Dom Joly: Under the trotter

Dom Joly © Thousand Word Media

Dom Joly © Thousand Word Media - Credit: © Thousand Word Media

‘Wilbur was standing with his head and three-quarters of his body jammed into a tight pink sleeping bag that Stacey had given him for warmth…’

My pig Wilbur is deeply depressed. He has always been a political animal, and I think he recognised several traits in Donald Trump sadly familiar to most pigs.

Over the seemingly endless period of the American Election he was not himself. It was as though he sensed the oncoming slow-motion car-crash that must surely be the Trump Administration? He spent many a morning lying around in a bit of a fug - not his usual sprightly self.

One morning, he didn’t even come to the fence as he always does when I call him. I tried again but there was nothing but silence from his compound. Concerned, I hopped the gate and went to investigate. Stacey has built him quite the house and I peered in but there was no sign of him. Then I heard movement from the little yard just behind his main building. I peered over. Wilbur was standing with his head and three-quarters of his body jammed into a tight pink sleeping bag that Stacey had given him for warmth. Wilbur was clearly stuck in an extremely undignified situation. A terrible thought flashed through my brain- was this a suicide attempt? No, this was just an ignominious event that had probably been brought on by his politically distracted spirit – just another Trump victim.

I jumped over and managed to lever the sleeping bag off him after several minutes of increasingly awkward manoeuvres. We stared at each other for a moment before Wilbur nodded at me but with a look that made it clear that we should never discuss this matter. Fortunately for me, Wilbur is not a great reader and so I am safe to disclose this story without fear of him finding out.

He does however, love listening to the radio. We leave one out for him so that he doesn’t get too lonely. He tends to like Radio 4 or LBC - except for one terrible moment when we didn’t switch over and left him to listen to the angry orifice that is Katie Hopkins…it didn’t end well. He ripped his compound apart in fury and made it very clear that the woman should never be aired again in his presence - but I digress.

So he is a well-informed pig, politically. His view is that, tragic as the election of Groper-in-Chief might be, it is very good news for comedians. Alec Baldwin, who does a fabulous impression of Trump for Saturday Night Live must have secretly done a little jig at the news - knowing that this guaranteed him steady employment for the next four years? Meanwhile the poor lady who did the Hillary Clinton impressions, sang a mournful version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ and disappeared from public life.

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This is the problem - much as Wilbur and I loathe the new American president, we can’t deny that he is gripping viewing. If he were just a TV show, he’d be box office gold- he took over the slot vacated by Friends and made Celebrity Apprentice into an enormous hit. Sadly, America treats show business and politics as more and more interchangeable.

Growing up in America you would see Trump as the very embodiment of the American dream- a boy from Queens who has his name on top of huge buildings and flies around in a helicopter telling everyone how amazing he is until enough people believe it. Trump very much believes in the theory that if you keep say something over and over again, people will eventually come to accept it. He also discovered that the relentless news cycle no longer has time to check facts; by the time they are revealed, the world has moved on. The natural end to all this is what has just happened - TV has taken over the world and we are all hapless viewers.

I was quite pleased with this theory but Wilbur just sighed. He was hungry again and had lost all interest in politics.

“Where’s my grub?” He grunted.

“I’ll go and get it...” I muttered.

“Good, and get a bloody move on, I’m starving…”

It appears that we are all to be under the trotter in one way or another for the foreseeable future.

For more from Dom Joly, follow him on Twitter: @DomJoly