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Since reading excerpts from Mary Trump’s book, Too Much and Never Enough, I have been calling the current occupant of the White House Uncle Vernon. Every time I do, someone wants to know why. So, first, this background from Mary Trump:

“One year, Donald and his first wife, Ivana Trump, gave the young Mary a single gold lamé shoe, its heel filled with hard candy.

“Where had this thing come from?” Mary writes. “Had it been a door prize or a party favour from a luncheon?

“Donald came through the pantry from the kitchen. As he passed me, he asked, ‘What’s that?’

“It’s a present from you.”

Mary Trump also says that in 1977, when she was 12, her Christmas present from Donald and Ivana was a $12 pack of underwear. Her brother got a leather-bound journal, two years out of date. Later, Mary received a Cellophaned gift basket, “an obvious regift” containing olives and a salami but not one evidently removed item, which a cousin said was “probably caviar.”

The Guardian, 7/7/20

Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia are Harry Potter’s unwilling and abusive adoptive parents. They never mark Harry’s birthday, and at Christmas they give him “presents” such as a tissue, a toothpick, a 50-pence piece or an old pair of Uncle Vernon’s socks.

Of all the different embodiments of evil in the Harry Potter series, Vernon is the most clownish–always unwittingly so. He is conformist, conventional, habitually cruel, and boring (literally: he’s in the drill business). He has no imagination and disapproves of anyone who does, and he knows no way to deal with opposition except brute force. All of that plus cheapskate Christmas gifts, and we have a tailor-made nickname for the buffoon in the White House.


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