The Platform

September 21, 2016

“Wow, Jacob, this place is actually looking really great,” Lucy said as she looked around Jacob’s new campaign office.  “I’m impressed.”

“What, you didn’t think Rock and I were capable of establishing a simple campaign office?” Jacob asked, defensively.

“Jacob, we’ve been married for fifteen years.  Of course I didn’t.”

“Looks like you underestimated us, huh?”

“No, I’d say I estimated you pretty accurately.  You just over-performed.” Lucy looked around the office.  “It was bound to happen eventually.  Frankly, I’m surprised it took this long.  Is it possible I’ve actually been overestimating you two this whole time?”

“Not at all,” Rock said.  “It’s amazing what Jacob and I can accomplish when we sober up for a while.”

“So I suppose there’s no chance of that happening again?”

“Honey, it’s a campaign.  A conversation with the American people.  I need to be able to talk with them on their level,” Jacob said, taking a sip from a coffee cup.  “I gots to have my stupid juice.”

“Right.  Anyway, let’s get to work.”

“Great,” Jacob said, clapping his hands like a trained seal.  Everyone knows trained seals make the best candidates.  “Let’s make some robo-calls.”

“You take 111-111-1111, I’ll take 999-999-9999, and we’ll meet in the middle,” Rock said, picking up a phone and dialing.  “We ought to be able to have this knocked out by lunchtime.”

Lucy put her finger on the receiver, or whatever you call the little hangy up thingy, and shook her head.  “There’s so much wrong with what you guys just said I don’t know where to begin.”

Rock shrugged.  “Just jump in.  Like eating a pear.  It doesn’t matter where you start, you have to cover it all eventually.  At least, that’s what Nancy does.”

“Alright,” Lucy said.  She took a deep breath.  “First off, there’s no way you two, working alone, could dial all those numbers by noon.”

“So we’ll take a late lunch.  Maybe not go until twelve-thirty.”

“That isn’t the point.  You still couldn’t do it.”


Lucy shook her head.  “Let’s table this aspect of the conversation for now.  Second off, you don’t make robo-calls.”

Jacob laughed.  “Well, who else is going to make them.  We don’t exactly have a huge staff here, what with you not letting us pirate your company’s resources and what not.  It’s not like we’re going to record a message and auto-dial people.  That’s just going to turn everyone off.”

“Finally,” Lucy continued.  “You aren’t even close to being ready to campaign.  Do you even have a platform yet?”

Jacob looked at Rock, then back at Lucy.  Before he could say a word, Lucy cut him off.  “And before you say anything, I don’t mean a raised surface from which to speak.  I mean a list of policy proposals and positions.”

“Yeah, I know,” Jacob said.  He looked at Lucy incredulously.  “You really thought we were going with a platform pun there?  Wow, you really don’t have any confidence in us.”

“Sorry.  Just seemed like low-hanging fruit, is all,” Lucy said.  She looked expectantly at Jacob and Rock.  “Well?”

“Well, what?”

“Do you have a platform?”

“We have the centerpiece.”

“Let’s hear it.”

“Coed, communal showers.”

“What?  Just, I’m sorry, what?”

“Yeah, we’re going to give states and local jurisdictions money to build coed, communal showers.”


Jacob and Rock looked at each other as if neither had anticipated this question.  To be fair, they probably hadn’t, but they really should have.  Eventually, Jacob shrugged.  “Could be cool.  Especially if we put kegs in them.”

“Right,” Lucy said.  “Look, Jacob, you’re going to need serious ideas, not jackass ones.  How are coed showers going to address poverty, or the budget deficit, or address any of the social problems in this country, such as racial tensions or gun violence?”

Jacob shrugged.  “Naked people don’t got guns.”

“Do you have any serious positions on anything?”

“Not really.”

“Right.  So let’s start by developing a set of positions on the issues facing the country,” Lucy said, opening the laptop she had brought with her.  “Abortion.  Let’s just get that out of the way.”

“Oh, that’s easy,” Rock said.  “We’re pro-abortion.”

“Great.  Pro-choice.  I’ll just write that…”

“No, no, no.  Not pro-choice,” Rock said adamantly.  “Pro.  Abortion.  I think she should get the abortion.”

“I’m sticking with pro-cho…wait a minute.  Rock, who is she?”


“You said ‘she’ should get the abortion.  Who is ‘she’, exactly?”

Rock hesitated for a moment.  “People.  People should get abortions.  For, uh, population control.  Yeah.  Population control.  Controlling the populations of little Rocks.”

“Right.  We’ll table this for now,” Lucy said.  She turned her attention to Jacob.  “Look, Jacob, you need to take this seriously.”

“I am.”

“Which means not joking about abortion.  It doesn’t matter what position you take, either way, 10% loves you, 10% hates you, and 80% doesn’t want to talk about it, but you have to at least act like you’ve given it serious thought.”

“But I haven’t.”

“I’m aware.  That’s why I said ‘act’.  As in, no jokes.”

“Lucy, you know me.  I’ll joke about anything.  I could be in a terrorist attack, or a school shooting, and my guts would be hanging out, and I’d be like ‘at least this will make it easier to lose weight’.  If life’s going to suck, it might as well suck in a funny way.”

“Mm-hmm.  School shootings and terrorist attacks are also things you shouldn’t joke about.”

“What about fat people?” Rock said, jumping in.  “Can we joke about them?”

“I wouldn’t.  In fact, I’d steer clear of offending anyone unnecessarily.”

“When are we building the showers?”

“We aren’t,” Lucy said.  “Look, you need to have something to campaign on.  And that means developing a platform that isn’t…”

“Gay?” Rock asked.

“Not the word I would use.”

“Dude, our platform isn’t gay,” Jacob said.  “Now, granted, the part about the all-male orgy is kind of gay.”

“What part about the all-male orgy?” Lucy asked.

“Have you been paying no attention this entire time?” Jacob asked.  “The communal showers, dude.  What do you think the point of them is?  It’s so the whole neighborhood can get together and bang.  Why else even have a shower?”

“But I thought they were coed?  Where are you getting the all-male part?”

Jacob arched his eyebrows at Lucy.  “You really think women are going to want to use a shower filled with a bunch of horny creepers?  Now who’s being unrealistic?”

“Alright.  Well, before we do anything, we going to have to develop a platform that isn’t asininely stupid.” Lucy looked at Jacob and Rock.  “We may have a lot of work to do.”





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