The world’s business elite have begun to gather in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum this week and all participants were given a joy buzzer with which to greet President Donald Trump upon his arrival on Friday.
“We thought with all the geopolitical tension in the world right now, much of it created by Donald, we would try to break the ice with some shared laughter,” said Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, who organized the prank.
Notably, Mr. Trump is reported to have mocked Mr. Modi’s accent during a meeting at the White House this past week.
“I think the president is going to get a big kick out of this gag,” said Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, who arranged to have 4,000 joy buzzers shipped from the the U.S. to the snowy mountain resort, one for every attendee. “No one is able to laugh at himself more freely than Donald Trump, so I can’t wait for his reaction.”
Mr. Schwarzman famously clashed with the president last year after the Blackstone chief disbanded the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, an advisory group of U.S. business leaders, the formation of which Mr. Trump had touted as a personal coup.
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of International Monetary Fund, says she’s also planning a little “how-do-you-do-yuck-fou,” when she sees President Trump in Davos.
Ms. Lagarde locked horns with the president in the past over her decision not to heed his warning for the World Bank to stop lending to Iran.
Perhaps the world leader most eager to welcome the president with a jolt from her joy buzzer is Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. During a press briefing in Davos, she told reporters she can’t stop laughing over the idea of watching the American president do a little hopscotch every time someone shakes his hand.
“I’m going to just tag along behind him to watch his orange hair stand on end,” said a giggling Merkel. “We Germans are not known for our sense of humor, but who could resist dissolving in laughter at the idea of Donald Trump being zapped by every important figure on the planet? This is the kind of harmless comeuppance the world has been waiting for, and I’m delighted to be part of it.”
President Trump will arrive in Davos with a delegation of American business executives lead by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The world’s elite are looking forward to giving the insufferable Mr. Mnuchin a special welcome, too, either by short sheeting his hotel bed or stretching plastic wrap over his toilet seat.
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