Chapters 13-14

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: The Mornings After

With the election behind them, the paths of the candidates have separated.

Johnny Main relaxes at home with his incredibly stunning wife and a glass of wine.

Candy Main has the standard question of all wives everywhere. "Now that the campaign is over, dear, what are you going to do with yourself?"

"Well, I've been meaning to count our houses for awhile. I thought I might do that, and if I still have energy, start on the vehicles. And then I thought we might take a trip. By the way, do we have a yacht?"

Cindersara, meanwhile, wings back to Laska.

"Some omen you turned out to be."

Cindersara and Johnny Main may not have won the election, but Cindersara has one great consolation -- well, two, really.

The first is that -- although she wasn't elected vice-president -- she received 341,216 write-in votes for Miss Congeniality.

The second is that, before the election, she put the results in the hands of someone bigger and more powerful and smarter than she.

She can sleep soundly now, knowing that the right person was elected to the presidency.

On the other hand, even the most faithful sometimes have their doubts. Yes, even Plastic People are known to lie awake, from time to time, wondering if the Great Editor really hears their prayers.

fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff Back down in the common world, life continues, its trials and tribulations unabating. Mitzi still has no insurance, Sharon is still grumpy, and plastic people still drink lots of coffee. Where exactly it goes, no one knows for sure, although there are several government studies underway on that very subject.

Sammy has become a regular since Mitzi became the new barista. He watches intently as she fishes out a donut. Mitzi pretends she doesn't notice.

Barstone is taking a break from his job making candlesticks. He relaxes with a cup of the dark stuff and his laptop.

"All right!" he exclaims. "Barrocky sent me an email."

His friends gather round. Everyone likes Barstone, and they're very happy for him, that he discovered his long lost brother and all. In fact, they all agree, any brother of Barstone's is like a brother to them all.

"What's he say? What's he say?"

"He says he was invited to hang out with President Shrub for the afternoon, to discuss the transition and stuff like that, so he and Shell dressed up in their medium-best and went on down to Laundrytown. Well, here, let me read it to you -- there's some from Shelly, too."

"Dear Bro. Hope you're well. We are fine. Shell and I went to Laundrytown to meet with President and Mrs. Shrub. They live in a very big house with lots of windows. I told Shell not to worry, we'll have help to clean them all. Of course the Shrubs have to move out in the next couple months, but I told G.W. to take his time packing, we don't want to rush them. He seems like a nice enough fellow, if you don't mind that he allowed the country to go to rack and ruin. Anyway, we showed up at the appointed time...."

"Well, there it is, dear. Your new home. What do you think?"

"I'm thinking maybe we should paint. White is so yesterday."

"Nobody's answering."

"Maybe I didn't knock hard enough."

"Maybe we're early. Are you sure it was today? I'll be so embarrassed if we're here on the wrong day. Should we just sneak away?"

"Wait. I hear someone coming."

"Oh dear. Do I look okay? Do you think I should have worn the blue dress?"

The door opens and Shell realizes she has made the first right choice of this First Lady gig. All riiight, she has the instincts for this job.

"Well, look who's here. Cora, it's Barrocky and Shelly, come to kick us out of our house."

"Hush, G.W. He's such a kidder, don't pay any attention to him. You all come in, now, and make yourselves right at home. "

"I'm not going to bite his head off. Anyway, we've got important stuff to discuss, president to president."

"You come with me Shelly, we've got some serious girl talk to do. You be nice to Barrocky, G.W., you hear?"

"I'm not going to bite his head off. Anyway, we've got important business to discuss, president to president."

And all the time, Shell is thinking: what would have happened if she had been elected president? would she have gone off with President Shrub and the First Lady would have led Barrocky off to discuss First Person etiquette over tea? Even more confusing, what would have happened if Billary, her husband's female rival for the party nomination, had been elected president? Would Mrs. Shrub have carted Billie away to chat about dinner parties and the lonely nights of a president's spouse?

"It's so good to have you come. You'll love what I did with the drapes in the Green Room. By the way, shall I continue to call you Mr. President, or would you like me to address you as First Ladies Man?"

While the ladies are doing their lady thing, the men go off to discuss critical state matters. President Shrub fills Barrocky's head full of insider information.

"Now don't forget, the Archie comics are behind the Federalist Papers and the emergency supply of brandy is behind the "C" encyclopedia. There's a bag of jelly beans in the back of the desk drawyer, but I wouldn't touch them ... I think they've been there since Donald Raygun. Over here is another bathroom -- if the toilet keeps running after you flush, just jiggle the handle..."

Barstone finishes reading: "...Well, I'm out of time to write, I have to go get my cabinet together now. You probably think that's something you put dishes in, but down here a cabinet is kind of like your gang -- your posse, if you get what I mean. I'll write again soon. Stay well. Shell sends her love. Barrocky."

"Man, aren't I the luckiest to have a brother like that?"

"You mean because he knows how to use a computer?"

"That too."

"He's the lucky one to have you as a brother." And the nice thing is, they all believe it is so.