“Whew! I’m sure glad that’s over,” John sighs, leans back and savors his first slow sip of the Daily Coffee Special Barahona.
“Why so chipper, Skipper?” questions our waitress Beverly as she fills my cup.
“Yeah, did you win the lottery?” I gamble.
“Make a killing in the stock market?” Beverly speculates.
“You’re getting married for the fourth time?” I propose.
“No, no…and OMG…no!” John smiles broadly. “I’m relaxing because the 2016 presidential race has been decided.”
“Say what…” I gasp.
“Yes,” John continues. “Now that Jeb Bush has declared and Hillary Clinton is the leading Democrat, the only question is which American family dynasty will be decorating the White House in January 2017.”
“What about the other wannabes?” Beverly polls.
“Nope, doesn’t matter,” John confirms. “Bush, Clinton and think of the time and money that will save.”
“Money saved?” I calculate.
“Of course. The other Democrats and Republicans can close up shop and send their campaign staffs home. It’s done, finished, game over, kaput,” John takes another long, sensuous swallow.
“But that would be a catastrophe for the economy,” Beverly predicts.
“What, how?” John wonders.
“Beverly’s right,” I add, “all those campaign workers will be out of jobs.”
“And the advertising agencies will have to lay off staff because they’re not making political ads,” Beverly promotes.
“Well,…” John sputters.
“Without debates, the news media will have to fire their political reporters,” I alert.
“Maybe not a great loss,” John opines.
“No debates means no people selling food and drink from venue concession stands,” I masticate.
“And no transportation for candidates moving around the country to campaign stops and primaries. Bus drivers will be fired, taxi companies will not buy new cars, airlines will lose money trying to fill empty seats, and even Uber may go belly up,” Beverly says movingly as she refills my cup.
“I hadn’t considered…” John leans forward worriedly.
“And did you every think of me, John, did you ever think of me?” Beverly wipes her eyes with John’s napkin.
“What do you mean?” John pleads.
“I barely make ends meet in this job. If it weren’t for the presidential candidates coming to Iowa, I’d be homeless, panhandling on the street, “Beverly ignores John’s outstretched cup.
“You go, girl,” I cheer.
“Instead, I get big tips from the candidates, campaign staffs, media folk, and twice as many customers as usual. It’s like Black Friday but only once every four years.”
“Gee, I hadn’t thought about the ripple effect,” John contemplates.
“Glad you finally saw the light, “ I brighten.
“Great idea! I’ve changed my mind and I’m ready to do my part,” John enthuses.
“You don’t mean…” I shutter.
“Yep, I’m running for president so I can help restore the economy. I better get started,” John rejoices as he leaves the restaurant.
“Heaven help us all,” I pray.
“Now I wish it were only Bush and Clinton,” Beverly grumbles.