Not a Photo-OP

We are here at the San Juan airport, and await the landing of Air Force One with the President, and the first lady, Melanie. My first reporting assignment, and I can’t tell you how excited I am. This is the first visit of the President to our island. Porto Rico is devastated, and we are looking forward to the President’s visit. Our hope that his stay is not just a photo opportunity, and just another opportunity to gain personal favor with his base. The advance notice suggested that we would all be surprised by the President’s visit.

The plane is just landing. I am trying to get close to the tarmac, but the Black Water security personnel are refusing to allow us to move any closer.  I must tell you, those men look serious, and somewhat mean. I just heard one of them speak to a colleague, and they spoke in German. Another guard was holding a AK 14, and softly singing in Hebrew. Interesting international group of personnel.

The doors of the plane have just opened. Several assistants have exited, and now the President is standing in the doorway, and climbing down the stairs. It is hard to see him clearly, since several aides and guards are standing in my sight line. It appears that the President is wearing what looks like a hard hat. Yes, it is a hard hat. His typical baseball cap seems to be underneath the hard hat.

I am about 30 feet from the President, and I now can clearly see him. He appears to be wearing combat fatigues, and black boots. Around his waist is what looks to be the typical carpenters belt – full of tools. I can see a claw hammer, several chisels and a large tape measure hanging on the right side. He just turned around to answer a MSNBC reporter, and he is carrying a back pack. I can see at the top of the pack what looks like a reciprocal saw, or at least some type of saw. The sight of the President is remarkable. He looks like a walking Tractor Supply. Draped over his right shoulder is a coil of heavy duty rope, with large hooks on each end.  Just beside the rope is a holster with a hatchet. In his left hand he is holding a crow bar that looks to be at least 4 foot long.

I just noticed that the first lady, Melanie Trump has exited the plane and she is also wearing a hard hat. It seems to have a decal of the football Patriots on the side. Holy cow, she too is dressed in a workman suit, but in black with gold trim. She is carrying… I can’t believe it, but I was just told that she is carrying the Jaws of Death machine. The machine that helps cut through steel, or concrete. It is clearly heavy, and a guard with a very heavy Italian accent offered to help her with the equipment, but she has refused.

The President and the First Lady are entering an armored personnel carrier. They have just speeded away. No questions have been asked of the President. Clearly, this was not the typical photo op. It appears that the President is here to do something. What, who knows, but hopefully he and his wife will not hurt themselves.

Tom Golden, writers cramp, September 2017.

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