The Friends are back from winter sport, year-end festivities, dinners by candlelight, romance and family gatherings at the Christmas tree and the fireplace. All are in a good mood to face the challenges of 2020. Of course, like everybody else, they are bewildered about how wildly Congress spends their tax dollars on wasteful politics.
Frank: “Let’s do a game. I name a person or a subject, and each of you typifies it. Here we go: “Impeachment.” Melissa, you first.”
Melissa: “Protection of the Constitution. Nobody is above the law.”
Frank: “Any nobody in particular?”
Melissa: “Trump, of course.”
Cindy: “What did he do above the law?”
Melissa: “Omit asking Congress permission to talk to Zelensky and when he did anyway he undermined Biden’s credibility for his political benefit.”
Frank: “Mary, is that ‘above the law’?”
Mary: “I don’t give a hoot. I don’t like people listening in to my telephone calls in the first place to tell the world what I said, blame me for something, and then take me to court. To me, that’s above the law.”
Caitlyn: “I agree. Congress has been trying to impeach for three years, and set up a spy ring in the White House, doing everything to find something they could finally impeach Trump for. That’s political spying on the White House and that’s above the law.”
Frank: Next one, whistleblower? Mary?”
Mary: “A windbag! A traitor. He won’t pay my gas bill with his tricks. This guy was a dirty CIA spy. Trump now knows he can’t trust anybody working with him. How is he going to talk to any world leader now?”
Fred: “What’s a whistleblower? Someone who blows up something. He did but for what good.”
Melissa: “He brought abuse of power to light, Fred.”
Fred: “Abuse? If somebody in your office secretly worked to undermine your career, wouldn’t you request your personnel officer to dig into that? I would!”
Melissa: “In Trump’s case, that’s election fraud.”
Caitlyn: “What about the Democrat senators who contributed to Burisma gas? And the Obama administration supporting Ukrainian gas and blocking ours?”
Frank: “Good point, Caitlyn. Next one: ‘Shifty Shiff’. Ted, you haven’t said anything so far. Go!”
Ted: ” ‘Slimy Schiff’. Ever seen such a face? Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi, wonderful couple, with Schumer as their godfather granddad. LA has become a swamp.”
Melissa: “Wrong. I was there last week. Everybody lives happily together, rich and poor, rags to riches.”
Jason enters with a plate full of beer. “I heard that, Melissa. What about the poop on your doorstep?”
Frank: “Okay, next one: ‘The Impeachment Process.’ Cindy, you’re a lawyer, what’s your take?”
Cindy: “A Ramshackle. These so-called House prosecutors would be laughed out of my courtroom. The requirements are ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.’ They couldn’t come up with any arguments to support these crimes. So they made up their own. So it’s doomed to fail.”
Ted: “Ukraine is a murky country, least developed, one of the worst corruption cases on the Richter scale. When it seceded from the USSR at its collapse, it did not get rid of the stereotype Russian corruption.”
Caitlyn: “Still, Obama gave them soft military aid. Why wouldn’t we make sure that our tax dollars are going to be used efficiently and for the purpose intended, in particular, if you give them more money with lethal aid?”
Frank: “Right. And what had those Bidens to do with all that tax money? They were in the midst of the corruption business, as Biden eminently displayed on TV. If there was any quid pro quo it’s that one.”
Ted: “The Democrat party has lowered the bar for impeachment to a political football. What will happen if Biden gets elected?”
Cindy: “Obvious. The Republicans will impeach him for Quid Pro Quo on day one.”
Frank: “There you go. So, what about Rudy Juliani? Melissa?”
Melissa: “An Ukrainian crook. Bolton called him an unpinned hand grenade ready to explode.”
Caitlyn: “Juliani’s statements on TV sound like a Vince Flynn novel. There’s a lot more dirt on the Ukrainian side than we ever want to know.”
Frank: “Does anyone want a presidential candidate who contributed our hard-earned tax dollars to Ukrainian crooks? Scream “yes” or “no”.
All friends, even Melissa, scream “No!”
(Confidential information: Melissa votes for Bernie Sanders…)
Frank: “Last question: Nicknames for Democrat candidates. We already have Pocahontes for Warner, Sleepy Joe for Biden, The Nutty Professor for Sanders, what about Buttiegek? Caitlyn?”
Caitlyn: “Bootiecrack? Bootiequack?”
Frank: “Vote for Bootiecrack? Say aye.”
A few say “Aye.”
Frank: “Vote for Bootiequack?”
An overwhelming “Aye.” The Friends hoist their glasses.
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The Friends are mad. Their chats at the Hullahoo Bar have become louder and louder. Everybody’s mad nowadays. Even the waitresses. There we go again.
Frank, from one side of the counter: “That’s so typical, Melissa! When you lose your argument, you start calling us names. So I am a misogynist, a bigot, a homophobe, a white supremacist, a racist, what have you. Well, your tribe’s a bunch of leftist hooligans that destroy America!”
Melissa, from the other side of the counter: “You destroy America! We want Medicare for all, you dump Obamacare, and we’ll all die of the climate change you started!”
Ted: “You, Melissa, belong to that loony Alinsky bomber crowd of community organizers that want to fundamentally change America! We heard Obama say that.”
Tom: “Yeah, elections have consequences, he said. Well, we had new elections! We, the irredeemables, want to keep it the Founders’ way!”
Melissa: “You’re so wrong. What did those Founders know then anyways! Socialism is good for all, look at Sweden. You are zealots, wackos and have been doing a nutjob. You’re obstructing the welfare state!”
Tom: “Nonsense! Sweden is not even socialist, but a market economy with a hefty welfare system paid for by high taxes.”
Caitlyn: “A country of ten million people, less than New York State, and we have 330 million. Their system wouldn’t work here and they’re trying to trim it down because it’s too costly.”
Ted: “Melissa’s side screams that the rich will pay for everything and then there won’t be any rich left and we’ll all end up miserables and deplorables!”
Mary, loud and shrill: “I’m miserable already, so I don’t give a hoot if the rich get miserable too!”
Cindy, even louder: “Why don’t you commies and socialists all move to Russia and China, and see for yourself what misery means. Leave us alone with our hard-earned freedom and prosperity!”
Caitlyn: “No, better you move to Greenland and start your Kibutz in zero temperatures there without stealing our tax money!”
Ted: “All you commies want is equality and free goods. Sounds so nice in the beginning until tyranny takes over and life becomes one stinkhole for all!”
Tom: “Except for those in power who live like the rich they destroyed. It has been tried many times over and failed. Look at Venezuela. Get wise!”
Waitress Jane: “If you want your beer, Mr. Wise, you better give me your tip first before you run out of money.”
Tom: “Thanks Jane, but with Melissa’s socialism we have already run out of money. And you haven’t even smiled.”
Jane: “Here’s your beer, Mister!” Jane plunks the glass down, fakes a smile, scoffs, trots away, kicking her splendid bottom left and right.
Melissa, from the other side of the counter: “You see, Tom, how you treat Jane, misogynist!”
Caitlyn: “You know how you were born Melissa?”
Melissa: “What you mean?”
Caitlyn: “Well, I presume your mom and dad made love, no? Was he sexist and misogynist too?”
Melissa, shouting: “You’re changing the subject, Caitlyn. We have different times now!”
Frank: “Precisely! Your socialist communal band of hippies wants us to live in shabby tents, pee and excrete on the street, and yell at each other!”
Mary: “I live in a one-bedroom shack with mice and cockroaches skirting over the floor because I can’t find a job!”
Frank: “Crazy, there’re six million job offers to be filled. Ever looked around?”
Jason, putting a beer in front of Mary: “If you need a job, come over, Mary, you’ll earn good bucks here with your smile to pay for a better place.”
Mary: “If Trump hadn’t stolen the election, us people would’ve had a free home from Hillary!”
Ted, crooning: “Take that Jason offer, Mary! One more woman employed, the highest number since decades!”
Mary: “I don’t want to be employed by the Trump machine, the way he talks about women. He must be impeached.”
Caitlyn: “That’s all you guys want, impeach, impeach! You’ve been screaming that since he was elected. Ever thought about what America wants?”
Melissa, shouting: “We want one party for the U. S.! Democrats are good enough for democratsy.”
Frank: “Okay, Melissa, go take a ride on Biden’s Malarkey bus.”
Melissa: “It’s ‘No Malarkey’, buthead!”
Frank: “Would Biden know the difference?”
Jason comes to the counter: “There’s somebody in the back offering free drinks, except large sodas.”
Everybody looks to the back.
It’s Mike Bloomberg in jacket and tie, waving and smiling.
All Friends cheer and order more beers and double small sodas.
Get SHIVER SNICKER SCHMOOZE FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT, FOR FRIENDS, AND CHRISTMAS GIFTS.
“A diverse set of witty and entertaining tales.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“In clear crisp text, the stories are well-paced, replete with action, suspense, intrigue, surprise, sorrow, and humor.” Mary E. Wuest.
“While they cover a wide range of genres each one contains a glimpse into the magnificent mind of this talented and creative writer. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.” George Vercessi.
“A kaleidoscope of vivid images, whimsical, intriguing, entertaining, lively, humorous.” Johanna Willner.
Hello! SHIVER SNICKER SCHMOOZE IS PUBLISHED!
To get your fun book (for only $6.99 or equivalent): click on the following link:
A glimpse of the 12 stories:
The Flatfooters reflects my exchanges with friends in and from the broader Middle East and my fears that something like this might happen when driving home in fierce sunlight on I-95 south. (SHIVER)
Ghana-The Burial Train of Mr. Ashok resulted from a pressure cooker Algonkian Writers Conference with Michael Neff (recommended). (SNICKER)
Killing The Elephant Poacher is based on my World Bank work in the Central African Republic and a first step to developing a Boutique Killer assassin series. (SHIVER)
Leave Flying To The Birds came from a bad landing while piloting a small plane. (SHIVER/SNICKER)
From the Horse’s Mouth is how my horse felt about my horsewoman instructor. (SNICKER)
Mother Centipede was inspired by Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Stephen King’s Just After Sunset. (SHIVER)
The Mice Patrol and Attic Ghosts Talking are tales of mice and squirrels in our household and were sparked by reading Mark Spencer’s wonderful book Ghost Walking. (SNICKER)
Chantal’s Baby Grand really happened but don’t tell anybody it was me. (SCHMOOZE)
The Heliphone is based on bad dreams as you can imagine if you know my Double Dutch life. (SNICKER/SCHMOOZE)
The Medium stems from my younger days when I lived irresponsibly and had to apologize to a revered baroness whom my family and the entire country knew. (SNICKER/SCHMOOZE)
The Train Rider is a tragicomedy, remembering a society friend I played tennis with during my youth in Holland and whom I tragically found riding in the train gone mad. (SNICKER)
Links of other books for winter and dark days:
https://amzn.to/2IwinKc Francine – Dazzling Daughter of the Mountain State: Corporate scheming and love.
Enchanting The Swan: Classical music and musicians muddied in banking fraud, murder, and…love.
Get them now in paperback or Kindle. Or great gifts for Sinterklaas (Holland) and Christmas ( Everywhere).
A short story book is on its way to entertain you.
On writing stories: I came to the conclusion several years ago that the best way to learn the craft is to start writing short stories. Short stories like novels must have a beginning, a middle and an end, the end usually following shortly after the middle. I composed Some Woman I Have Known (Koehler Books 2015/Sun Hill Books 2018) from memoir-short stories about my diddle daddling in love until I married, and some outstanding women I met. It got me a PAN membership at Romance Writers of America. An honorary spot for a guy among all the famous and good women-writers.
Now I am launching a short storybook, entitled Shiver, Snicker, Schmooze, which contains 12 short stories in various genres, some short-short, others somewhat longer, which my muse bubbled up for me and got my fingers hitting the keyboard. Some based on real-life, others on the after-life, brought forward to the present time, spawning a smile, a tear, a shiver, or a schmooze. To entertain you during a boring train ride, that awful waiting in the airport lounge or sitting comfortably by the fireplace.
Soon to come:
ENCHANTÉ will announce when the Short Story Book is available on Amazon.com.
COVER DESIGN BY MELANIE STEPHENS OF MS Illustrations (Frederiksburg VA)