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WRITE TEAM: Two guys: Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Max, the retired contractor, and Ed, the pastor, are back at the coffee shop.   

Max: “So … are we done with this whole impeachment thing finally?”

Ed: “How about all forms of politics, say, for the rest of our lives?”

Max: “Look. Trump either did something or he didn’t. He either has the right to do it since he’s the President, or not. It’s driving me crazy. And I actually like the guy.”

Ed: “You still do?”

Max: “I still think he’s done fantastic things for the economy and our place in the world.”

Ed (smiling now): “Do you know you’re starting to talk like him? Don’t forget that I’m a pastor. I get uncomfortable when I hear people talk about themselves with such self admiration and refer to everybody else as idiots.”

Max: “You need to lighten up, Mr. Pastor. How long have you been a minister anyway?”

Ed: “I started as an Army chaplain – 1990s.”

Max: “Oh. I didn’t know. Course, there’s plenty about me you probably don’t know either. But now that you mention it, some of what’s going on now reminds me a lot of the '60s. It seemed like every day back then the news got worse. Between the war and the protests and the elections, it was hard to watch even Walter Cronkite on the evening news."

Ed: “Funny you mention that. I just read an article about the 1930s. Something like 'The Last Time Democracy Almost Died.” The same kind of bad news and depression, and the need for strong leaders. The New Deal scared almost as many people as it seemed to help. The political parties hated each other.”

Max: “Which reminds me. They say that thousands of kids are getting all worked up about walking out of school in April. To support what?The Green New Deal.”

Ed: “The Green New Deal, eh? Enlighten me. What do they have in mind? I’m probably more upset about the weather than anything else.”

Max: “Did you just ask me to fill you in on something political? From what I’ve seen, the whole plan is somewhere between Chicken Little thinking the sky’s falling… and dreamland. It’s going to cost millions of jobs in the coal and oil industries. Depends on who you believe, I guess. But my granddaughter is excited about it.”

Ed: “And I suppose people are saying that “bartender from New York City” and her lefty friends are behind it?”

Max: “Of course. But—”

Ed: “Damn those Republicans!”

Max: “I think you got it wrong, Pastor Ed. We’re talking about kids here. Probably Democrats and Socialists. I can see it now. The protests.”

Ed: “Hey, did you hear about that couple down the street that’s having solar panels installed on their roof?”

Max: “Wait a minute! You’re talking about me and my wife! We’re going to save a lot of money.”

Ed: “Oh. Sorry. Don’t you love this? I’m sounding like you and you’re sounding like me now.”

Francine (their waitress): “Sounds like you two boys need some more coffee…”

RICK BROOKS, from Princeton, is director of Midwest Partners, a nonprofit organization active in small business and civic affairs throughout Starved Rock Country. He can be reached at

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