Historians talk about the First Hundred Days of a presidency.
In keeping with President Donald Trump's derangement of the norms, historians will need to talk about the First Hundred and Ten Days - the bewildering period of political disruption that culminated yesterday with Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.
In Trump's Washington, there are no fixed rules, no immutable protocols - and anything is possible but nothing is predictable.
Comey was leading an investigation into possible collusion between the Russian Government and the Trump campaign. Evidence points to Russian meddling with the election, in part by promoting fake news about Hillary Clinton. Comey was on the case - until yesterday.
When Trump fired him, the termination was immediate: Trump sent his personal bodyguard to carry a letter to FBI headquarters.
Comey wasn't there, though. In keeping with the can-you-believe-it nature of it all, Comey learned about his termination from television bulletins as he was giving a speech in California. Later the cable TV shows used helicopter footage to follow Comey's vehicle on a slow-speed drive to the airport, giving him the full O.J. Simpson white Bronco treatment.
So this is not the usual presidency. This is something strange. Adjectives such as "unconventional" lack sufficient verve. "Surreal" comes closer (Trump has used it himself).
Veterans of political Washington repeatedly have asked themselves: "Did that really happen?" Scholars of presidency say there's no precedent for what they are seeing.
"The presidential comps ('Trump is like __') are starting to run out of steam, if they had any to begin with, because of the a) consistent departure from norms and b) the fact that it is all moving at hyperspeed," historian Margaret O'Mara of the University of Washington said.
"What astounds me is how easily Trump smashes or ignores traditions that have served us well over many decades," wrote Larry Sabato, director of the Centre for Politics at the University of Virginia. "From refusing to release his tax returns to careless statements in person and on Twitter to outright contempt for the truth in so many instances, Trump isn't just an unconventional president, he is outside the mainstream of our modern experience."
This presidency has many elements of reality TV. "You're fired" was Trump's signature line on The Apprentice, and two of the biggest news stories of his presidency have involved terminations. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was ousted early in Trump's tenure after officials learned he had discussed sanctions with the Russian Ambassador before Trump took the oath of office.
The departure from the norms began with the inauguration. Inaugural addresses historically are pleas for harmony and healing, but Trump's address began with a full-throated repudiation of the political establishment sitting behind him: "For too long, a small group in our nation's capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost."
Trump's vision of America was dark and dystopian: "This American carnage stops right here and stops right now," he said.
Afterwards, leaving the dais, former President George W. Bush reportedly said, "That was some weird s**t".
Things got weirder within hours. The national news media noted that Trump's crowd was nowhere near as big as President Barack Obama's in 2009 - arguably an ungenerous comparison given that Trump was taking the oath in a city and region that skews heavily Democratic. But Trump was furious. On his first morning as president, the leader of the free world called the director of the National Park Service and requested that he produce photos of the inaugural crowd.
Later that day he went to the CIA and estimated his inaugural crowd, implausibly, at "a million, a million and a half people." Standing before what traditionally is a place for solemn reflection - a wall honoring CIA agents who had died on duty, many of whom remain anonymous - Trump said he'd been on the cover of TIME magazine 14 or 15 times - "a record," he said, "that can never be broken".
Trump's temperament is the immutable feature of his presidency. The long-awaited pivot toward a more traditionally presidential tone has not happened and there is no sign that it will. Trump continues to boast of his election victory, compulsively read his media coverage, and take verbal jabs at perceived enemies.
In a town where leaks are increasingly common, Trump still managed to catch the news media off guard. So it was with the travel ban targeting seven Muslim-majority countries, announced in an executive order one week after the inauguration.
Protests erupted across the country. A federal judge blocked the order. A pattern had been set: A shock-and-awe move from the White House, outrage from the political opposition ("the Resistance"), and then procedural or constitutional complications that constrain the level of disruption.
These surprising announcements come at odd hours of day and night and on the weekend, such that journalists and White House aides and national security officials need to assume that all plans are provisional and it is never safe to be more than a keystroke away from one's Twitter account.
It was at 6.35 am on the first Saturday in March that Trump went on Twitter and wrote: "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"
Another tweet targeted Obama: "This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!"
These tweets are classic Trumpisms - explosive, factually starved allegations of a conspiracy in which he was the victim and shadowy forces were at work. Conspiracy theories by their nature tend to be hard to disprove, as they presume secretive behaviours, misinformation, misdirection and stuff no one is allowed to know.
Comey refuted Trump's wiretapping claim. Meanwhile he kept probing Russian election meddling, as did investigators on Capitol Hill. On April 12, Trump said in a TV interview that he still had confidence in Comey. But he added: "We'll see what happens. You know, it's going to be interesting."
The Russia news occasionally receded from the headlines. Trump had some conventional successes amid the controversies. For example, his pick for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, won Senate confirmation after the Republican leadership changed the Senate rules (rules still exist in Washington - but they may not last until lunchtime).
But Russia kept popping up again. Now the Russia story is likely to be camped out on the front page again for days.
The Administration cited Comey's handling of Hillary Clinton's email troubles as the reason for the termination. Democrats and liberal pundits have offered another explanation, one that echoes the old Woody Allen joke about how he learned to speed read, and read War and Peace in 20 minutes: "It's about Russia."
On March 1, the Post reported that Attorney-General Jeff Sessions had failed to inform the Senate during his confirmation hearing that he'd had contacts with the Russian Ambassador. The next day, Sessions formally recused himself from any investigations of the Trump campaign.
Yesterday, Sessions urged Trump to fire Comey.
Democrats want a special prosecutor. There are ritual allusions to Watergate. Reporters have John Dean on speed dial.
Technologies have long changed the nature of the presidency (think: Franklin D. Roosevelt and his fireside chats on the radio), but nothing has been as radical as the Internet, social media, and the power of a president with a Twitter account. The news cycle has sped up to superluminal velocity.
We are now trapped in an All Trump All the Time news environment. And here's the thing: There is no escape.
Surreal? No, just the new reality.