Fiction: Reaching Across the Aisle

headsOn Sunday Maxwell awoke to find he had become a Republican. At first he noted little altered in his appearance, his mannerisms, his routines. After all, if you look past their stances on foreign policy, national defense, immigration, welfare, workers’ rights, gay marriage, contraception, government spending, abortion, gun control, religion, taxation, economic policy, education policy, states’ rights, health care, social security, free trade, offshore drilling, and farm subsidies, Democrats and Republicans are more or less indistinguishable, if you also overlook age, race, and gender.

And so it was not until he was shaving in front of the bathroom mirror pondering what possible evolutionary advantage sprouting facial hair might have conferred upon early human ancestors, only to interrupt himself with the righteous admonishment that men grow beards because God ordained it thus, that Maxwell first suspected he was no longer the person who had sucked it up and voted for John Kerry. He at once grew deeply skeptical of his Fossil watch. In its place he slid onto his wrist the Rolex that had manifest itself on the countertop overnight alongside a professionally managed stock portfolio and the title to a 25- foot schooner complete with captain.

After a breakfast of bacon and grits Maxwell drove himself to church, which was atypical (the church part, not, somewhat guiltily, the bacon), because Maxwell was a Jew. On the way he stopped at the dealership to trade in his Honda Accord for a Chevy Trailblazer.

He was late for dinner with Nancy on account of the protest at Planned Parenthood running over schedule. Nancy was late too, on account of her working the weekend shift at Planned Parenthood and having to wait for Maxwell to finish chanting and give her a ride.

“What’s gotten into you today?” she asked in the car.

He replied, “Patriotism, freedom, and Christian values.”

“We’re through,” she said.

He said, “That’s fine with me. Do you have a union meeting or a Chinese class you want me to drop you off at?”

“Don’t end sentences with prepositions.”

“How about, do you have a Socialist clubhouse where you want me to drop you off?”

“Still a preposition.”

“Well, I’d drop you off at home, only we live together and that’s immoral.”

The next day Maxwell woke up once more a Democrat. In typical Democrat fashion he apologized, but she still wouldn’t to take him back. He did get to keep the house; She got the Senate.

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