Every once in a while, even the President says something that makes sense. 132 days into his term, at 12:06 am, Donald Trump tweeted, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”
Disclaimer from the outset: I am part of that constant negative press. Proudly.
Covfefe? The twitterverse exploded with questions, and Sean Spicer, the Press Secretary stated, “The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.” And then the item got buried under the news of Comey, Sessions and obstruction of justice.
But in one of this thousand follow up tweets Trump wrote, “Who can figure out the true meaning of Covfefe? Enjoy!”
This is a man incapable of a philosophy longer than 140 characters, and yet he got it right. Covfefe means nothing. Some days there is no explanation for why the good guys do not win. But in the meantime savor the mystery.
There is no reason why fire killed those people in the Grenfell Tower or why three UPS drivers were murdered in San Francisco.
In the outer, outer, outer Excelsior, the workings of the universe also seem random. There was no rationale as to why Brian and I lost the triplets. Or why Tim died from AIDS. Or why both of my sons were born drug exposed, and will always be considered “special.”
John Lennon once sung that “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” There is as much wisdom in that as there is in Covfefe.
When Zane was a baby, before even his first expulsion, as I was changing his diaper, I noticed what I thought was the largest hunk of snot that I had ever seen in a child’s nose. I took a swipe at his nostril and out came a lima bean.
Now I was tired, as was evidenced by the fact that at three in the afternoon I was still in my bathrobe. But what made this even more inexplicable was that I never cook lima beans. I do not serve lima beans. I’ve never actually tasted lima beans. This dates back to Nurse Vivian who had a reputation for ruining vegetables. Example: she boiled kidney beans in vinegar and corn with mayonnaise. So the night she surprised us with succotash, I took a stand, She coaxed, but if I inherited nothing else in my Irish genes, I got the stubbornness, and I said, “I am never going to eat a lima bean.” This is just about the only promise that I’ve managed to keep for 51 years in a row.
So I asked Tita Ann Mabutas, who had been baby-sitting Zane and she said, “Oh, yes, I fed him leem-a beans three days ago.”
When she looked panicked I said, “Tita Ann, ithappens. Babies get lima beans in their nose. I just want to know how.”
Tita Ann told me of a baby who grew a plant out of his belly button, and so she theorized that Zane had stuck one in his ear, and it had traveled down his Eustachian tube into his nose.
There was a more pragmatic theory: that I was a lousy housekeeper who hadn’t noticed the leftover vegetable in his high chair, which Zane found and stuck in his proboscis three days later to see if he could get his old Dad going. The lousy housekeeper theory would also explain the bathrobe at three in the afternoon.
And the third possibility is Divine Intervention. The Universe may have decided that my boycott had gone on too long, that it was time for me to stop and smell the lima beans.
What do you think? Sloth? Passage through the Eustachian Canal? Lima Bean Transubstantiation? Me, I’m going with the third answer because I like a little mystery. When it comes to faith, it’s just as likely that the universe has a reason as that it has no reason at all, so I might as well pick the solution with the puzzle, because it makes life more interesting.
Eleven years have passed since the miracle of the lima bean. I don’t know any more answers to the meaning of life, other than perhaps covfefe. All I know is that this week that little boy walked home from school on his own for the very first time. A decidedly different kind of miracle.
It strikes me that I have just said a nice thing about Donald Trump, so with regret I must report that I am no longer part of the constant negative press. Make that just most-of-the-time-negative press.