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Let me check … why, yes—yes, there is a room available! The Trump International Hotel, in Washington, D.C., inflicted on the populace from the renovated bones of the Old Post Office building, has seen better days—which is saying a lot, since the Trumpian iteration of the landmark building hadn’t seen any days at all until 2016, when it opened. But the pandemic and the disgraced real-estate developer’s ejection from the White House haven’t exactly been great for business. “For four years its opulent lobby thronged with diplomats, lobbyists and Trump family members,” reported The Guardian. “But one recent afternoon it seemed more reminiscent of the haunted hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s film The Shining.

Ah, but there were good times, weren’t there! Recently, Washingtonian remembered some of them, notably the complicated rituals performed for the benefit of the now-and-again occupant of Table 72, as outlined in an internal document called “Standard Operating Procedure”: “As soon as Trump was seated, the server had to ‘discreetly present’ a mini bottle of Purell hand sanitizer. (This applied long before Covid, mind you.) Next, cue dialogue: ‘Good (time of day) Mr. President. Would you like your Diet Coke with or without ice?’ the server was instructed to recite…. Directions for pouring the soda were detailed in a process no fewer than seven steps long—and illustrated with four photo exhibits. The beverage had to be opened in front of the germophobe commander in chief, ‘never beforehand.’” And not just opened,indifferently, carelessly, unthinkingly. No. “The server was to hold a longneck-bottle opener by the lower third of the handle in one hand and the Diet Coke, also by the lower third, in the other.”