On a recent cold, cold night, I found myself eighteen inches from the Donald’s the Hair. Not in front of it or off to the side of it, but directly above it. Donald Trump had nestled into a VIP banquette at the new Chelsea “hot spot” Marquee, and while there were security thugs with Secret Service–style earpieces guarding the front of it, the walkway right behind was curiously clear. Inching, all casual-like, into position just behind Mr. Trump, I stared into the orangey thicket floating above his scalp, marveled at its engineering (a combination comb-over and pompadour, it’s the world’s finest pompad-over), thought about how many construction-code violations it might represent, and wondered how the hell it could have lasted this long.
“The Hair,” I wanted to shout, “you’re fired!”
Trump’s new reality-TV show, The Apprentice, you see, has brought out the merciless prick in me. The show’s ostensibly a workplace Survivor—each week, Trump fires another one of the sixteen men and women who are competing for an unspecified $250,000-a-year job—but for me and millions of other viewers, it’s a therapeutic exercise. I work out my own office issues by fantasizing that Sam, Omarosa, Jason, and the others are stand-ins for all the co-workers I’ve ever had. I couldn’t care less what dopey business “challenge” they face each week. I just can’t wait to see one of them get fired—within the hour!
The brilliance of The Apprenticeis that, much like the BBC’s bitterly hilarious The Office, it demonstrates that while the boss is generally a tool, it’s your co-workers who will really be the death of you. In fact, on his show, Trump counterintuitively emerges as a sympathetic figure. A no-nonsense mensch who does us all a favor by canning the deadwood.
Meanwhile, the Donald’s ongoing extreme-coiffure crisis—no amount of clever TV lighting can diminish its preposterousness—makes him seem oddly vulnerable. Human, even. In fact, at Marquee, as I restrained myself from petting the Hair (or dousing it with my drink), I felt nothing but warm feelings toward it and its owner.
Donald Trump—bless his cold, cold heart—can stay.