Mr. Smith doesn't go to Washington
By Joe Schembrie
Early one evening in the 21st century, John and Mary Smith were sitting at home when there was a knock at the door.
"That's him," said John. "I'd feel safer doing business over the Internet, but he's been calling for days now..."
"Well, honey," said Mary, "we do need to think about our future."
John opened the door. A tall silver-haired man dressed in an expensive business suit smiled winningly and gave him a strong handshake.
"Hello, John, Mary," he said. "Glad we could meet. I'm Bill Clinton."
John frowned. "That name sounds familiar."
Clinton modestly looked down. "You're young, but -- I was once President of the United States. That was just before the federal government was shut down and all the states left the Union -- not that I had anything to do with that."
"We learned about you in public school," said Mary. "You supported sex education, right?"
Seated in the living room, the Smiths watched as the ex-President produced a brochure from his briefcase entitled, "The Resurrecting Federal Government Movement." The front photo displayed a man who smiled winningly, giving strong handshakes. The caption: "Your Federal Government Will Work for You -- And The Children."
"You're one of those federal government promoters," John mused. "I'm sorry, on the phone I thought you said you were an insurance agent."
"I heard that too," Mary said. "It's on the answering system recording - "
Clinton held up a hand. "In a sense, the federal government is insurance -- the best you can buy in today's troubled world. That's why we're asking you to vote for the state referendum to rejoin the federal union -- which is needed now more than ever. For example, have you folks considered how China could easily conquer these disunited states one by one?"
John scratched his head. "When the federal government was discontinued, our state's share of the national arsenal was over two hundred nuclear warheads. The Chinese would risk a lot and gain very little in attacking us."
"Besides," Mary said, "the federal government prohibited a missile defense system."
"There are other foreign threats besides nuclear -- " Clinton began.
"My dad said the federal government made our state give welfare benefits to illegal immigrants," John remarked. "And we couldn't build a border wall, either."
"How about terrorism?" Clinton diverted. "At any moment, terrorists could barge into our homes and churches, shooting innocent men, women, and children."
"Like Waco?" Mary asked.
"Terrorists from Serbia and the Middle East!" Clinton snapped.
"But foreign terrorists haven't bothered us," John said, "not since the federal government stopped bombing innocent people in other countries."
"Let's discuss social benefits," Clinton murmured. "Entitlements accruing from federal citizenship are quite generous -- "
"Won't we pay extra taxes?" Mary asked flatly.
Clinton loosened his sweating collar. "Well, we prefer to call them contributions -- "
John scowled. "Why send taxes to a federal government two thousand miles away, when we can receive the same benefits from our own state government - with less inefficiency and more accountability?"
Clinton's face reddened.
Trembling, he arose and bellowed: "So we can subsidize abortions and pornographic art, that's why! And wreck your schools, overregulate the economy, inflict racial quotas, snoop your e-mail, and disarm you and run up the national debt and sell military secrets for campaign donations -- and, oh yes, roll in the tanks and declare martial law!" He pounded the table violently. "Is that what you racist sexist homophobes want to hear?"
Mary squeezed John's hand.
"And, also -- so I can have sex with interns!" Clinton shouted. "Will you people just let that go?"
John quietly eyed the automatic rifle over the fireplace mantle.
"I think you'd better leave," he said.
Clinton stormed outside, wagging his finger. "As soon as we revive the FBI, you two will be investigated!"
Bolting the door for the first time in years, John embraced his wife.
"I'm sorry, honey," he said. "I didn't know he was a pro-government whacko."
This is Joe Schembrie's first piece for Enter Stage Right.
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