by Freida Marie Crump
Greetings from the Ridge.
"Herb, I’ve got the plan!"
"What’re you gonna do? Start cooking again?"
"Sweetheart, if I didn’t need somebody to help me lift the microwave to clean, I’d have no use for you at all. Nope, I’m talking about a plan for government."
"Will this one get us arrested?"
"We’ll be given honorary degrees in political science, sweetheart. Listen to this."
"Do I have a choice?"
"Do you ever?"
"Then shut up and listen. I propose to make every year a campaign year."
"You hate political campaigns, Freida!"
"I’ve changed my mind. I’m telling you, I’m a new woman. It all came to me in a vision when I stopped at the Get and Go last night."
"You got a vision at the Get and Go?"
"And a drink for 25 cents. It was an epiphany evening, Herb."
"Sounds like brain residue from drinkin’ cheap cola. Why in the name of all that’s holy would you want to have year-round campaigns?"
"How many candidates have we had in town this summer?"
"And how many last year with no campaign going on?"
"You see where I’m goin’? Herb, this summer we’ve had talk about local roads, we’ve had candidates for governor and senate and the house propose new educational funding, we’ve seen proposals to tighten the budget, cut defense spending, bring peace to the Middle East, decrease our dependence on foreign oil, develop local resources, bring morality back into the media, fund local initiatives, perk up school lunches, and improve the taste of Twinkies."
"I made that up. But is there ever a time when Coonridge gets noticed other than during an election campaign? Is there ever a time when politicians have real ideas except when they’re running for office? Can you think of a season when they do absolutely anything of any use
unless they have an election breathing down their ballot box?"
"So that’s the solution, old man. From this day forward, every politician will run for office every day of his or her life! It’s stinking brilliant! I wonder what I wear to the Nobel Prize ceremony. Do they wear navy housecoats in Norway?"
"But Freida, think of the cost!"
"I’ve already got the dress."
"Of the campaigns, woman!"
"Herb, the bucks that you and I give to campaign are nothing. It’s corporate America that pays the bill! Wake up, sweetheart. This is not your father’s government. This one’s bought and paid for by American business, so let’s campaign all year long and bleed ‘em dry. The first
time you see an oil company executive begging at the door of Wal-Mart for a handout, I’ll change my mind. It’s Freida Marie’s Trickle Down theory. The corporations give the money, it goes into the advertising of your local newspaper and radio and television, it trickles out into
the local economy. Do you think we’ll need a hotel room?"
"The awards weekend in Oslo. Do they put you up for the night? I wonder who I can call."
"But they’ll never have time to do their jobs if they spend all that time on the campaign trail!"
"You mean like they do their jobs now? Like they work for compromise now? Like they wake each morning looking for ways to represent Freida and Herb now? Herb, the best days our present Congress has is when it’s not in session!"
"You got me there. You really think it’ll work?"
"I gotta go."
"To find out how to say Thank You in Norwegian."
You ever in Coonridge, stop by. We may not answer the door, but you’ll enjoy the trip.