The scene: the Oval Office. Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump have just completed their photo-op in the Rose Garden. Senior Trudeau adviser Gerald Butts and chief Trump strategist Steve Bannon are present to take notes.
Trump: Wow! I’m exhausted! That photo-op wore me out! [Brightening.] Wanna go check out some peeler bars, Justy? Putin owns a few really good ones here in town! [Pause.] Don’t tell anyone that, okay? It’s a big secret. Big.
Trudeau [Bewildered but polite.]: Actually, Mr. President, I was hoping we could discuss bilateral issues, like trade and security. …
Trump [Waving his tiny hands around.]: (Expletive deleted!) That stuff is for Steve and Harold to work out.
Trudeau: Gerald. Not Harold.
Trump: Yeah, whatever. Say, did you see the (expletive deleted) on whatserface from Fox News? I’d like to grab …
Trudeau [Interrupting.]: Actually, sir, perhaps we could discuss your decision to make Sarah Palin ambassador to Canada. …
Trump [Howling with laughter.]: Isn’t that a hoot? Jesus, she’s dumb as a post, that broad! She’s gonna drive you crazy! [Trump abruptly stops and grows red in the face.] But she’s not as crazy as those ridiculous judges who attacked my Muslim ban … I mean, my executive order on terrorism! Did you see that, Jerry?
Trudeau [Looking even more uncomfortable, if that’s in fact possible.]: Justin. Yes, Mr. President, but we don’t think it’s appropriate to comment on the internal matters of our allies.
Trump [Exasperated.]: Why not? I comment on other countries’ internal stuff all the time! [Eyes Trudeau suspiciously.] So what did you think of my Muslim ban, I mean, anti-terrorism executive order, Julian? It was the best executive order ever, right? Way better than Obama’s, right? Way.
Trudeau [Slowly, carefully.]: Mr. Trump, in Canada, we welcome good people of all faiths, races and backgrounds. We believe that makes us a better nation, sir. [Long pause.] Barring people from Canada because they’re Muslims would be unconstitutional and wrong.
Trump [Scowling, looking at Bannon.]: Hear that, Steve? The Snow Mexicans want to let in ISIS! [Regards Trudeau.] We might need to put up a wall along the Canada border, there, Johnny.
Trudeau: It’s Justin. That would be regrettable, sir, and would hurt both our countries. Every day, we do $2.4 billion in trade – in 2015, nearly $700 billion. Canada is the top customer for most of your states. We are allies and friends, and we think it would hurt all of us to put up any kind of a wall.
Trump [Squinting, clearly unhappy.]: Ever stay in one of my hotels in Canada, Julius?
Trudeau [Bewildered, increasingly exasperated.]: No, Mr. Trump, I can’t say I have.
Trump [Jabbing the air with a stubby little finger.]: Well, you should! And you should buy some of Ivanka’s stuff at Nordstrom. [Pause.] Okay, not Nordstrom. T.J. Maxx. [Pause again.] Okay, not there either. But buy her stuff! Stay at my hotel!
Trudeau: The Canadian taxpayer kindly provides my family with a wonderful home, sir. And I have a room at the Canadian Embassy while I’m here in Washington. But thank you just the same.
Trump [Dismissive.]: So the Brits cancelled my state visit over there. Would’ve been huge. Huge. When is Canada inviting me to speak to your House of Representatives, up there?
Trudeau [Long, long pause. Trudeau and Butts start eyeing the exits]: Mr. President, with the greatest of respect, Canadians were quite fond of your predecessor and before there’s a visit, we think they need more time to get to know you. …
Trump [Unimpressed.]: How long?
Trudeau [Looking like he’d rather be somewhere else, balancing babies or boxing or just about anything. His shoulders drop. He gives up.]: Sir, you should not come to Canada. We think it’s a bad idea. We think all 36 million Canadians will come out to protest. Even the babies. In winter.
Trump [Unfazed.]: Thirty-six million? That’s how many we had at my inauguration, didn’t we, Steve?
Bannon: Yes, sir! Absolutely, sir. [Bannon examines his limited edition Ku Klux Klan watch.] Sir, it’s bedtime. Shall I ask Kellyanne to tuck you in again, sir?
Trump [Looking bored, yawning, then rising unsteadily to his feet.]: Yeah, okay. Melania hasn’t been around for weeks, anyway. [Looks at Trudeau, who now has his head in his hands.] Steve will show you fellas out. Sure you don’t want to check out some of Putin’s strippers?
Trudeau: We. Are. Sure.
Trump [Walking towards the door.]: Well, you should be nice to him, Justy. He’s checked out your emails and he likes that Shark Tank guy. The leech girl, too.
Trudeau: Good night, Mr. President.
Trump: Good night, Justy.
Warren Kinsella is a Canadian journalist, political adviser and commentator.