WASHINGTON, D.C. — 19 years ago today, Al Qaeda operatives boarded four planes and hijacked them, turning them into high-speed missiles. Three of the four planes struck their targets and the fourth was brought down by the passengers rather than be used to kill more Americans. All told, nearly 3,000 people died when the planes struck the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. In the aftermath, a rallying cry was born and is repeated by millions of Americans each year on this day.
The phrase, of course, means to encourage Americans to keep the loss of those 3,000 people in their hearts and minds when remembering the attack. It’s been used by countless politicians and pundits since that day, from all sides of the political spectrum. President Donald Trump used the phrase in a hashtag this morning on Twitter.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2020
But as much as the president would like Americans to “never forget” 9/11, particularly today, he told reporters in the Oval Office this morning that he “desperately wants and needs” them to forget about COVID-19.
“Some stuff you gotta remember. I always say that, don’t I, Mike,” Trump said, turning to Vice President Mike Pence. “I always say that. Don’t I, Mike?”
The vice president reflexively answered in a cold, dry, emotionless monotone.
“Yes that is right, Mr. President, sir,” Pence said.
Trump smiled and tossed Pence a treat.
“That’s a good boy, Mike! I’m always telling people, they gotta try to remember things. Tying their shoes. Eating a couple of breakfasts a day like their favorite president,” Trump stated, “You know, the important stuff. So on a day like today, it’s very bigly important for them to remember to not forget 9/11 in much the same way as them not forgetting to tie their shoes or rub one out to their daughter, like you know, we average typical American Joe Blows do. Isn’t that right, Mike?”
Once more, the vice president wasted no time answering with an emotionless, but attentive tone.
“Yes, that is right, Mr. President, sir,” Pence repeated himself.
And again, the president tossed Pence a treat. Reporters were able to tell with the second treat that it was a communion wafer. Pence rubbed it on his left nipple, closed his, mumbled something about wishing he could put the real Jesus in his mouth, and ate the wafer.
“Of course, that being said, as president I have to, from time to time, ask Americans to go ahead and forget some things,” Trump explained, “you know, for the good of my country. So let’s start with some basic stuff, okay?”
Trump reached into the Resolute Desk. First, he pulled out a single sheet of paper with some notes on it, written in what looked like the penmanship of either a third grader or a man with hands the size of a third grader’s hands. Next, Trump retrieved a bag full of McDonald’s food items from the desk drawer. Finally, he pulled two six-packs of Diet Coke out of the drawers, and explained that he was “staying healthy” with the diet sodas, instead of one with all the sugar it normally contains.
“It’s how I remain in literally the best shape of my life, really, the Diet Cokes,” Trump insisted. “Anywho, a couple of quick, easy things I’m hereby ordering Americans to forget. Ready? Okay, here we go. Americans need to forget the Mueller Investigation. They need to also forget Trump Ice, Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Steaks, and Trump Brand Medicated Ointment for Hemorrhoids.”
Trump began shoveling the food in his face and slugging the sodas. Spit and food flew from his mouth as he read from his list. The president would pause every so often to fart.
“Also, Americans are hereby commanded to forget about the Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan,” Trump said. “Oh, let’s also go ahead and forget that I keep talking about banging Ivanka, okay? And, um, let’s see here…”
Trump began performatively dragging his finger over the page, pretending to have lost his spot. Finally, he pretended to find it again.
“Oh, right, just the little business of ordering you all to forget COVID-19,” Trump said. “You should definitely always forget COVID-19. So yeah, go ahead and forget the CHINA VIRUS, and definitely forget about the fact that I’ve let almost a quarter million Americans die and will gladly let it get to a half million or more if it means the economy opens back up and I have a better chance at re-election.”
Trump thanked everyone for coming in, and was last seen chopping up a pile of McNuggets into a thin, white line to snort.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.