Alternative Facts — Something We All Could Use

Donald Trump wasn’t happy when the media showed photographic evidence that his presidential inauguration Melvin Durai's Humorattracted far fewer people than Barack Obama’s inauguration eight years ago. Trump is all about size – it’s important for him to be bigger than other people, whether it’s bigger bank account, bigger hands, and, of course, bigger lawsuits settled.

He also likes to have the biggest crowds, so the idea that more people attended Obama’s inauguration irked him to no end. He was fuming in the Oval Office, saying to his assistants, “How can anyone say I didn’t have a bigger crowd than Obama? I saw them with my own eyes. It was like half of China turned out for me.”

“That was just the Chao family from Manhattan,” a brave assistant said. “We put them all in the front row – just so we could have some diversity.”

“Oh, we had plenty of diversity,” Trump said. “It looked like half of India was there too.”

“Yes, Nikki Haley brought her extended family.”

Trump wasn’t pleased. He ordered White House press secretary Sean Spicer to make a statement to the media, inaugurationaccusing them of misrepresenting the truth and asserting that “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.” Spicer put such an emphasis on the word “period” that even male journalists shuddered.

For most members of the media, Spicer’s statement seemed like nothing more than a blatant lie. But Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway defended Spicer during a TV interview, insisting that he wasn’t lying but merely putting forth “alternative facts.”

And that’s when millions of men around the world started cheering. We love the idea of “alternative facts.” We will forever be indebted to Conway for reminding everyone that “alternative facts” do in fact exist.

Whenever I argue with my wife, she assumes that she’s right and I’m wrong. Well, she may have the “facts” on her side, but I almost always have the “alternative facts” on my side.

Just the other day, I got in trouble for leaving the garage door open all night. I was the last person to come home, so the “facts” indicated that I was the one who forgot to close the garage door. But my wife should have considered the “alternative facts.” Here are just two of them:

  1. Our garage door operates on wireless remote technology that uses high-frequency radio signals and, as such, is extremely susceptible to Russian hacking.
  2. Our dog often walks around the house at night. While she isn’t normally tall enough to reach the garage door opener, I have long suspected that she walks on her hind legs at night when we aren’t looking, allowing her to reach all the food scraps on the kitchen counters. After completing her misdeeds, she opens the garage door to make us believe that an intruder was responsible.

We need to start taking “alternative facts” a little more seriously because they’re going to be a mainstay of the Trump Administration. For every fact, there are at least two alternative facts. For example:

FACT: Hillary Clinton won almost three million votes more than Donald Trump in the presidential election.

ALTERNATIVE FACTS:  (1) Donald Trump would have easily won the popular vote if three to five million “illegal” voters hadn’t cast their ballots for Clinton. (2) Donald Trump would have won the popular vote if animal lovers had not made a big deal out of an Access Hollywood tape in which Trump admitted, jokingly of course, that he likes to grab women’s cats.

FACT: Aerial photographs indicated that far more people turned out for President Obama’s inauguration than for Trump’s.

ALTERNATIVE FACTS: (1) More people actually attended Trump’s inauguration, but many of them were Melania michelle-obama-side-eyeTrump’s friends – skinny fashion models who occupied only one blade of grass each. Meanwhile, Obama handed out invitations at Old Country Buffet. (2) Weather was a major factor, as millions of Trump supporters left the inauguration early because they couldn’t weather the cold stare from Michelle Obama.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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