“I’ll Take Shakespearean Portmanteaus For $200, Alex”

The answer is… politics in the era of reality TV show presidents

Martie Sirois
4 min readOct 15, 2020


Photo by C Drying on Unsplash

Setting: Sometime in the not-too-distant future; on set recording of TV game show “Jeopardy.”

[end commercial break]

Alex Trebek: Welcome back! As you all know, our categories tonight are in the fun domain of portmanteaus. Good luck; here we go!

Contestant 1: (a quiet, unassuming librarian who loves knitting and cats and is hopelessly stereotypical) I’ll take Shakespearean portmanteaus for $200, Alex.

Trebek: Answer: Shakespeare writes a tragicomedy concerning the rise and fall of an American fruit drink beverage chain during the presidency of this modern aspiring tyrant.

Contestant 1: Who is… Orange Julius Caesar?

Trebek: He’s the one! Go ahead!

Contestant 1: Let’s move over to political portmanteaus for $200, please Alex.

Trebek: Here’s the clue: A brand of populism — perhaps jingoism — with a tinge of religious bigotry and white supremacy, all lumped together and masked under the false pretense of ‘patriotism.’

Contestant 1: What… is… Trumpism?

Trebek: You got it — referring there, of course, to the dark years of politics in which Donald Trump was once president of the United States.

That’s how it goes in my dreams, anyway.

But my dreams also include a grand, dramatic departure of Donald Trump, one where he not only loses by a devastatingly large margin, but also ends up having to be forcibly removed from the Oval Office. With a vaudeville hook. And the clang of a gong. As we hear the laughter and murmur of a live studio audience, their anticipation building to climactic proportions.

It’s sundown. He’s then escorted past ghostly tiki statues towards a makeshift hut and fire pit newly constructed on the south lawn of the White House. Tribal council awaits — “Survivor” reality TV show style — where he’ll be forced to account for his many lies and atrocious actions throughout the course of this 4-year reality sh*tshow. And the tribal…



Martie Sirois

Covering the intersection of culture, politics & equality. Featured in Marker, HuffPost, PopSugar, Scary Mommy; heard on NPR, SiriusXM, LTYM, TIFO podcast, etc.