Jeremy and Steve were perched at the top of the bleachers of the high school field. Below them, football players tacked dummies and cheerleaders practiced pyramids and cheers. Steve wore a Kelly green polo shirt and faded jeans with even older sneakers. He stood and waved a clipboard at the people gathered around.
“Next!” he shouted.
A skinny teenage girl wearing two tank tops and a striped shirt over black leggings stepped up to address Jeremy. “Is the New Placerville going to take a strong stance on environmental issues? I would like to see us mandate the use of hybrid or electric vehicles for government and school use.”
“I’ll certainly take that under consideration,” said Jeremy, bringing his hands together so only the fingertips touched. He wore a French blue button down shirt that befitted his new status as a community leader, although it was untucked and wrinkly.
“Next!” barked Steve.
The next petitioner was a chubby boy of about 13 years, with a World of Warcraft t-shirt and a checkerboard backpack stuffed with textbooks and covered with a light dusting of Cheetoh fingerprints. “It’s totally unfair that the 7/11s only allow one student in the store at a time. Class discrimination! What if they put up a sign that said “only one Black person allowed in the store at a time?”
Steve took a note and said, “He’s got a point, Jer.”
Jeremy nodded. “I agree. I’ll add that to the list of policies.”
Two twentysomething men, wearing Italian loafers and carrying leather messenger bags, stood to address Jeremy. “We wish to reinstitute plural marriages, which the US government arbitrarily declared illegal. If gay marriage is allowed, why not plural marriage? What three or more people do in the privacy of their own home is not the government’s business. Let’s create a society of freedom from tyranny. It’s the right thing to do.”
“Gay marriage isn’t legal, is it?” asked Steve.
“And you’re okay with that?” demanded the taller of the two men.
Jeremy waved his hand to silence them both. “Hmmm….interesting points you’ve raised. I’ll have my cabinet research this further.”
The two men glared at Steve and walked back down the bleachers, almost running into a 300 pound man with a Pendleton wool shirt over what may have been overalls. He stood nervously before Jeremy and Steve.
“Yeah, hello, Jeremy…um…sir? Your highness? I don’t know what to call you. My name is Jethro Shaw. I want to ask, since you’re considering gay marriage and polygamy and all, is what about the rules against marrying your own kin? That don’t seem right to me, to allow men to marry other men, and not allow a grown man and woman to marry just because they’se related. I’d much appreciate your consideration. Thank you.” He turned and left as quickly as he could manage, his heft shaking the bleachers as he made his exit.
Steve and Jeremy looked at each other as he left.
Steve asked Jeremy, “Are you mentally scrolling through a list of your cousins?”
“Yep,” said Jeremy.