Artificially bronzed septuagenarian proves incapable of holding basic conversation

He just so happens to be the ex-president of the United States.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28:  Former U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Polit...
Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Words can be tricky little buggers, can’t they? Sometimes they mean one thing, and other times they mean other things. The nuances of the English language, what with its “nouns” and “verbs” and such, can be a challenge for some: small children, for instance; or people who were raised speaking a different language; or former President of the United States Donald John Trump, a man who regularly brags about his “very good brain” like a used car salesman trying to sell you his soggy grey matter right off the lot.

Here’s how Trump’s soup-can brain seems to work: Someone will say something at his face. Is he listening? Not really. But he’s savvy enough to know that he has to say something in response, lest people catch on to the fact that the inside of his skull is filled with a cartoon chimpanzee picking fleas off its back and eating them. So, he keeps one or two neurons warmed up juuuust enough to pick out a few key words — “great,” “hoax,” “China,” etc. — which he can spin off into a pre-recorded rant that won’t tax the limited mental resources he usually reserves for important things like “not falling over” and “hating his own children.

Such was the case Thursday night when Trump, autopiloting his way through a characteristically sycophantic interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, found himself in a familiar position: handed an easy jumping-off point by an unflinching toady from which to launch into one of his generic riffs criticizing President Biden. Except, as is inevitably the case when a person of meager critical thinking ability gets a little too comfortable with their slate of plug-and-play grievances, Trump managed to spectacularly whiff on an incredibly slow pitch, right over the plate.

“[Biden] seems locked into every one of these failed policies,” Hannity said, offering Trump an obvious opportunity to trash his successor. “You keep banging your head against the wall. Why would you expect a different result?”

Uh oh! Can you guess what happened next? That’s right. Trump heard the word “wall” and, like confused labradoodle chasing phantom tennis balls, launched into an obviously rehearsed screed about a literal wall.

“So, we would have had the wall completed in three weeks,” Trump exclaimed. “It was largely completed. We did almost 500 miles of wall in the southern border. It was really working. It really had an impact.”

Oh Donald. You sweet, simple, summer child. Hannity, perhaps overestimating Trump’s comprehensive capacity, was using a metaphor. (Mr. Trump, if you’re reading this, a “metaphor” is when you use an example of one thing as a stand in for a whole other thing. Please ask Ivanka to explain this to you.)

Unfortunately for us, Fox News’s cameras switched to b-roll footage of Biden speaking, rather than dwell on Hannity’s face while Trump rambled on and on about his literal wall, robbing us of the opportunity to see a grown man’s soul crumble in real time. Oh well. With it looking increasingly like Trump might actually run again for office in 2024, I’m sure we’ll get plenty more chances soon enough.