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Donald Trump Lets His Hair Down

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"I've never smoked a cigarette in my life," he goes on. "I've never had a drink, never had a joint, never had any drugs, never even had a cup of coffee. So, those are some good things about me. I probably have some bad things about me, too." He pauses, as if waiting for some bad things to materialize out of thin air, but when a miracle occurs and they don't, he starts up again. "I will say, though, that I like a little caffeine. People assume I'm a boiler ready to explode, but I actually have very low blood pressure, which is shocking to people. I'll drink water. Sometimes tomato juice, which I like. Sometimes orange juice, which I like. I'll drink different things. But the Coke or Pepsi boosts you up a little."

And then he goes on about the ratings of Celebrity Apprentice and the ratings of himself in presidential polls, both of which are "very, very" high. This is all well and good, but it's incredibly boring, and eventually you are forced to cut him off, with, like, is there one orgasm in his life that he would consider the most memorable?

He leans back in his chair, tilts his head up, takes a long time to think this over, his cherubic cheeks reddening either with the effort of recollection or the maintenance of a boiler about to explode. At last, very smoothly, he says, "Well, always the children. And this building. Trump Tower." A duller answer one cannot imagine. Maybe he'll take a shine to something larger, like naming the central problem of existence.

"Conflict," he says, snapping forward. "Conflict, if it's not resolved, leads to lots of bad things, and that's where this country is right now. We're in many, many conflicts that ultimately could end up in calamity."

But, seriously, has anyone ever loved conflict more than him?

He smiles. "Look, sometimes you need conflict in order to come up with a solution. Through weakness, oftentimes, you can't make the right sort of settlement, so I'm aggressive, but I also get things done, and in the end, everybody likes me."

Well, maybe not everyone. He's been called some pretty terrible things recently, like "farcical," "an unpolished and graceless blowhard" and "a monstrous parody of entitled American wealth masquerading as skillful entrepreneurship." Just days ago, Republican strategist Karl Rove pronounced him "a joke." Trump shrugs most of these things off. They come with the territory, and, in fact, by shrugging them off, he is able to once again demonstrate the insane, over-the-top self-confidence and self-regard that seem to have caught the fancy of a certain segment of the population — probably the same folks who believe it when Charlie Sheen claims he is somehow "winning." Trump didn't do so well at the White House Correspondents' Dinner last month, however. While President Obama and host Seth Meyers poked fun at him and his hair, all Trump could do was stare straight ahead, with no expression whatsoever, betraying how utterly humorless he is about himself. Trump doesn't like Rove's "joke" comment, either. "That was a very nasty thing for him to say," he mutters darkly. "He shouldn't have said that. We'll have it out with Karl Rove. I don't lose too often."

So, Rove might want to look out. And so might Jerry Seinfeld, for that matter.

"I don't want to ruin my image by saying this, but I'm a much nicer person than people understand," Trump says. "I like to do the right thing and help people. But when people are disloyal to me — I have a couple of instances of well-known people, where I'd help them out, but when I needed a favor, not a big favor in this one case, this guy didn't want to do it. That's 15 years ago. I haven't spoken to him since. He died. He's dead mentally. In other words, for me, they don't exist. I hold a grudge. I have the longest memory. I always kick back. I believe in that."

It's kind of weird hearing Trump spit out his words with such rigid vehemence just like he does on his reality show, knowing how huge a constant that grudge-holding is with him and that you yourself might one day be on the receiving end of just such a grudge. You can always hope that age will lay him low first, but it's not likely, given how healthy he is. "I had a father who was 94," he says, "a mother who was 90, so, you know, I'm genetically lucky that way, too."

Also, he's got a big thing about germs, so he's a frequent hand-washer and goes everywhere with packets of hand sanitizer stuffed into his suit jacket. He pulls one out now, dangling it in the air. It's a Super Sani-Cloth Germicidal Disposable Wipe ("The two-minute germicidal wipe") — which isn't exactly the kind of market-share leader you might expect Trump to favor. He rubs his palms together. "I don't use Purell, Purell is too sticky, but this other stuff is great. I always carry a couple of them."

Leaning back, he goes on, "The question has come out, 'How can Donald Trump campaign if he doesn't shake hands?' Well, over the years, I've shaken many hands, and I have no problem shaking hands. But it's not a healthy thing. With the germs, it's not a question of 'maybe' — they have been proven, you catch colds. You catch problems. Frankly, the Japanese custom is a lot smarter."

One can just imagine Trump, then, his first big time out on the hustings, massively ambivalent, surrounded by his fellow man, the crush closing in on him, the panic that must arise as he finally confronts the great unwashed them, that hideous, germ-ridden, infection-spreading other that he has for so long tried to avoid in the flesh but that his attention-craving ego (not to mention his TV show) so needs. It would have to be unbearable. After an event like that, he probably couldn't get to his Super Sani-Cloths fast enough. So that's another thing we would maybe have to look forward to in a Trump presidency: less handshaking, more bowing, fewer colds, fewer "problems." And if it were just that, what's not to like?

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