Columnist

Well, gosh. This is embarrassing. I promised my team would be the “best people,” and, wow, it looks like maybe that was not the case. It is turning out, that, in fact, the people surrounding me and filling this White House were not at all as advertised! Or maybe exactly as advertised! I am starting to notice this from all the trials that keep happening.

I thought I had the best team ever to be assembled, but I had, just, a big coat full of skunks, six rejected concepts for Batman villains, and a disembodied voice that yells rude things in the Quiet Car.

I thought I had the finest cadre of advisers and lawyers the Earth had ever seen, but now that I look I see that all I had was the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, an aardvark in a Model U.N. sweater, a hairpiece on top of a novelty skeleton with light-up eyes, a Mr. Monopoly Man, a paid advertisement for unscientific vitamin supplements and a cursed Oscar statuette brought to life until someone speaks the single phrase that will allow him to sleep once more.

I had a white supremacist, just, full stop; three reverse pictures of Dorian Gray; what should have been a complete set of the two door guardians from a logic puzzle (one always tells the truth and one always lies), but the first one did not arrive with the rest of the shipment; an enormous air dancer attempting to sell used cars and a shark disguised as a meter reader. I really should not, in retrospect, have put two hand-puppets from a wisely canceled local-access children’s show in charge of a Cabinet department, and I definitely should not have been taking legal advice from a half-hour-long program in which Pat Boone urges you with increasing intensity to buy 68 CDs from the 1950s.

I thought I had the best people, but I had a big plane filled with money, a bear that has wandered into a school by mistake, Zombie James Buchanan, a pair of Ivanka Trump pumps that want to speak to a manager, the hair of a televangelist, a Pixar villain whose origin story involved a tanning bed struck by lightning and an anthropomorphic liver. I had a scorpion asking for a ride across a river, an ominous forwarded email with a sad face drawn on it, a statue brought to life by the love of its sculptor but in a twist on the classic Pygmalion scenario it was a Confederate statue, a piece of toast on which sexist words appeared for no reason, a gallon container of snake oil in an expensive leather coat, everyone at a surf-side bar on a Thursday, a reality-TV contestant and Anthony Scaramucci.

I am chagrined. I thought that a pick-up artist book in a big collared shirt, an animatronic statue of Rutherford B. Hayes reprogrammed by HYDRA, and the Thing that appears in the mirror when you blink were good people to surround yourself with, but, in fact, no. A television chicken sales personality, a stand of reeds into which hateful words have been whispered for months, a bag of money with a severed finger in it, a book by a Fox News personality brought to life by the love of a lonely child and a phrenology head — not the elite team I had been led to suspect!

These were not, I now realize, the best people. I get this sense from how frequently they keep being forced to quit, getting charged with and admitting to crimes.

Look, if Melania Trump’s campaign has proved anything, it is that nobody knows what “Be Best” means. But somehow I feel like it is not this. I am quite let down! Next time, I will be more specific.