If you went to bed early last night, then I’m going to need you to sit down. I’ve got something to tell you. The world you wake up to is very different to the one you left. It’s a world of confusion, of uncertainty. It’s a world where words are lost and alternative truths and fake news collide.
It is, in short, the world of covfefe.
We first discovered covfefe late last night, at around midnight eastern time, when Donald Trump tweeted a reference to its arrival out of the blue.
The president’s cryptic missive remained online for several hours, before getting pulled around 6AM ET this morning. Trump’s lack of punctuation suggested that he had been whisked away before he could complete his dire warning, but terrifyingly, we still don’t know what covfefe is. Academics, scientists, politicians — none had predicted its coming, and none had warned us of what it might bring, but one thing was clear from the tone of tweet. Covfefe was bad.
With the White House’s best and brightest out of action (perhaps incapacitated as part of covfefe’s first offensive), it fell to us to make sense of the situation. Specifically, to people on Twitter, who jumped on the president’s garbled statement with gusto.
The initial wave of Twitter replies were frenzied, perhaps inspired by the very real concern that negative covfefe had impacted the United States’ constitutional democracy. Others adapted to our new future quickly, working to keep their head down and appease covfefe.
But that panic was replaced by a resigned cynicism once it became clear that politics would continue as before, with or without the shadow of covfefe hanging over the nation.
Hours later, we were finally able to laugh at covfefe, demonstrating once again the strength and resilience of the human spirit. Impressively speedy Photoshops — like this repurposed Contra title screen (complete with Trump and Bannon hair-a-likes) — started to populate Twitter.
As for what covfefe actually is, we still don’t know. Some may say it’s a typo of “coverage,” and that Donald Trump was railing against his portrayal in the media again. But the sensible among you would reject that hypothesis, knowing that there would be no way that the president would be sitting up in his ludicrously opulent mansion, restless at midnight, so steamed about his popularity that he would pull out his phone and throw out a half-considered complaint tweet to his millions of followers.
And then what, you’re telling me the leader of the free world threw his phone across the room like a moody child, drew in a big sigh, and settled in for a night of dreaming about golf, oblivious to the furor his misspelled tweet caused across the world?
I don’t buy it.
Update May 31st, 6:15AM ET: The original tweet has been pulled, and followed with this surprisingly playful response: