"Marta! Where are you?" "In the kitchen, Senora Chavez. I am making a pitcher of piña coladas and cooking up a dish of ropa vieja." "English, Marta! Always speak English!" "Sorry. I am making some percolated pineapples and cooking old clothes."

"That's better. Remember, I worked very hard as the head of U.S. English to make it our official language. It's not the duty of the government to preserve any particular culture. Plus, I don't speak Spanish."

"I understand."

"So, have you completed the light household chores?"

"Si, señora. I mean, yes, ma'am."

"You did the dishes?"


"The dusting and laundry?"


"Did you tuck-point the chimney and re-surface the driveway?"


"How about all that sandblasting and ironwork?"

"All done."

"Very good. Here's a shiny new silver dollar. And remember, save as much as you can."

"Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to be employed by you."

"Marta! Never say 'employ.' I am 'helping' you by letting you live here and occasionally giving you money."

"I understand. That $1,500 over the last several years has been wonderful. Soon, I will be able to buy food."

"You're quite welcome. It is an American custom called, 'minimum wage.'"

"Si, señora. I mean, yes ma'am."

"Now, where are my other illegal alien ? I mean, needy houseguests?"

"Nguyen, Thuc, and Jesus?"

"Shhh! Remember ? their names are Bill, Bob, and Spanky."

"Oh, yes. They are outside doing light household chores."

"Did they excavate the new swimming pool and remodel the garage?"

"Almost. Jesus ? I mean, Spanky ? keeps getting sunstroke, so they had to give him some water."

"All right, but not too much. There's an energy crisis."

"I understand."

"Good. I'm throwing a reception tonight, and I need them to put up the capri lights."

"A reception, señora?"

"Yes. For the other new members of the cabinet. Tommy Thompson can't come because he's having dinner with some tobacco lobbyists, but everyone else should be here. I'm especially looking forward to seeing Gale Norton."

"The new secretary of the interior?"

"Yes. She knows some great stories. You should hear her tell about the time her old boss James Watt told off those subversive Beach Boys."

"She sounds entertaining."

"Very. I'm also hoping we can get John Ashcroft to do some card tricks."

"Excuse me, Ms. Chavez."

"Yes, Francisco. I mean, Sid."

"There is someone at the door who says he is from the transition team."

"Oh, great. Send him in."

"Hello, Linda. I'm afraid I have some bad news for you. The president-elect wants to withdraw your name from consideration."

"Whaat? But why? Is is because of those crybaby labor unions? Damn them! Once I get in, we'll give those losers with lunch boxes exactly what they deserve."

"No, it's not that. The President-elect's dad ? I mean, the transition team ? feels your nomination has become a distraction. We don't want any of our cabinet secretaries indicted, at least not until after the inauguration."


"Besides that, you told the FBI you had nothing to hide when they came around to vet you."

"'Vet'? I thought they were asking if I was in the Army."

"Sorry, Linda. The president-elect has plenty of other attractive Republican women with ethnic surnames to choose from, so you're out. Now, he'd like you to hold a press conference today and blame someone else. Use the phrase, 'search-and-destroy politics.'"

"Can't we talk this over?"

"I'm afraid not."

"Excuse me, Ms. Chavez. Your dinner guests are arriving. Some woman just drove up in a bulldozer."

"That must be Gale Norton. Can you tell her to park around back? And have Jesus ? I mean, Spanky ? bring out some hors d'oeuvres."

Copyright 2000 Newrite, Inc. All rights reserved. GLW's on WGN Radio AM 720 and wgnradio.com.

Support the River Cities' Reader

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993. Now we find our ability to continue providing all the features you love in serious jeopardy without the financial support of our readers.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher