Fables and Foibles. The words look and sound alike – and mean very different things. But they do fit like gloves on the hands of two people we know well.
Let’s just call them ‘The Dan’ and ‘The Don’.
Both are sons of fathers who worked hard to build the dollar-signs behind their names, worked their way to the top job, see government through business eyes, make big promises small on delivery, like ‘Fake News’, shoot first and ask questions later – and each will just keep on saying things you’ll either laugh at, or cry about.
The Don always has a trump card. But he also has problems naming nations, even christening some with names of traditional outside toilets. And he sees everyone seeking greener pastures in his country as cows looking to graze all the ‘green, green grass of home’ in the ‘lily fields’ of his ‘land of milk and honey’.
The Dan, on the other hand, doesn’t have the Don’s foul-mouthed record. But he sure can foul his mouth with words, often displaying an extraordinary capacity to repeatedly engage in interchangeable choices of words that sound alike, to so ‘mal-parlais’ (‘mis-speak’) his local dialect, in ways that almost always ensure the meanings get lost in translation.
The Dan and The Don will both offer ‘Alternative Facts’ when they feel necessary — and waste no time to describe uncomfortable revelations as ‘Fake News!’
For example: The Don insists that everything said and written about him in the mainstream media is ‘Fake News’, while The Dan will not bat an eyelid to tell reporters that documents circulating in social media with signatures looking exactly like his are nothing but “fake news”.
The two recently grabbed press attention for saying things not expected: The Don is offering big fish for help to sink a smaller neighbour’s fishing boat, while The Dan said he hoped the small fry that keeps landing on his shores from that same boat will continue to be only sardines.
And then there were the two men’s problems with figures: The press cited tax documents revealing that businesses run by The Don lost billions on ‘unsuccessful deals’ over a ten-year period. But his lawyers say the information is ‘demonstrably false’ because ‘government tax transcripts’ are ‘notoriously inaccurate’.
For his part, The Dan offered the press some round figures, only to later retract and reconfigure them as ‘a whole and not part of a whole’, but still not give the real ‘part’ that formed ‘a part of the whole’ – or say, for that matter, what the new ‘whole’ is.
However, one of the most common denominators between The Don and The Dan is their keen ability to keep us guessing. You never know what words will fly out of their mouths, but you can always expect the unexpected.
The Don always holds on to his trump card, while The Dan is always the only man driving his van.
Both will tell you to ‘run’ today and ‘come back’ tomorrow — and one will actually tell you to ‘Go to Hell’ in such a nice way that you’ll actually look forward to the trip.
How is me, uh…(?)
Meanwhile, don’t be at all surprised if and when it is announced, whenever, that The Don and The Dan each picked their red phones up this weekend and dialed away to wish Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan ‘A Happy Mama’s Day!’