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Trump's Wall or Trump's Ditch?

Hadrian's Wall.

Hadrian's Wall.

Border Walls

It seems that you are determined to build this wall of yours Donald, come hell or high water. If you must build your iconic wall, I beseech you to follow the example of a historical wall builder - a Roman Emperor and designer.of walls.

No doubt you have heard of the Great Wall of China. The wall consists of approximately 4,000 miles of actual wall. In fact the Great Wall might be the paradigm you have in mind for your own wall. Even if you haven’t heard of the Great Wall, with your Scottish heritage and your alleged love of Scotland, you must have heard of Hadrian’s Wall, the wall that the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, erected to separate England and Scotland. He built it to keep the marauding Scottish savages outwith the Roman Empire. Of course we know it wasn’t up to the task, and the Scots professionally and unassumingly took control of the planet over the following 1,900 years. But, you know how modest those of us with Scots heritages are, so don’t tell anyone, OK? (Sorry, I should have said how modest MOST of us are.)

Hadrian began to build his wall in AD122, between the Irish Sea to the west and the North Sea to the east. The rampart was a substantial piece of engineering for the time, being 117 kilometers long, 5 meters high and 6 meters wide. Hadrian’s legions constructed the wall of stone on a rock foundation. The Emperor made sure that there were ample fortlets spaced along the wall to garrison the nearly 1,500 legionnaires who patrolled the wall. Even today, nearly 2,000 years later, the wall is a significant tourist attraction, and is still known as Hadrian’s Wall.

Whatever you do Donald, don’t build your nearly 2,000 mile long wall along the Mexican / American border, to the same stunning standards as the Great Wall of China. If you do make that error, and copy the Chinese wall, it will automatically become known as the Great Wall of Mexico. Do you think the Trump family would be happy with that name, considering its worldwide iconic towers? If you must build the wall, build it to Hadrian’s more mediocre standards. At least that way, it will still be known as The Trump Wall, 2000 years from now - perhaps it will even be known as The Great Wall of Trump, which would really please the Trump clan.

Trumps Wall

Reputedly the USA / Mexican border is the most frequently crossed in the world - not necessarily legally - but you appear to be determined to construct a wall along this busy border, and you also seem to be determined to get the Mexicans to pay for it. Be sensible Donald, you haven’t a hope in hell of getting the Mexicans to fork out the cash for your vacation from reality - the Mexicans are far from being stupid. Even Hadrian had the sense not to try and get the miserly Scots to pay for his wall.

Talking of realism President, you may not have noticed this, but there are already thousands of troops patrolling the Mexican and Canadian borders. Another fact you may not have noticed - Walls by themselves do not work - they need troops to patrol them - troops by the thousand. Putting things into perspective Donald, you have this problem. You intend building a wall that nobody seems to want and get another nation to pay for it? The mind boggles! But believe it or not, there is a simple solution to your problem. Don’t build the wall. Let it build itself.

A section of Antonine's wall / ditch in Scotland

A section of Antonine's wall / ditch in Scotland

Antonine's Wall

Remember I implored you to follow the example of a Roman wall builder. I did not mean Hadrian.

I was talking of another Roman Emperor who endeavoured unsuccessfully to curb the Scots’ curiosity and stubbornness. His official name was Antoninus Pius. To us he was known as Antonine, and he built a wall 160 miles further north than Hadrian’s wall. Antonine isn’t so well known but his wall, built in AD142, was erected entirely in Scotland between the River Clyde and the River Forth. Surprise! surprise! his wall is known as Antonine’s Wall. As an aside, even he knew better than to send Caledonia the bill.

Antonine never set foot in Scotland Mr. Pres, unlike you and your whistle stop tours to your Mum’s family cottage on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. And the other stop when you bought the Turnberry golf course, when that daft politician said, “I don’t think we have any choice but to deal with him.” But the Scots, not being an emotional race, were embarrassed to display their adulation for you, which is why that other high-up stated that “We want the whole world to know he is not welcome in Scotland because of his toxic, racist views, his Islamophobia, his misogyny and homophobia.” As I recall, there is a website that displays Scotland’s love of the Trumps, ‘11 of the best ways that Trump was welcomed to Scotland.’ or something like that. Enough of Scotland’s ironic, self-deprecating sense of humour, let’s get back to Antonine and his inventive method of designing walls.

A Do-it-Yourself Wall

What is so innovative about Antonine’s wall is that it built itself.

The wall was set up ‘ass over tit’. Instead of a masonry structure being erected to demarcate the northern border of the Roman Empire, Antoninus Pius thought outside the box. He confused the world by first of all digging a ditch, a 16 foot deep ditch in places. What he did then was heap the soil that was extracted from the ditch, into a huge heap of dirt to the south. This straightforward procedure effectively doubled the height of the barrier.

Unfortunately, nineteen centuries ago, there was a distinct lack of excavators and backhoes, and even using his army of legionnaires and slaves it still took 7 to 12 years to finish Antonine’s wall/ditch. After that time period, the pagans to the north had an obstacle that varied from between 26 to 30 feet in height. To give raiding parties more problems, Antonine’s legionnaires dug deeper pits, known as Lilias, and in the bottom of the pits embedded sharpened wooden stakes. In case you hadn’t realised, let me explain that the sharp, pointy ends were facing upwards; you can perhaps figure out where the pointy bits would end up if a savage Scot fell into a pit. Perhaps the origins of the expression, ‘Oh Balls? There is also the possibility that the practice may have resulted in creating quite a few sopranos.

One of President Trump's Wall Choices

One of President Trump's Wall Choices

Mull over Antonine's method, Donald. He didn’t patent the idea of using turf from a ditch to build a barrier. You could legally copy his idea to prevent the Mexicans from entering the USA, or even prevent sun seeking Americans from entering Mexico - how to get rid of tanned Americans in one easy lesson.

Think long term, Donald. Presently you are being asked to choose between 8 prototype wall sections. You could, of course, choose a prototype and have it prefabricated - in the United States, naturally. A type of Trump-Ikea wall (we both know it’s more fence than wall, but Trump’s Fence doesn’t have the same resonance as Trump’s Wall). As an afterthought, you could always ship your prefabricated fence to somewhere it’s needed, like the Afghanistan or North Korean borders.

Instead of making this decision with regard to your original wall idea, consider hiring a fleet of bulldozers to gouge a 2,000 mile long pit, with stakes if you fancied making a more up-market model, and heaping the clay into a pile on the Mexican side of the ditch. You would have an almost impenetrable boundary, and the cost - that would be dirt cheap. If you think about it, you are already comfortable with this system. It was your construction of berms at Turnberry, ruining the locals’ views that stirred up their ire, and made them ‘notably reluctant to claim you as one of their own.’ Having played at Turnberry and soaked in the atmosphere, I can appreciate their feelings. Oh! another thought. You could use the same method on the American / Canadian border.

You could think even further outside the box, Mr. Pres. Once you’ve sliced along the borders you could undercut them. This was something I saw on a TV programme about mining for jade. The miners tried a new method whereby they under-sliced the ore so that it came out as a single rock. If you did something similar - I’m sure, with your scintillating brainpower, that you’ll be able to come up with an original technique - you could separate Mexico from North America.

And…..being the most powerful man in the world, you could utilize the American Navy’s 430 odd ships to tow and nudge Mexico across the Pacific to China. Alternatively you could arrange a hinge between Mexico and Guatemala and swing the northerly part of Mexico down towards Peru and Chile.

That subtle piece of geographic adjustment, apart from doing away with any need for a wall, would leave a large empty space to the west of the Gulf of Mexico. Whilst you’re on your feet with a navy at hand, old pal, old buddy, I’m sure you could insinuate yourself back into the Scots’ good books. Simply slice Scotland’s southern border with England and tow the small northerly nation down to the west of the Gulf.

And, I’m sure not one citizen would complain if you renamed the gulf, The Trump Gulf - hell, the Scots will put up with a lot for the chance of sunshine. If you wanted You could rename the country Trumpland.

Happy Digging.

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