“OK Donald. I’ll be right there!” I said and hung up the phone (or pressed the end call button for those of you too young to remember the joys of old-fashioned landlines).
This was serious. It’s not every day you have the man the with the world’s most famous hair weeping uncontrollably on the other end of the phone and begging for your assistance.
“Hazel” I yelled to the wife. “Pack my best undies and a toothbrush. I’m off to America. That was Trumpy on the phone and by golly gee willerkers, he’s really in trouble now".
“What’s it this time?” said the long-suffering wife. “Cuban missile crisis? Dresses with strange stains that just won’t launder out? Some peace-loving people in a far-off country needing to be forced into building a Starbucks? And by the way, stop calling me Hazel”.
“Oh, if only it was something easy like that” I sighed “as I cast my mind back to a simpler time in previous days of yore where men were men, sheep were scared and women could bake a decent ginger loaf. It’s much much worse. His twitter feed is lagging”.
Now the previous few paragraphs may not be entirely accurate but suffice it to say that history (and the border control records of the United States of America) will show that on the 6th August 2018, I, Graeme Wayne Perkins, entered America again for the first time in twenty-four years.
Twenty-four years is a long time, in more ways than one.
Back then, George H W Bush (Bush the Elder) was President and I was an aspiring young shearer who was stopping over in the States while on my way to shear sheep and drink beer in England. One of which I did very well.
Now, all these years later, America had another Republican as President in Donald Trump, I was an aspiring middle-aged writer with grandiose dreams of getting 1,000 Facebook followers and selling books in quantities that couldn’t be counted on two hands.
I was in America to support my wife with her business, complete a writing course with Gotham Writers and blog, at no extra charge to you my dear reader, insightful, trenchant and witty observations about Americans and their way of life.
The Los Angeles border control officer asked me why I was here and given my sleep deprived and drug-addled state (anti-anxiety tablets for flying if you must know), I hugged him, fixed him with an affectionate gaze and said “Yeah man. Wow. That’s so, like, spacey, man! Why are any of us here man?”
He stamped my passport and gave my wife a sympathetic look as she took my hand and led me gently through to carousel nine where we collected our bags.
As they got ready to look through our luggage, an overweight elderly woman in a form-fitting fetching blue customs uniform, looked me up and down with the old “let’s see what’s under those clothes young fella” look that I get from time to time from women (yes I do) and so I predicted the worst and assumed the position with legs spread wide and arms held high.
I’m not sure if it was the large damp patches on my tee shirt caused by moist armpits that hadn’t seen a drop of soap and water for 36 hours or my unbrushed teeth and breath that smelt like a tin of cats tuna but for whatever reason, they waved us through without so much as a glance in our bags or a feel of my groin and said “Welcome to the States. Enjoy your stay”
"Well, let's just wait and see" I muttered darkly to no one in particular. "Let's just wait and see!"