With two words, uttered in a moment of desperation while under intense pressure on national television, Kellyanne Conway has changed marital relations forever.
While being grilled by Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Conway was ducking and dodging Todd’s simple question: Why did Presidential Press Secretary Sean Spicer, in his first appearance before the White House press corps Saturday, unleash a torrent of lies about – well, everything – and especially about something so trivial as how many people attended the Trump inauguration? Aerial photos showed about as much attendance as an Australian cricket match and official, verifiable CIA estimates put attendance on Friday at about one-fourth the number of people who mobbed Barak Obama’s second inauguration. This is a fact: Not many people showed up to watch The Great Cheeto Monster be sworn in as president. Spicer, however, insisted that it was the most well-attended inauguration in history. Period.
It was a simple question, really; if Spicer’s ability to do his job depends on the media being able to trust what he says, why would he start things off with such a bald-faced and easily debunked lie? Conway spent several minutes trying to change the question to something else and, when Todd would have none of it, finally sputtered, “You’re saying it’s a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”
So, it wasn’t a lie. It was “alternative facts.”
The meme has already gone viral on Facebook. My wife immediately joined the fun, posting, “I found cookie crumbs on my husband’s dresser today and asked if he’d been eating cookies again. He offered alternative facts.”
That got me to thinking that this actually could change everything for married couples.
He: “That was the best sex you’ve ever had. That was phenomenal sex. That was the greatest sex in the history of sex! Period!”
She: “Are you kidding me? I fell asleep twice! Why would you lie about something like sex?”
He: “I’m giving alternative facts.”
And when the whole marriage thing starts to fall apart, alternative facts can go a long way in avoiding responsibility, which is something all guys need sometimes.
He: “I don’t know how that woman’s phone number showed up on my cell phone. But I am absolutely not cheating. I’m not. Period!”
She: “You’re lying! What about the 32 sexts you sent her!? Why are you lying?”
He: “I’m not lying, I’m offering an alternative fact.”
Of course, it could apply to much less apocalyptic things, too.
She: “Honey, what’s this bill from Big Jake’s Power Tool Emporium? Did you really need a $3,000 radial-arm saw with hydraulic arm controls and laser guides?”
He: “I didn’t buy a radial arm saw. And if I did, it didn’t cost $3,000.”
She: “But dear, your signature is right here on the invoice.”
He: “Let me offer you some alternative facts.”
And women could use alternative facts, too. Facts: You spent $500 on a day at the spa, complete with mud bath, half-hour massage, manicure and pedicure. Alternative fact: No, you didn’t. Period.
Who knows, if the concept catches on, it could affect all facets of life. Think of the legal implications: “Your honor, the defense offers some alternative facts … “
Okay, that’s not a good example.
But what if it could be taught to children? Junior could tell Dad he got a great report card, just great, the teachers really love him, it’s phenomenal, he’s the best student she’s ever had. Period. Or a production worker could tell his boss he’s just worked twelve straight hours, phenomenal productivity, the best in the history of the company. Period.
Hell, I could have used alternative facts when I was in graduate school.
Me: “This is a great thesis. It is a phenomenal thesis. The thesis statement is brilliant, it is the best thesis that has ever been written in the history of this university. Period.”
Professor: “Your thesis statement is unsupported by anything in the text. You have no citations, your bibliography is missing, and everything you’ve written is drivel. How can you say it’s brilliant?”
Me: “I’m giving you alternative facts.”
It may be, however, that the concept of alternative facts is not all that new. I mean, remember when Cory Gardner claimed his health insurance had been cancelled because of “Obamacare?” Alternative facts. And when Ken Buck said agriculture is a high priority in his office? Alternative facts. And when Gov. John Hickenlooper said the Colorado Water Plan was already proving successful? Yep, alternative facts. (Well, that one actually is sort of true, but not in any way Hickenlooper could explain.)
I just hope my chickens don’t get ahold of this “alternative facts” thing. I mean, they already watch “Democracy Now” and Annie, the Hyline Brown, was Tweeting like crazy the day of the Women’s March. Apparently a whole flock of hens from Rhode Island joined the march on Providence. I can just imagine the conversation one day on my trip to the henhouse.
Me: “Annie, there aren’t any eggs today.”
Annie: “There are two very large, brown eggs, phenomenal eggs, the best eggs in the history of eggs. Period.”
Me: “But the egg box is empty. See? Why would you lie to me, Annie?”
Annie: “I’m giving you alternative facts.”
At least then I’d really have a real alternative. And my alternative would be roast chicken for supper.