely felt while recalling my own sports losses, my own head in my hands, my own pounding of the turf in frustration, but I wouldn’t trade those losses for wins any day, and hopefully this youth won’t either, because eventual victories will be that much sweeter. And though I was loathe to do these drives in the first place, not wanting to add variables to my somewhat comfy regular, I wouldn’t trade for anything my last couple of months and those couple of hours there and back up and down the Thruway for these Friday Night Lights with the crew…friends…and some damn fine pizza.