Originally Published: August 16, 2017 6:01 a.m.
Time to dig a bomb shelter. Stockpile some Kool- Aid. Nibble some Tootsie Rolls while catching a double feature at the drive-in. Pull out your pedal pushers and Hula-hoops. Stick a transistor radio in a front shirt pocket and twist yourself into the ground replicating the gyrations of Elvis. Presley, not Costello.
Hipsters with clunky glasses and skinny ties should feel right at home as the world sinks back into the Eisenhower era, with a new missile crisis currently and clumsily unfolding before our very eyes. It’s a knock-down, drag-out battle of incendiary rhetoric between the U.S. (of course) and North Korea. Another 50s connection. Can’t wait for Ed Sullivan to make a comeback.
The bluster on both sides has ratcheted up to the trajectory of a supersonic missile attempting to intercept another supersonic missile beyond the top edge of the stratosphere. Once again, we ask ourselves, how is it possible to negotiate with a madman whose opening position is “Your tanks will swim in a sea of eyeballs?” The only difference being, this time around, that’s our guy.
Apparently, President Donald Trump is eager for people to believe he would go to war because someone looked at him funny. And although you could stuff the whole of his administration’s accomplishments in a shot glass and they would still rattle around like a golf ball in a railroad car, on that looking-funny count, he’s been fairly successful.
We can’t be sure if 45 is responding to Kim Jong Un’s recent demonstration of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could strike the East Coast or if once again, he’s trying to distract us from various Russian nooses tightening around sundry necks. After all, he does love his bright shiny objects. And the annihilation of the human species is about as shiny as they get.
According to staffers, our Glorious Leader improvised his response to North Korean threats when he warned Pyongyang that if they didn’t halt their bombastic behavior, they would suffer “Fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Demonstrating the diplomatic acumen of a screech owl in a phone booth filled with field mice.
The world holds its breath as these two tiny tyrants with daddy issues, masquerading as tough national leaders, play a game of thermonuclear chicken on a chessboard containing seven billion pawns. Quick, someone find a queen. Hopefully, one with dragons. And a Dothraki Army.
Because of Trump’s involvement, we can be certain that if an altercation does break out, it will be known as the “Greatest Nuclear War in the History of Mankind.” And most likely, the last. As Einstein said, “World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
But hopefully, before launching a nuclear strike, the president will change out of his red pants and golf shirt and put on a suit. We know he’s in the middle of a 17-day vacation, but nobody wants their last image of civilization being the President of the United States sentencing billions to a thousand years of nuclear winter while dressed as the Rodney Dangerfield character from “Caddyshack.”
The only silver lining in this ever- darkening storm is that prices for package vacation trips to Guam are going for a song. Let’s hope that song isn’t, “The Eve of Destruction.”
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.