“‘I’m pretty confident that things are going to be different.”
“It’s obvious, isn’t it?”
Her eyes squinted, her brow furrowed; she didn’t get it.
“You know,” he said, “the leg thing.”
“Come on. Do I really need to spell it out for you?”
“Fine, sit down,” he pointed to the chair. “I’m going to need some paper though.”
“Yes, paper,” he said. “Flat, white, made out of trees.” He reached into his backpack and pulled out a pad of paper and held it up to her. “Recognize it now?”
“I know what paper is, smart ass. I just don’t see why you need it.”
“It’ll be easier to explain what I mean if I draw it out for you.”
“If you say so.”
He flipped back the cover of the notebook but stopped suddenly. “Do you have a pen?” he asked.
She nodded. She started rummaging through her purse and pulled out a black ink pen.
“Consider the facts,” he said. “What is the common trait of every single guy that we’ve elected into office? I’m talking all the way back to George Washington.”
She tapped her finger against her chin. “I dunno. What?”
“This,” he said. He drew a stick figure on the paper with two thin black lines for legs. “Do you see?”
She looked at the paper. She looked at him. “What am I looking at?” she asked.
“You’re looking at the reason that every other one of those schmucks failed us!” he said excitedly.
She started to speak but he held up a hand to stop her. “Wait, wait, wait,” he said, “just hold on a sec before you get going. Let me finish my point.”
She leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms across her chest. “By all means,” she said, “don’t let me stop you.”
He nodded and bent carefully over the pad of paper. The pen rolled back and forth between his first two fingers; his breathing was slow and measured. He exhaled and held the breath out like a marksman tensing the trigger. The tip of the pen touched down onto the paper. The steadiness of his hand held out; the tip of the ballpoint rolled. A drop of sweat beaded on his eyebrow.
He sat back into his chair and gulped air. He looked exhausted. “There,” he said and held the paper up so she could see his work.
“All I see is a little black line dangling between his legs.”
“Well of course you do. That’s the point! That’s another leg,” he said. He yanked the paper away from her and jammed his finger into it. “Can’t you see? That ‘little black line’ is going to change the world. He has the interests of the oppressed – the third leggers – at heart.”
“The third leggers?” she asked. “You mean people with third legs?”
“Not just people with third legs,” he said. “I’m talking about everyone who has ever been a third legger; literally and figuratively. That third leg makes him one of us. People like you and me.”
“Because he has a third leg?”
“Because he has a third leg!”
She stared at the picture for a moment. “So you’re saying that because he has a third leg, he will be a totally different type of leader?”
“Exactly!” he said.
“But he’s still a politician,” she said, “Whether he has one leg or three legs how can we trust a guy who’s job is to get elected?”
“So he’s a politician; who cares! Isn’t it obvious that he is a different kind of politician? Look at how he relates to people on TV.”
“I guess so,” she said reluctantly.
“And he has three legs,” he said. “Don’t forget that.”
“I just can’t connect how his three leggedness will make him a more honest politician.”
“Maybe you’re just biased,” he snapped. “Maybe you just don’t like people that are different.”
“No, no, it’s not like that,” she said with her hands up in defense. “Some of my best friends have three legs. Michelle has three legs. So does Natasha.”
“Have you ever considered that you might be afraid of the unknown?” he asked. “I can understand how the whole thing might be a little intimidating if you’re not mentally prepared for it.”
“That’s not it at all,” she angrily. “I’m just not so quick to trust someone simply because they’re charismatic and have three legs.”
“Well I think you had better get used to it,” he said. “Pretty soon there’s going to be some serious changes around here,” he said.
“Oh sure,” she said. “We heard all about how he’s going to change the world. He spelled it all out in the campaign.”
“Campaign promises are one thing,” he said. “But what a guy really does in office is something totally different.”
About the Author
Scott J. Clemons
Scott J. Clemons lives in Tacoma, Washington. He was recently discharged from the Army and now enjoys the leisurely life of an unemployed veteran.