August 12, 2016
“What is this crap?” Jacob asked as he stared at the TV in his favorite bar, where he had joined his wife, Lucy, and their best friends, Nancy and Rock, for a couple of drinks to celebrate the coming of the weekend. He clutched his beer and stared at the screen with a look of disgust on his face.
“It’s called the news,” Lucy said, sitting next to him.
“Man, and you say the stuff we watch is stupid,” Rock said. He turned to his wife, Nancy, and shook his head. “Do you really like this junk?”
“I don’t like it, necessarily, but it’s important,” Nancy said. “It’s election coverage. One of those two is going to be our next president.”
“What?” Jacob said, rolling his eyes drunkenly. Or maybe it was stupidly. Or both. It could be tough to tell with him. “You mean one of those two nitwits is going to be our president for the next, I don’t know, forever?”
“Four years, maybe,” Lucy said, correctly identifying the term of office for president.
“Well, it’s going to seem like forever.”
“Jacob, you remember when you said George W. Bush was the worst president ever and it was going to feel like an eternity before he left office?”
“Yeah. And it has been forever with that class retard as president. Look at how far our country has gone down the drain.”
“Jacob, he hasn’t been in office for eight years.”
“Really? But everything isn’t better.”
“I still can’t believe people voted for him. Bunch of toothless rednecks, voting stupidly,” Rock said, shaking his head. “Americans are dumb.”
“It’s been twelve years since he last won an election,” Nancy said. “I think it might be time for you to let that one go.”
“Seriously, though, I wouldn’t worry too much about it,” Rock said. “It’s only temporary. Nothing lasts forever. Hell, even that soccer riot we started only lasted about six days.”
“Yeah, but I spent four of those days in jail, so I didn’t get to enjoy it,” Jacob said. “And four more years of this crap is too much after Bush, the last president who it’s cool to criticize un-ironically.”
“Wait, you started a soccer riot?” Lucy asked, since this is not a fact that normal people gloss over. “Why would you do that?”
“What do you mean? Because we were at a soccer match,” Jacob said. “We had to do something.”
“And in fifteen years of marriage you never thought to maybe mention that you were involved in a soccer riot?”
“Not involved in. Started,” Jacob corrected his wife.
“And why didn’t you tell me about the soccer riot?”
Jacob laughed. “Honey, we were in England at the time. The proper term is football riot.” He turned his attention to the television. “Though if the orange guy wins, I may go back. I don’t want to live in a country run by an overgrown oompa loompa with small hands.”
Rock finished swallowing his beer and wagged his finger at Jacob. “Hey, you can’t call him orange. The proper term is Valencian-American.”
“And cool it with the small hands comment. This is a presidential election. We don’t need you to be making cheap dick jokes,” Nancy said. “Anyway, I wouldn’t worry about it. I’m pretty sure Clinton is going to win.”
“Wasn’t Clinton already president?” Jacob asked.
“You’re thinking of her husband. This is Hillary. Her husband, Bill, was president for eight years.”
“Then she has already been president?”
“Pretty much, yeah.”
“My point is,” Jacob said, forgetting that he didn’t really have a point, “that neither of these people is fit to be president.”
“You’re right,” Rock said. “There should be another choice.”
“You mean like Gary Johnson or Jill Stein?” Lucy asked.
“No, I mean like Jacob. Jacob, you should run for president,” Rock said. “Think about it. You can run for president, and I’ll be your campaign manager.”
The other three laughed, thankfully recognizing what a stupid idea this was. “I can’t see the two of you being politically involved in any way,” Lucy said.
“What do you mean? I volunteered in an election once,” Rock said. “I’d help people vote. People who were disabled or required assistance would come in, tell me they wanted to vote for Bush, and I’d pull the lever for Kerry. It was a lot of fun.”
“No. I mean, yes, I volunteered, but I didn’t defraud anybody,” Rock said, taking another sip of his beer. “Well, I defrauded a lot of people actually, but it wasn’t politically motivated. It was just if they were rude, or smelled funny, or talked too much, or at all really, then I’d vote the opposite way to the way they wanted. Mainly because I thought it was funny.”
“You know what, Rock, you make an excellent argument,” Jacob said, putting down his beer with determination, I guess. I don’t really know how you put down a beer with determination, but there it is. “I will run for president.”
“What? Why would you even consider that?” Lucy asked.
“Exactly the reasons that Rock laid out.”
“You think it will be funny?”
“Jacob, this isn’t a joke. You’re completely unqualified to be president.”
“Then he’ll fit right in this race,” Rock said, before standing up and clinking his glass. This type of drunken proclamation would normally have been annoying, but they were used to Rock’s shenanigans by now. It still embarrassed the shit out of Nancy, though, which is pretty funny. “May I have your attention please.”
“God damn it, Rock,” Nancy said, shaking her head and hiding in her hand.
“Tonight I have the pleasure of announcing our very own presidential candidate.”
“Your husband is at it again,” Lucy said, smirking at Nancy.
“A man who I’m proud to call my friend.”
“Knock it off, now,” Nancy said, tugging at Rock’s shirt. Rock ignored her.
“A husband, a father. A successful businessman. Well, semi-successful. Well, he works for his wife’s company and shows up for work. Usually.”
“Relax, Nancy, I think the whole bar is used to it by now,” Lucy said, reaching out and grabbing her friend’s arm. “Just sit back and enjoy the show.”
“A man who, I’m not ashamed to say, is a much smarter man than I.”
“You should be, Rock,” Nancy said, shaking her head in sad resignation. “You should be ashamed to say that.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Jacob Stanton.”
As Jacob got up to give his speech, Nancy looked across the table at Lucy. “You think they’re serious about this?”
Lucy shrugged. “Why not? A political movement started in a bar? What could go wrong?”
“Relax. You know how these two are. They’ll have forgotten about it by morning.”