Mitzi must now depend upon herself to provide for her needs and Randi's. She sets out in This Great Nation of Ours, as proud Plasticopians call their country, to look for a job.

This looks promising.

"Hi, I'm Mitzi, the Unemployed Single Mother. I'm looking for work."

"Hello, Mitzi, I'm Sharon the Grumpy Coffee Shop Owner. I could use some help, if you don't eat all the donuts and can tolerate standing on your feet for eight hours a day at a dead-end poor-paying job without benefits ...... zsssst, don't even ask about medical insurance."

"I can see why you're grumpy. When do I start?"

"How about tomorrow?"

Here, let me introduce you to some of our ordinary everyday Plasticopian regulars. This is Janice the Flower Shop Proprietor,

and here's Leroy the Pilot and Barstone the Candlestick Maker.

Over there is Kathy Cowlick the News Rudder and Myrtle the Indulgent Grandmother Who Never had to work a Day in Her Life for a Paycheck. "

"Nice to meet you. Well, I must be going. I've got a show in an hour."

"Are you going to talk to Cindersara again?"

"That's very likely. We've had so many complaints that we treated her unfairly, asking her all those hard questions, that we think it's only fair to give her another chance with some easy questions. I'll keep you updated."

Mitzi is so excited to have a job that she splurges the last of her egg money that she took out of the sugar jar before Jack took everything else, including the jar. She buys some paint and some fabric and works magic on some junky garage sale furniture and hand-me-downs from her more prosperous relatives. For two weeks, while she waits for a paycheck, she and Randi live on stale donuts from the coffee shop and food samples from their daily tour of Costso.

Meanwhile she paints....

and sews.

Soon the little townhouse looks like a home.

The inviting living room.

The cozy bedroom.

The functional kitchen, where Mitzi turns her first paycheck into much awaited hamburgers and apple pie.

Every working day Mitzi drops Randi off at her older sister's house.

In the evenings, after Randi is asleep, she reads Harley Quinn romances

or watches chicky flickies and cries herself to sleep in this Great Nation of Ours.


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?"

"Change, mostly."

"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.


(Episode 3)

"Welcome back, Cindersara. It's so good of you to give us another interview."

"I'm pleased that you're willing to give me another chance with some easy questions so that America can get to know the real me."

"I hope you don't mind, but the campaign managers insisted I bring a companion along. His job is to sit away from the cameras and poke me ever so gently with this here pole when I say something stupid. We call him Lancelot."

"Pleased to meet you. I'm sure everyone hopes you won't have much work to do."

"All right, you're on."

"With me this afternoon is Cindersara, for a final interview before the votes start coming in. Staff has spent a great deal of time and thought to come up with appropriate questions, so let's begin.

"Cindersara, you have five children. How many diapers have you changed in your lifetime?"

"How many.....? Well, a lot, Cathy. I've changed a whole bunch of diapers, by golly, and Tad...my husband Tad...he's changed a lot, too. And we've brought up our girls knowing how to change diapers in this Great Country of Ours. "

"That gives a whole new meaning to the term 'agent of change'."

"It sure willikers does. And if Johnny Main and I are so privileged as to be elected, we will continue the good work, cleaning up messes and all left by those liberals in Congress. So thank you, Cathy, for that good hard question that helps those wonderful hard-working Americans out there get to know me a little better."

"If you and Senator Main are elected, what changes do you forsee under your leadership?"

"Well, first off, Cathy, we wouldn't be wasting good clean taxpayers' money on stupid research projects, like studying fruit flies and mold and yucky stuff like that...OUCH!"


Many of Cindersara's old high school pals from Pitstop are gathered at the Coffee Shop to watch the interview on the television there."

"If Cindersara gets to be president, what government position do you guys want?"

"I dibs Attorney General."

"I didn't know you went to law school."

"You have to go to law school to be the Attorney General? Well, that's a stupid rule."


"Let's talk a little about education. You are in favor of a modified form of sex education that does not include information on birth control."

"That's right, Cathy. Otherwise, how're you gonna catch them when they're doin' it?"

"On another subject, I understand that you favor capital punishment. Could you talk a little about that?"

"Capital...oh, I got it! You mean the death sentence. You don't have to use such big words, Cathy, let's talk in common everyday language of the common people out there in their kitchens and in their pews and on their barstools. Joe the Plumber and Jemima the Auntie and Jack the Rip...well, no, not him, but you get the idea. That's what I identify with, the common folk, on account of that's where my roots are, back there in Pitstop, Laska. Do you know that in Pitstop we have more stripmalls per capita than in any other place in the nation?"

"No, I hadn't heard that. So, getting back to capi...the death sentence. As you may know, in recent years as many as 241 inmates -- some of them on death row -- have been cleared by DNA evidence, sometimes after decades in prison. How do you answer critics who contend that we can never be sure we aren't executing an innocent person?"

"Oh, gol' darn it, there you go again, Cathy. Another hard question."

"Sorry. I can't help myself."

"I know you can't, Cathy. You're just a member of the media elite, always trying to make me and Johnny Main look bad, but of course the American people in this Great Nation of Ours have learned that you're not to be trusted. You never report the facts."

"What facts have we missed?"

"Why, all of them. Every single blessed one that the American people in their little communities across this Great Nation of Ours should know about, so they can make a fair decision when they go into that polling place. Under a Main-Cindersara Administration...if we are so privileged as to be elected...this will change."

"What will change?"

"Everything. All that...you know, stuff."

"You've been very critical of Barrocky. I would like to give you the opportunity, if you'd like to take it, to expand on your vicious criticism."

"I'd love to take that opportunity, Cathy. Did you know that Barrocky has been seen in the same airport as those there 911 hijacker terrorists."

"At the same time?"

"Well, no, but the point is he's frequenting places where terrorists congregate. You know, you can pick up terrorist ideas that way. Especially if you don't wash your hands after you touch the handrail and doorknobs and things."

"What'd I say? What'd I say?"


Over at Mabel's house, Jeff is watching the interview of Cindersara. He has just returned home on leave from the Rocky War.

Mabel comes in with the vacuum, but turns it off out of consideration for him, given all that he's been through in the Rocky War and all.

"Darling, I need to ask you a very important question. Does anything that woman say make sense?"

"Oh, no, of course not."

"Phew, I thought I'd taken too many blows to the head over there."

"But she loves America and she's one of us: I never read the Constitution either, and I can understand why she doesn't bother -- it's really really boring."

"Well, you know, I think I'm going to vote for Barrock. I believe it's the best thing for the country."

"What?! You would put your country before your own party? But...but what about 'America First'. Does that mean nothing to you?"

While Jeff and Mabel sort that out, let us return to The Interview....

"Cindersara, you have spoken often of the pro-America American and his anti-American counterpart. Could you explain how you know which individuals are anti-American?"

"Good question, Cathy. I anticipated that you would ask that very thing, and so I brought a visual aid."

"This is a diagram of the dominant features of the anti-American, which should help your viewers better identify them.

"You'll note the strong nose, the firm set to the jaw, the thoughtful cast of the mouth, the high intelligent brow, the steady gaze. If you see someone with features like this, you should run for your li...excuse me, Kathy, would you mind turning your head to the side?"

"Well, actually, we've just run out of time. Cindersara, I want to thank you for coming on the show again. It's always a pleasure having you. You know, I really mean that. You make me look and feel so smart."

"You're welcome, Cathy. I have that effect on a lot of people. I'm so glad you had me, and I'll be sure to send you a thank-you note, but not tonight, because I'm gonna be kinda busy."


Is this where I say "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE'?"

"No. Wrong show."

"Oh. Am I bad. Well, toodles, then...put that stick down!"


Flower arrangement by: Tiny Blooms

Cindersara's jacket on loan from Sacks on Sixth Avenue.

View courtesy of inhabitants of Anchorage, Alaska and the antediluvian crashing of tectonic plates giving rise to the totally awesome Chugach Range, with contribution from that celestial body known locally as "the Sun".