The Aftermath

Charlie and Maude had been married for fifty six years. Over the decades, life had settled into a comfortable co-existence: morning coffee together, he reading the Free Press, she knitting a baby dress for the church ladies. The rest of the day passed with Charlie tinkering on the car and Maude baking and dusting. The evenings were spent in front of the TV. He dozed and she did more knitting. Oh, they did chat about things in the news and the exploits of their grown offspring and grand-kids, but much of life was a comfortable routine. It was still love, just quiet love after fifty-six years.

Arguments were few, if they happened at all. There were only two subjects that were definitely off-limits: religion (after they disagreed about whether Jesus was Jewish; Charlie lost that one) and politics. But this year was the Great Election, as Charlie dubbed it, and he couldn’t resist questioning Maude when they returned home from the polling station. Listen in to the conversation!

Charlie, “Who did you vote for?”

Maude, “For that nice young woman we heard talk at the church bazaar last week.”

“Why the hell would you do that?”

“I really liked what she had to say, especially about the role of women.”

“That’s no reason to vote for her! Besides, you cancelled my vote!”

“How could I do that?”

“Everybody knows if a husband and his wife don’t vote the same, it cancels out their votes. It’s a proven fact!”

“That’s ridiculous!”

“No it’s not. It’s just another reason why women should vote the same as their husbands. It goes to show you that women shouldn’t mess with politics. It’s a man’s game.”

“Charlie Pierce, I can’t believe you just said that! Do you mean I don’t have the smarts to know about politics? And I’ll have you know I’ve probably voted for a different candidate many times. So there!”

“You see? That’s what I mean. It’s wives like you who don’t take their husband’s advice who end up causing the right party to lose the election!”

“Does Fred next door feel the same way you do? And exactly who is the right party?”

“He probably does, but Vera tells him what to do, so you can’t tell what he thinks, if he does at all. And the right party is the one I always inform you about.”

“This is getting us nowhere ,Charlie. I voted for the person I liked ,and I also like the party she represents. So let’s just leave it there.”

“Well ,I disagree and am very disappointed, but I can’t do anything about it now. We’ll just have to see who wins. Hopefully you didn’t cancel my vote!”

”Oh Charlie, sometimes…………….!”

MORE pages to follow: click the page numbers below!

The Aftermath

Hal Studholme is retired, edging onto 80 and, as he puts it, has no purpose in the universe so he writes the odd (in all senses) poem and stories about the YMCA or his odd friends. Strangely enough, he has been published a few times.
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