THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 198

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 198

…Landslide, avalanche, drubbing, rout, outclassed, destroyed, Waterloo, and the Battle of Little Big Horn or even Cornwallis in the 1st American Revolution…

Surrender of Lord Cornwallis

On November 2nd 2032, the only polls that count are the exit variety. By 3 Image result for white flag of surrender gifPM Election DayEastern Time, the regretful tatters of a white flag can be seen hanging from the rafters at the Crowne Plaza New York City ballroom, the site of the would-be Freelove victory celebration.

One veteran columnist, wise to the intricacies of Election Day chalk, suggested that the only way the Crippen/Walker ticket were to lose this election, would be, to immediately concede or pull out of the race completely; too early for one, too late for the other.

When the smoke clears, after the polls close on the West Coast, the only Democratic institutions left standing are two California Senators, the Governor of Porto Rico and the dog catcher for Orange County Florida.

Landslide, avalanche, drubbing, rout, outclassed, destroyed, Waterloo, and the Battle of Little Big Horn are all terms that could be applied unmercifully to this national election and whose memory will not easily escape even the shortest of recollection.

3 Years Later

The first three years in office, for 1st time politician Prez Roy, as he will be lovingly nicknamed, are unbelievably tranquil. No new wars started by anyone, a robust economy fueled by international cooperation, and the slogan “hydrogen {not gasoline} in every tank”; prescriptions-all for a sustained love affair between the American public and the Crippen presidency.

Some of their success in the Retro Future had as much to do with “being in the right place, at the right time”, but he and Charlotte Walker have assembled a competent group of advisers, as well as the streamlined Cabinet, where nonpolitical-types fill vitally important jobs and do not go toddling off to the private sector at the dangling of a lobbyist dollar or two.

So as a result of quality hires and keeping top-notch personnel in each case {not the same-old Washington insider sapsuckers} many potential crises fall harmlessly to the wayside. To be sure, the old guard would love to hate every successful minute of the Crippen White House, if it weren’t for straightforward policy making and the regularly scheduled press conferences, i.e. a B.S.-free zone.


THE RETURN TRIP

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Episode 198


page 183

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 197

Leave a comment

 THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 197

…“I can’t make a move without someone seeing me, so why didn’t we think of Crippen having a family room cam?”…

Lavatory Humor

The Freelove/Cauley campaign had a statistical lead of +/- 5 points going into October 2032, even after the “McKinney Memorial” sympathy-bump that Crippen/Walker had received. But numerical numbers in straw polls sometimes lie and they could not resist the temptation to release the audio date-rape-tape of Deke on Susannah Grisbaum to every yellow-media outlet and social site possible. It is done in anonymous fashion and microphones don’t lie, right?

But just as audio can be misconstrued, video cannot and the family room recordings of the events on the night of the “Rising Star” are submitted to the all the accredited broadcast channels, digital, analog, printed, virtual or actual.

And while there was initial outrage over the candidate stepson’s supposed indiscretions, the instantaneous nature of the Crippen response throws Sylvia Freelove for a loop.

“This is not going to play well in Lake Placid, Skip,” she speaks from a New York hotel damage-control room. “We’ve been outed as the source of the audio and Crippen has synced it up with the video …….sh*t, she is not a very good g** d****d actress!”

“Who knew they had security cams in a family room?”

“I can’t take a pee without someone seeing me, so why didn’t we think of that?”

“I’ve released that statement from you stating that we were set up and that Congressman Grisbaum is out of the country and unavailable for comment. Maybe the Spanish language outlets were asleep at the switch and missed this whole thing,; that will minimize the damage.”

As October draws to a close, it turns out that just about everyone has caught on to the Freelove attempt to sully her opponent by trying to setup national iconic up-and-comer like Deke McKinney. In two blasts of a shuttle thruster, their 5 point advantage slumps to a 10 point deficit… and that may be generously quoted.


THE RETURN TRIP

Reversal of Fortune collage by Saatchi Art Artist Ralph Michael Brekan;

Episode 197


page 183

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 192

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 192

…“Well it seems sweet Miss Susannah Grisbaum is a senior at Carlsbad High, but what she has failed to disclose is that she is 15 going on trouble.”…

After Roy’s policy speech, with that state of Utopia pending, can reality be far behind…? Francine attempts to vet Deke’s date to the Rising Star Dance.

Utopia

“What do you know about Deke’s date?”

“She’s pretty,” which pretty much sums up Braden King’s in-depth analysis, “Susannah is her name.”

“Does she have a last name BK?” Francine has been left to do the dirt-digging work.

“I believe it is Greasebomb or some odd name like that, a senior at some high school in New Mexico… you know that state just west of here?”

“Do you know the name of the junior Congressman from New Mexico?”

“That isn’t fair, I’m not sure I know OUR Congressman if I met him on the street.”

“It’s not Greasebomb, but you’re close; Hector Grisbaum, a Dem from Carlsbad.”

“Beautiful country out there, have done some quail hunting out at Antelope Ridge.”

“Well it seems sweet Miss Susannah Grisbaum is a senior at Carlsbad High, but what she has failed to disclose is that she is 15 going on trouble.” It seems she skipped 2 grade levels.

“Wow, she is well developed for…”

“Braden!”

“Say, didn’t they invent the Grease Bomb at Alamogordo New Mexico?”

“Braden…..please focus! I want you to insist that they come back to our house after the dance and keep Gus out of their hair.”

“Don’t you trust Deke?”

“Deke I trust, Susannah not so much. Congressman Grisbaum is President Sanchez’ biggest ally on Capitol Hill and he is stumping with Freelove as we speak.” Francine is assuming the worst. “And make sure all the security cameras are working, inside and out.”

“Why not just tell Deke he can’t date Susannah, it’s not like he doesn’t have half the girls in the country mooning over him?” BK dates himself nearly every time he speaks.

“Mooning?” She shakes her head. “How is it you are still single?”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 192


page 181

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 191

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 191

…What you see is what you get with candidate Roy and what you get is an ambitious agenda…

The informative exercise called a news conference is something that a president, or a would-be, must handle himself. The Press Secretary can be a stopgap mouthpiece, but when it comes to the Washington Press Corps, face-to-face access to the leader of the free world is a very necessary evil and Roy Crippen best acquaint himself with those assigned to report on his campaign.

As the general election rapidly approaches, Roy is pressed on issues that do not have the slightest thing to do with the subject of space. That is where Charlotte Walker comes in handy. As an unconventional non-politician that he is, she embodies the savvy he lacks. As an added bonus, she has an enlightened bent that sets her apart from party regulars.

They often share the podium at these pressers, projecting themselves as a true team, an elected duo who will to tackle the tough issues head on. What you see is what you get and what you get is an ambitious agenda:

  1. Reducing the size and scope of the Federal Government
  2. Cabinet positions halved or quartered
  3. Continuing campaign funding reforms
  4. Replacing welfare with a public service contract
  5. Mandatory high school graduation, with a goal of graduating 150,000 US born engineering students/yr
  6. Discontinue America’s “Policeman of the World” policies that drag the USA into regional conflicts we do not fully understand
  7. Individual state autonomy, including single states that embrace like-minded policies like:

a) Religion

b) Fiscal responsibility

c) Gun control

d) Crime-free zones

Roy will forever trumpet his own vested interests related to the obvious:

  • A meteor defense shield (that replaced the missile defense shield and prevents the 10,000 lb. strike that wiped out Madagascar in 2027)
  • Space Colony II (its immediate construction and deployment)
  • Accelerated funding for the Steven W. Hawking Foundation sponsored SOL Project (achieving the speed-of-light and Earth-like planet/colony search)

THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 191


page 180

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 190

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 190

…“This country just isn’t ready for a henpecked president…

“Braden tells me that Deke has been dating a girl and he has asked her to “Rising Star”. What on earth is that?” It is Francine‘s job to at least have some clue about the boys’ social life.

“Good for Deke! I was wondering when a girl would turn his head!” Roy beams.

“So he takes a girl to a planetarium to watch the stars? Wouldn’t his convertible be better for that?”

Space Academy“No, no, silly, it’s the big fall event at the Space Academy. I remember taking Becky Bartman… she was a cute filly from Plano… oh wait, I get it.. Rising Star is a dance Francine.”

“Does Deke even know how to dance? And Braden needs to be in town that week, because who knows where in Florida we will be.” Francine knows what’s what with campaign logistics. “Has this girl been vetted?”

“She’s a date, not a democrat!”

“How do you know she’s not?”

“Teenagers are not political creatures and Sammy Mac raised his boys right. I trust he’ll be a perfect gentleman.”

“Will she be a perfect lady? Have you met her family?”

“It sounds like he just met her, give it some time. If the girl interferes with his Academy work, I’ll step in.”

“Okay, you’re the president of our family, but I’m appointing myself vice-president of girlfriends, since you didn’t have the guts to make me the real Veep.”

“The country just wasn’t ready for a henpecked president; Hispanic, Black, Female, Democrat, Democrat, Democrat, did I say Democrat ???? , but not henpecked by the #2. I’ll have my hands full with the one I got.”

“Fine, I didn’t want Char’s job anyway, so I will settle for nosy First Lady.”

“There you go, knock yourself out!


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 190


page 179

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 189

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 189

…“Sweet Susannah is 15 years old and Deke McKinney doesn’t know it…

The Freelove (for President) campaign, even though it is leading by all  polling accounts, is having a hard time gaining any further traction, as September bleeds into October. Incumbency has its advantages, though complacency is an inconvenient byproduct.

“I think we need to muddy the water a bit,” offers Skip Chandler, the Freelove Campaign Strategist. “I have been doing a little digging on that oldest McKinney boy Deke.”

“What do you mean by “digging”,” Sylvia Freelove asks of her chief aide?

Space Academy

“Well he has asked a girl to be his date for the Space Academy “Catch a Rising Star” Dance.”

“He is an all-American 19 year-old male, what is unusual about that?”

“Well she happens to be the daughter of one of my former colleagues in the House.”

“So?”

“He’s a Democrat.”

“So are most New Mexicans.”

“She’s not going to be 16 until December.”

“My daughter has dated an older guy, that’s why they invented birth control.”

“Sweet Susannah is 15 years old and Deke McKinney doesn’t know it. Her daddy told me that because she skipped two grades, she is a senior, but that “hick hunk from Houston” thinks she is or about to be 18.”

“That’s all fine and dandy Skip, but what does all this have to do with muddying the waters? Those McKinney boys were probably raised on the silly notion that you wait to have sex until you get married.”

“Absurd isn’t it? And just like that squaresville Crippen; out of touch and morally pious he is.” Skip Chandler speaks for his new-ageness, as well as his boss’ immoral belief system. “They have gone out on a few dates, but Congressman Daddy tells me she is getting bored with him. I think we can fix things so that we can claim that Deke forced himself on her……at the dance, in public and the poor innocent Susannah ends up with a torn dress and a broken heart.”

“That is quite a story you have there. But that seems a bit risky at this stage of the game.”

“We could use an “October Surprise” Sylvia. If we can’t touch Crippen or Walker, why not go after his step-kids? It will make ol’ Roy look like a bad parent.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 189


page 179

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 187

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 187

…So between now and November we have to hang loose, play it by ear – cool our jets or whatever you astronaut-types say these days”…

“What’s the deal… does Braden cramp your style? You are turning 18 and always the one who insists he’s Mr. Self-sufficient.” Roy is setting up the “you’re the man of the house” speech.

“Don’t worry Gus; I’ve made all your meals for the week.” Francine knows the source of his angst and it starts slightly above his waist. “I won’t be going out on the campaign trail every time, but I cannot have the future President of the United States rooming the streets of New York alone.

“The way it is now, with you guys almost done at the Academy and us stumping the country for votes, oh and Braden keeping track of New Mayflower, we are all too busy to worry about our normal, everyday family routine. So between now and November we have to hang loose, play it by ear… cool our jets or whatever you astronaut-types say these days”

“It is ‘take a chill-pill’ Francine and I get your drift; we have been spoiled by your cooking and we miss our Mom.” No one could have predicted that statement: from selfish news anchor-to-good cook & mother.

“And Braden sucks thruster fumes?”

“Stop it Roy!” Gus gives Francine a bear hug goodbye. “Now let’s go out to the Big Apple and kick some Freelove butt!”

“That would be Freelove/Cauley butt! Oh, that reminds me Francine. Would you proof the podium banner my people have come up with?”

“You mean banner #13? Maybe this will be the lucky one.”

Roy unfurls it, “Yes, this one.”

Today the USA

Tomorrow the Milky Way

“It still needs some work,” Francine has another, “but I liked the other.”

Crippen/Walker

Astronaut/Straight Talker

“I am sure the American people will understand that a space-geek has his fingerprints all over it,” she laughs uncontrollably, not because the logos are so bad, rather that Roy is trying so hard to prove that he is a different sort of politician.


THE RETURN TRIP

Literary Thumbprint Portraits by Chery Sorg

Episode 187


page 177

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode180

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 180

…Scott Walker mentioned that his daughter is looking for a way out of “Toilet Paper Politics” in Wisconsin…

Candidate Crippen has already set the wheeloffortune in motion, having Image result for wheel of fortune gifcontacted her Chief of Staff, “Would you call your boss and tell her to meet me in Milwaukee, at the Pfister Hilton, Mason Street Grill tomorrow night at 7P? Tell her that it has to do with the White House.”

“If you didn’t know, the Hilton is a casino… and how do you know anything about where we’re staying in Milwaukee?” Even though Francine can’t know everything her husband does, doesn’t mean she wouldn’t like to know.

“I met her father there a month ago, he being some sort of expert on work-fare and it’s funny, but he mentioned that his daughter  is looking for a way out of “Toilet Paper Politics” in that state. I don’t know why I didn’t press him on the subject, but he did mention she goes deer hunting in late November, bragged about teaching her how to be a sportsman.”

Speaking of the devil, his phone ringtone blares Sputnik-bleeps, “Roy Crippen,” Thity Point Buckhe chimes in.

“Charlotte Walker, Roy, my dad told me he met you a while back, congratulations on your nomination. I would have been in Chicago, but I had an appointment with a 30 point buck… that’s an exaggeration AND a song up here.”

“Can you meet us in Milwaukee? I promise to make it worthwhile.”

“I got the message, I love the Mason Grill. I will see you there.”

The impromptu call ends and so may that nagging 130 {or so} pound Veep-issue headache.

“Now that you have this notion in that one-way brain of yours, I cannot argue with you on the issue of compatible VP choices. But I’m not sure the party faithful will agree.”

“Well it can’t be another Texan and it can’t be another space guy, so why not a rifle-toting, rock’em-sock’em reformer from America’s Dairyland.”

{Wisconsin License Plate Art by DeAnna Roose}


THE RETURN TRIP

America’s Dairyland

Episode 180


page 171

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 179

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 179

…“Could you stand having another woman in my life?” Roy is curious…

Jealousy the Other Woman by Harry Weisburd

Francine and Roy discuss his choices for VEEP.

“Exactly! I would sooner worry about a Canadian civil war than be undermined by my vice-president.” He is sitting back in the front seat of his “Crippen For You 2032” tour bus on its way up I-94 to Milwaukee Wisconsin, watching the NBC Nightly News coverage of the campaign in totality out of one eye.

After hashing and rehashing the debate over whom Roy Crippen should choose for his running mate, the stately and authoritative {when was the last time you heard a woman referred to as that?} Savannah Guthrie makes mention of the upcoming memorial service planned in Houston for Sampson and Celeste McKinney and it made him think, “What do you think Charlotte Walker is doing for the next eight years?”

Firebrand

“What… the governor of Wisconsin? She is a firebrand, I’ll give her that, with a political bloodline that leads back to the union busting days of her daddy; none too popular among the Democratic old-guard.”

“Everyone I would want with me in power is either attached to the Space Program {Rick Stanley or Braden King} or I am married to {you}. Now look at Sampson and Celeste, they are an example of what two people, with divergent personalities, can accomplish when tied together for an extended period of time.”

“If you are serious, you better talk to her in person.”

“Could you stand having another woman in my life?” he is curious.

“Why not, she is happily married to a stay-at-home househusband who takes care of the kids, from what I remember hearing.”

“Do you know why she wasn’t at the Chicago speech? Of course you don’t. She was in the Nicolet National Forest hunting white-tailed deer.”

No bull!? Is she going to be in Milwaukee?”

THE RETURN TRIP

Wisconsin State Seal | by PhotoArtMarie

Episode 179 

page 170

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 178

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 178

…All in all the evening could not have gone better… the script was followed, the prime rib delicious, and the campaign drumbeat remains uplifting and rosy…

Splendid Evening by Abrishami Hessam

Barbara Z. is a faithful campaign foot soldier.

“How did you remember my name?” asks the middle-aged woman who has met Roy in person just once.

“It is plain ol’ polite to recognize the folks you work with, that’s what my Mamma told me.”

“I look forward to our rally in Milwaukee,” she courts a hug from him.

“You must excuse us Barb. The senior Senator from Wisconsin is calling us over to the head table.” Francine is responsible for forward progress, when Roy is stuck in neutral.

All in all the evening could not have gone better. The script was followed, the prime rib delicious, and the campaign drumbeat remains uplifting and rosy; a good time had by all, unless you are a closet Freelove supporter.

But despite his overwhelming support and the resulting successes lavished on his crusade, Roy is seriously procrastinating over the selection of his 2nd. To be sure his feet are dragging on the issue, the only issue that he has not expressed with clarity. The Freelove camp is hinting toward the unconstitutionality of this delay in the mandated selection process. They are drooling at the chance to grill an additional target, less angelic than the sainted ex-astronaut.

“You know Francine,” he muses on the way to a Milwaukee rally, “I wonder if I could possibly get elected without a VP, with Braden unavailable and you, well you are you.”

“I am me, but you better get a grip Roy! Thomas Jefferson and his boys made sure that the highest constitutional office has a line of succession; bing, bang, boom and we are down to the President pro tempore and you would not approve of that particular Senator!”

“Good point… speaking of lists, have you seen the latest one given me by the Republican Committee. Most of them are party regulars and most of them are not my biggest fans. All but one wanted to be president, not the second fiddle. Not fans of attending funerals for 3rd World leaders or speaking to the National Farmer Organization’s annual convention, I guess?”

“They would rather have you impeached first.”

THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 178

page 169