On Friday, Donald Trump, a man who may or may not have been the inspiration for Slender Man, bid a very uncomfortable farewell to the French president and first lady after a two-day visit to celebrate Bastille Day. What should have been a three-second photo op stretched into an incredible 30-second handshake that, even coming from an overly-aggressive grabber, must be seen to be believed.
The handshake between Trump and Emmanuel Macron starts out normally. But when they begin walking—where a person who is not trying to assert his masculinity every second of his waking life would end the interaction—Trump continues to clench Macron’s fist. Trump pushes and pulls and tugs on it, their fists dancing in a passive-aggressive display for five, 10, now 15 seconds. He then spots First Lady Brigitte Macron, a woman who, he wants the world to know, he thinks is very “beautiful” and in “such great shape.” He is still holding onto Macron as he yanks Brigitte in for some kisses, and then grabs her hand, too. Now Trump is holding hands with both of the Macrons like he is leading a Satanic prayer ritual, tugging on each hand. Finally, mercifully, he lets go.
Just as the meeting is finally ending, Trump goes in for another handshake—a perfect little allegory for these times.