The Four Seasons Total Landscaping fiasco gave us a reason to laugh at 2020
I woke up just in time to see Donald Trump’s tweet that started it all: “Lawyers News Conference Four Seasons, Philadelphia. 11:00 AM”
It was four days after the election – a Sunday – and I crashed the night before after endlessly updating the AP Politics Twitter feed and analyzing the New York Times cursed polling pin for 90 hours. But for the first time in years, I awoke with a glimmer of political hope for our nation when it looked like Trump’s window on victory was closing.
The news of the press conference, which would be chaired by Rudy Giuliani, was read as an announcement of the last state of the campaign. I didn’t know how apt that final position would be – a ridiculous end to a ridiculous presidency.
Then came Trump’s clarification: “Big press conference today in Philadelphia at Four Seasons Total Landscaping. 11:30 am!” This was followed by a tweet from the hotel account. “To be clear, President Trump’s press conference will NOT take place at the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. It will take place at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping,” it said. “No relationship with the hotel.”
No relationship with the hotel. Those words inspired a delicious kind of schadenfreude that was only surpassed when pictures from the press conference appeared online. The industrial corridor was hastily plastered with Trump signs, and there Guiliani was standing at a synthetic wood lectern, lying about election fraud in front of a white pull-down garage door. There was a crematorium on his left. To his right is a sex shop called Fantasy Island, the owner of which later came out and said, “We knew there had to be a mistake somehow, because why would you choose a place like this?”
It felt like Gob Bluth from “Arrested Development” was gaffing. Imagine: Will Arnett as Gob on a Segway whizzing through an exhibition of withering potted plants to face a dismayed Michael (Jason Bateman).
“I meant the Four Seasons Hotel, Gob,” Michael said, reaching for his temples. “Not a landscaping company.”
Cut to Gob mumbling his endless GIF-enabled: “I made a big mistake.”
Every update was like a hit from dopamine. A man introduced at the press conference was a convicted sex offender, Politico reported the next day. The New York Times later found that the mistake was “not in the booking but in a mangled phone game” when Trump’s legal team told the president that they had booked the landscaping firm, but he heard the name and assumed that this was the case in the upscale hotel.
In the end, it was just another example of Trump making big promises and delivering too little. As you know, boast of creating a massive border wall and only building 15 new miles, or invite the Clemson Tigers, 2019 national college football champions, to a White House dinner for a tenderloin buffet. Serve o -fish sandwiches and slices of dominos pizza.
I’m grateful for the event for the same reason that more than 3,000 people signed a petition to have the landscaping company on the national register of historic sites: “We as a nation need to remember where the travesty of the Trump administration is with died a death whimper. ”