Alexandra Petri: Exhausted Britain wishes Trump would notice he was being gravely insulted

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, centre left and US President Donald Trump and guests arrive through the East Gallery ahead of the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace in London, Monday, June 3, 2019. Trump is on a three-day state visit to Britain. (Victoria Jones/Pool Photo via AP)

London • An increasingly distraught Britain wondered for the duration of President Trump’s visit to the country whether the president was ever going to notice that he was being gravely insulted. Indignities that would have sent previous presidents packing whistled harmlessly over his head and detonated behind him, unnoticed except by their perpetrators.

"Someone said, 'Thank you for your opinion' after he had made a remark, and he actually said, 'You're welcome,'" gasped Madeline Bassett-Glossop.

"The chef served the vichyssoise hot and the consommé cold," butler Roland Leighton observed. "But he didn't try either of them."

“His steak was cooked all the way through and slathered with ketchup, a sign of my highest contempt and disregard,” shuddered the chef, “and he thanked me.”

“As his valet, I wanted to indicate an extreme personal disdain by laying out for him a suit of white tie with a vest that dangled so far below the appropriate place — but instead of understanding the insult, he wore it to dinner!” exclaimed Reginald Wodehouse. “When it was time for him to retire, I agonized long and hard over whether to lay out a hideous purple bathrobe with green lozenges as an emblem of my true feelings, but — after what he wore to dinner, I knew he would simply put it on instead of understanding the insult, and I could not withstand the shock to my system.”

"He remarked to a butler that it was a nice day, and the butler said, 'Up to a point, Mr. President,' and afterwards he did not just sink into the Earth with shame, as I would have done!" exclaimed an onlooker.

"I gave him the cut direct," remarked Duke Tony Framingham-Hoightstershire-Terwilliger (pronounced "Fonks"). "But he was looking at his phone."

"He wasn't indignant that he could not stay at Buckingham Palace, which has been pointedly undergoing renovations since 2016," complained Sawston Crumpet. "He just seemed excited to get to stay at somewhere that had been built closer to the 1980s, which he seems to really think was the height of fashion and design."

"The royal corgis pointedly refused to greet him," said Stephen Wonham, "but he was grateful not to have to touch a dog. He thinks they're dirty."

Crowds thronged the streets for a protest that Trump called "fake news." "He seems to think it's a kind of parade," said Flea Thompson, who tends sheep in Wiltshire. "We are being as angry as we can and saying, 'Good day, sir!' in our most withering tones, but he is not, I think, understanding that we do not truly wish him a good day."

“Someone remarked that Brexit and Trump’s election were equally sound decisions,” Edmund Morgan Crumpet noted, “and — nothing! It was like he didn’t notice he was being insulted.”

And to the chagrin of a British teen who mowed a phallic shape into a field for Trump to view from above, it simply appeared that Trump was just pleased to have such a large phallic shape associated with him in any way and had not taken the insult as it was intended.

"Truly the only thing he seemed to understand as an insult was that the TV had only CNN and not Fox News," complained one observer, "and that was the one thing we did not do on purpose!"

Alexandra Petri | The Washington Post

Alexandra Petri is a Washington Post columnist offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of “A Field Guide to Awkward Silences.”