A Riddle for Trumpeteers: Humberto Duerte sat by the Wall

It’s January 2019. Trump won the Presidential election of November 2016 and is now getting ready to run for a second term in the 2020 election. Back in 2016, he had promised to build a wall, but there is no money. The American coffers are empty. Wanting to be as smart as Trump, none of his followers have paid taxes. And Trump can’t do much about it. All of Hilary supporters have been locked up.


In 2016, Trump supporters wanted two things, rather they did not want two things: one, they did not want to work two jobs just to pay their daily bills; and second, they did not want immigrants taking away their jobs. To satisfy condition one, the minimum wage had to be raised, and to satisfy condition two, a wall had to be built.


Mr. Trump mandated that all American companies hire his followers and increase their wages so they could have more for less work and also drink beer in their backyard on weekends. Ever since American companies started employing only American workers and paid them more to do less the prices of American products shot up. American products are no longer competitive in the global market. In fact, American workers employed by American companies manufacturing American products were buying cheap Chinese products in the black market or crossing over to Mexico on the weekends to stock up on cheap Chinese goods.


The disgruntlement among the supporters and voters was growing. Living expenses had risen sharply. The American corporations were getting rebellious and scheming to shut down their remaining factories. Profits had declined.


Trump in a bind? Never. Trump will build the wall. Wall will be good for Trump re-election. Just as thee capture or killing of Osama was for Obama before the 2012 elections.


Show me the money. and I will build you a wall, said Trump’s defense secretary Rudy.


There was no money. In a dramatic move, fit for reality TV, Mr. Trump fulfilled his election promise by imposing a blockade of goods manufactured by countries such as China, Mexico, Poland, Mongolia and Azerbaijan. This move created panic among many other countries, especially those that had not manufactured anything sin decades. They came together in Paris in 2017 in the “International meeting of small countries that spend more on Weapons than on Food,” and collectively agreed to not purchase any weapons made in the US. This had created unprecedented world peace in 2018. Peace during the term of Mr. Trump; no pollsters or media guru could have predicted this. However, world peace had seriously bankrupted the American treasury. No money from sale of weapons.


And no one, including the loan-happy International Monetary Fund or The World Bank were willing to give loans to build that wall. In press conferences they said it is because the wall was a symbol of blockage of global business, but in private the insider sources insisted that they were worried about repayment because the US government’s pockets were empty.


But Trump declared he would build the wall. He was a winner, after all.



It’s March 2019. Trump has hit a wall.


dt 1


No clue what to do, he decides it’s time to take a vacation.


Since it is spring break time, Cancun is the ideal choice. Trump can grab some pina-coladas, brainstorm at the beach parties. Having scantily clad young women around helps him think. Somethings don’t change, they cannot change. Even when you are President, you still have to think, don’t you?


Just trump-luck.


The Mexican President has decided to do the same – take a vacation in Cancun. The two meet at a beach party. Mexico is flush with funds. Since there is no wall immigrants working the US have been carrying their earnings back into Mexico in large numbers, and ever since the minimum wage increased the drug business in the US is flourishing. How come? asks Trump. After all the black people, Hilary supporters, are in jail. Who buys these drugs? The Mexican president looks at his aide and smiles.


Anyway Don, continues the Mexican President, I know a few angry words have been exchanged between us, but let that be water under the bridge. We have a proposition. Mexico will provide a financial loan to the US to build the wall; and the US will repay it to us, slowly over an extended period of time. The interest rate will be reasonable, in fact negligible. However, there is condition. The actual construction of the wall will be done by Mexican workers who are from Mexico.


I like getting money, especially bad loans. But this will never pass through Congress, Trump says.


Precedent, Mr President, continues the Mexican president. USAID and US financial aid in many developing countries in Africa and Asia in the past. Tell the Congress that this is what the US has been doing for years. Providing financial assistance to countries in the form of money for projects and social development, but all these projects employ American citizens; thus ensuring that 80% of the money given as aid by the US comes back to the US workers. And you thought it was to help the other country, the Mexican President laughs.


For the first time in his life, Trump takes notes. After all, aid seems like a brilliant Ponzi scheme.




It’s June 2019. As planned the aid money from the Mexicans has been funneled to the American government. The contract for the job of building the wall, posted as an open bid, has been awarded to an American contractor, who in turn is supposed to hire Mexican workers. However, this little condition can prove to be a political and public relations explosion. Therefore, following Rudy’s advice and under Presidential decree, the Wall is re-positioned as a “Make America Great Again” national defense project. The contracting company has to get the job done within a set date. Breaking the deadline will lead to debarment of the said company, and the CEO and company-board will be tried in a military court. However, there is a clause that allows them the freedom to do whatever it takes to get the job done on time; adjust the means to meet the end.


How to meet a construction deadline? Simple mathematics says more workers means more hands and more hands make less work; but more hands also means less pay for each pair of hands because profit margins cannot be adjusted. The company advertises: ‘Looking for workers willing to work at minimum pay to make America Great Again’. However, the Americans, Trump supporters, do not want to work for low wages and they also do not want Hilary supporters, who are in jail, to get the benefits of any Make America Great project. The CEO hires a lawyer, who cites the loophole in the Presidential decree, which allows the company to hire immigrant workers for make America great again projects.


The contracting firm hires massive numbers of cheap Mexican labor from the other side of the border to construct the wall. These workers work day and night, up and down, right and left and on both sides of the wall – north and south in order to meet the deadline.




It’s April 1, 2019. 2019. The wall is built. All exits are sealed. It’s a day of celebration. A National Holiday is declared.


It is only then that they find one of those workers from Mexico – Humberto Duerte, sitting by the wall on the American side. Crying. The story goes viral in seconds and breaks national headlines in minutes. The story has a human angle too. Humberto wants to return home to his loving wife and three kids. But all exits are sealed; the wall is at least 30 feet high. Humberto tries to scale the wall but cannot. He is not athletic enough because all the Mexicans who could run, jump or swim have already come into the US in the 1990s. Humberto was not one of those. He sobs louder?


Who will pay to put Humberto back in Mexico?


Make him pay, shout the Trump voters in unison. Humberto has nothing, except the empty lunch box he carried with him on the last day and his Mexican ID. The money the company owes him is not enough to buy a ticket out of the US.


The contracting company has already closed the contract and refuses to bear any more expenses. The Mexican government claims it has already given monies in aid and America can choose to use aid money to deport Humberto. The debates on television and the polls show that the American public does not want to bear the expenses for a Mexican immigrant. The channels through which the aid money was funneled is also being discussed. Trump and his surrogates are being asked questions in newspapers and public meetings. November 2020 and the elections are just around the corner. A trump surrogate says on national TV that maybe Humberto should be offered honorary US citizenship for his contribution to the Make America Great Again wall.


Displaying very non-Mexican like qualities, Humberto says he does not want to stay in the US. Humberto wants to go back. And displaying very US-like traits he makes a public statement about how much he loves and values his family.


Whose responsibility is it to return Humberto to Mexico?


How will Trump get Humberto Duerte out of the country? Who will pay for it?



Humberto Duerte sat by the wall.

Humberto Duerte wished he was tall.

All of Trump’s supporters. All of Trump’s surrogates.

They just wished Humberto Duerte was back in Mexico again.


It’s July 2020. The election is a few months away. Humberto’s Taco Stall has just opened up along the wall on the border; it serves the tastiest tacos to the news-crew covering the story 24X7. It is a real-show of American grit and enterprise.


Trump eating tacos 1



© The Absurdist, The Essayist, October 2016

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