Down at the Arroyo Cafe, Rosa poured Romero’s coffee. “See Oracle on the news this week?”
Romero took a sip. “Yeah. Oracle. Home to Arizona’s only assisted-living commune for aging hippies. I hear it all started when Sheriff Babeu of Pinal County warned his tea-party pals that a bus would be hauling undocumented rug rats in to be housed nearby. The Music Man told them they got trouble! Trouble! Trouble! Right there in Oracle City. ...”
Rosa wiped the counter. “Trouble? That starts with a T and that rhymes with B and that spells — badges!” Rosa shook her head. “Those border militia types love their toy badges.”
Rosa turned to the cafe’s curmudgeon, Sour Frank. “Were you there?”
“Had to be.”
Sour Frank thought for a minute. “Because I’m a narcissistic, delusional, paranoid crank. And I was hoping to get on Fox TV.”
“That can’t be easy.”
“Tell me about it. My family is humiliated; townsfolk avoid me. No one wants to hang out with a cracker-barrel blowhard. Want to come over and listen to Sean Hannity with me? I’ve got pork rinds and Coors. We could burn Mexican flags together and talk chem trails. Rosa, I’m a lonely, bitter, old man.”
Romero yawned. “You’re a hater.”
Sour Frank turned. “These kids are bringing the Andromeda strain into our country! Half of them are gang members and the other half? Terrorists! Midgets posing as children. Secure the border! YMCA, my foot. The kids looked Muslim to me. Obama’s behind this. He hates America.”
Rosa rolled her eyes. “We all want a secure border, Frank. You’ll have to spring for the land mines on your own dime.”
Romero patted Sour Frank’s arm. “Hate is like oxygen. Hate is a many splendored thing. Hate lifts you up where you belong. All you need is hate.”
Bubba interrupted the bickering by fluffing out the morning paper to share an item. “Listen to this!”
“Congressional candidate Adam Kwasman is calling for the inspection of all YMCA buses by the U.S. Border Patrol, after mistaking a YMCA summer camp bus for a school bus full of migrant children at an anti-immigrant rally.
“Excited by the opportunity to boo at small children, Kwasman tweeted, ‘Bus coming in. Had no idea how fair-skinned those Guatemalan kids are! They’re smuggling volleyballs into our country! This is the abrogation of the rule of law!”
Later, Kwasman said, “I was able to see the fear on their faces. How that fear got there I don’t know.” In mock innocence, Kwasman pressed his thumbs and forefingers together into a halo and held it over his head. “It’s fun to instill fear. I got picked on constantly when I was a kid. It’s fun to be on the other side. Resentment is what it’s all about!”
If elected to Congress, Kwasman promises to lead the charge on the Homeland Security inspection of all YMCA summer camp buses. “Just because it says YMCA — we don’t know. Could be ISIS.”
Bubba downed his coffee and asked his fellow diners to listen to him read one more news item.
“Sheriff Babeu will be leaving law enforcement to become a full-time events planner for fringe groups. ‘I love fringe! I was spending so much time planning these purely political rallies I thought why not do it full time? Floral arrangements, road cone centerpieces made of crime-scene tape and toothpick flags are the tip of the iceberg!’ Babeu plans to call his new enterprise, ‘Babozo Events’."
“In his trailer, Babeu said, ‘It will be hard to give up the uniform, the black leather boots and the adoring cameras. But what can I say? I was born to be an event planner!’ “
Ignoring Bubba’s “lame-stream media lies,” Sour Frank was watching the TV on the wall next to the pie case. “Hey, look at this! Turn it up.”
Anchor Guy Actually arched his eyebrow like a coiled rattler. “Today in Anaheim, California, anti-immigration protesters from Arizona overran the ‘It’s a Small World‘ ride at the Disneyland theme park when it was rumored to be carrying undocumented children. Led by Sheriff Paul Babeu and Adam Kwasman, an Oro Valley area man, the jeering group was ejected from the amusement park. Outside, an angry Kwasman said: ‘It’s all a big mistake. How were we supposed to know those kids were from Mumbai, India? We were really hoping to hiss at some Central American kids.’”