WASHINGTON, DC, 2018—Everybody remembers the spring of 2017: Wonder Woman lighting up the multiplex, the Twin Peaks reboot confusing everyone who came near it, and high anxiety about climate change and global terrorism around every corner. Then came #covfefe, the lovable one-word meme that began life as a presumed typo on then-president Donald Trump's Twitter feed and soon became a slogan that gave confidence to self-described liberals of all shapes and sizes, spreading across the internet like an infestation, eventually showing up on T-shirts, coffee mugs, hand-knit soccer scarves, and more than a few tattoos.
It was later revealed that "covfefe" (originally assumed to be a mistake, and widely mocked on those grounds) was, in fact, the result of a wager between Trump and his underbutler, Diggory. The now-disgraced former president reportedly boasted: "I can tweet literally anything—it doesn't even have to be a real word—and these shit-munchers will just lose their minds." According to court documents, the terms of the bet were three months of Diggory's salary. (The erstwhile servant later testified that he "never actually took the bet," because "I wasn't allowed to shake Mr. Trump's hand—nobody was.")
As is often the case, #covfefemania burned bright but not long. In the weeks following its initial splash, it became a convenient scapegoat for those who said liberals spend too much time mocking the president and not enough time engaged in more meaningful resistance. Reports began to circulate that covfefe was engaging in bizarre public behavior, becoming sexually promiscuous, and developing a dangerous opioid addiction.
The last time covfefe appeared in public was in an ad for the online mortgage broker Housey House, posted six months to the day after its debut. The promoted tweet of the advertisement received nine retweets and only 84 likes—another unfortunate casualty of the Trump administration.