CHAPTER TEN: AN UNCHANGING MESSAGE It is a busy afternoon at the coffee shop.
There is all the usual crowd.
And of course, a steady stream of unfamiliar faces passing through. Another day, just like all the others, when suddenly....
"Barstone, you changeling, is that you?"
The two men fall into each other's arms.
"I can't believe it's really you!" Barstone exclaims.
"I would have recognized you anywhere. You haven't changed a bit," Barrock replies. "Honey, this is my long-lost big brother."
"I didn't know you had a big brother, much less one that was lost."
"It's been so long, I had forgotten it myself, but as soon as I saw him it all came flooding back. Our paths went different ways, starting the day he fell off the turnip truck...but, here we are again, for a change. I'm so glad we decided to stop at that interchange for coffee. By the way, Barstone, not to change the subject, but let me introduce you to my wife. This is my Shell."
"That's us. Here, Shell, I think I've got some change if you'll get the drinks. I'd like to continue my exchange with Barstone."
The brothers continue to talk. It is evident to even the most casual of observors that, although there is twelve minutes between their ages, they are identical in every other way, with the exception that one is half-white and one is half-black.
Barstone says, "So what have you been up to?"
"Oh, my days are pretty interchangeable. It's talk, talk, talk."
"What do you talk about?"
"Believe me, he isn't kidding. He can't stop saying that word. At night it's 'can't we change the channel' and 'why don't we change the menu' and 'change this, change that': outfits, drapes, hairstyles . I think I'm going crazy."
"But that's why people like me, dear. My message is unchanging."
"Hey! Aren't you that A-rub marks..ah wahtever...Bar-rocky guy? The one that's running for president?"
"Well, yes and no."
"You're slime, you know that, slime! You got the same name as terrorists, so that means you are a terrorist. I got a brother fightin' over there in the Rocky War, and it just ain't right that we could have a president who is a Rocky."
"Don't pay any attention to him, Barrocky. His kind is ignorant and loathesome."
"Right, but he is a Voter ... well, hopefully not, but he could be a Voter. Here, stare at my lapel, son."
"Gosh, you're wearing the secret sign! You're one of us! Man, I ain't never voted like a donkey before, but anybody who wears the pin has got my vote."
"The mind of a Voter is a very complicated thing."
"Don't try to understand it. It will drive you insane."
And so Barrocky and his friends go off together to fight the good battle.
"What did you say your name was?"
"You're not a plumber, are you?"
And things return to normal at the coffee shop.