This is a little preview I whipped up over the weekend. Anybody who doesn’t like the sound of it better give me two butts – theirs and one other – at the polls on November 8.
Dave arrived at his interview in khakis and a golf shirt. His “interview suit” – 12 years old and only just recently roomy enough to wear again – stayed in its garment bag on the extra bed in his motel room. Belter had been quite clear, “Make sure you dress casual. This ain’t no elitist outfit. You show up in a tie, people will look at you funny.”
Belter was dressed similarly – he had on jeans – and waved Dave to a chair in the interview room. It was outfitted exactly like interview rooms on cop shows: two utilitarian metal chairs, a heavy, nondescript metal table with scratches in its Rustoleumed surface, and a large mirror set in one wall. There were no obvious places to attach shackles, but Dave had the uncomfortable feeling that if he looked closely, the table legs might bear witness. He chose not to look closely. The mirror was a one-way window, an obvious reminder.
Well, it was a prison. No, NOT a prison…
“So, what made you want to work for our little trans-shipment facility?” Belter began.
“Trans-shipment?” Dave was caught off guard.
“Oh, that’s just our little joke, ha ha,” Belter leaned back and held his arms wide. “This here is the premier relocation camp for the South Central US. ‘Undesirables’ drain here from Texas to Tennessee to Ala-damn-bama. And we trans-ship ‘em to their final destination. You know all this?”
Dave nodded. He was aware that the body politic needed to excrete poisons the same way a physical body does, and all the undesirables – especially Muslims – had poisoned his country to the point where this was necessary. It had decided his vote, in Ohio, way back in ’16. But now the Reclamation was the only growth industry in America, the only thing working in the economy. And this job was almost the only thing between himself and Reclamation, even though he was only half Mexican and didn’t know a lick of Spanish.
“Well, it’s God’s work, for starters,” Dave opened.
“Amen,” Belter said.
“And I’m a patriot. I truly think Americans should be first in all things.”
“Absolutely!” Belter would be beaming, if he knew how.
“Of course, my father was a Mexican. But he ran off on us when I wasn’t even two yet, and I totally repudiate my blood.”
“Yes, I saw your Blood Repudiation Oath in the app pile. I gotta say, it’s unusual for us to get one of you 14th Amendment types ‘round here. But you sure don’t look it. You could have totally passed. Don’t look it a-tall.” Belter looked him up and down, as if bemused by the lack of a tail and horns.
“Real Americans stand up,” Dave avowed.
“Yes, we do. Well, Dave, it’s no fault of your own, and you’ve overcome a lot to get here. You ARE a little long in the tooth…”
Dave held his breath. There was no way to argue around that, except to note that the draining of Social Security had left him with little in the way of a future, and deregulation had obviated the need for his compliance job at the bank, about 6 months before it obliviated the bank. It was Reclamation, or USA-Mart, and Bentonville, Arkansas was on the way back home.
“But you have outstanding data skills, and those are becoming harder and harder to find,” Belter finally finished, with what would have been a smile if it reached his eyes. He stood and held out his hand.
“Welcome to Camp Perry, Texas.”