The Idea Fairy and I had just polished off an excellent plate of edibles when there was a knock at the door. It was Beelzebub. And Richard Nixon.
“How might we be of service?” ’Bub said suavely, flicking his sparking tail from side-to-side.
“I have no earthly, or unearthly idea,” I said, flinging open the windows to let the hydrogen sulfide fumes out. “There must be some mistake.”
“You seem to be having short-term memory problems, Buster,” he snapped. “We’re here because you summoned us.”
“The only thing I summoned recently was take-out from the Chinese place,” I shot back.
“Allow me to refresh your miserable excuse for a memory, dim sum for brains,” he said, whipping out a well-used, soot-covered smart phone.
“Last week you paid your taxes, right?”
“And you sent the IRS this check,” he went on, holding the phone about six inches from my nose.
Through the glass I made out the image of my check.
“That’s it,” I said. “Pay to the order of Uncle Sam, $666.66…”
“Exactly!” He said triumphantly. “The IRS recognized your cry for help and immediately forwarded it to us. We left for Earth as soon as it cleared the bank.”
“OK,” I said slowly, stalling for time. “I didn’t realize that writing a check for $666.66 could conjure you up. All that 666, sign-of-the-beast stuff, now I get it. But what about Nixon?”
“He’s what you get for the 66 cents,” ’Bub said. “So now that we’re here, what do you want us to do?”
“And it better be good,” Nixon added. “There’s a substantial penalty for false demon-conjuring.”
I realized I had to think fast. “Well, come to think of it, all the deplorable shit the Democrats have been doing lately — like the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, and the Green New Deal, and Reparations and so on — have been driving all my deplorable pals crazy. So they’ve been buying extra ammo and talking up secession. Have you guys got any ideas on how to make it happen?”
“Putin keeps asking us the same question,” ’Bub said.
“Secession is a terrible idea,” Nixon said emphatically. “It didn’t work in 1861, and it won’t work now. Anyway, why would patriotic Americans want to stamp out of the U.S.A. and turn it over to the slime-America-first crowd? Tell your pals to forget it.
“Anyway, I have a fiendishly clever alternative.”
He paused for effect.
“What do you have in mind?” I asked cautiously.
“Expulsion!” he exclaimed. “Instead of red states fighting to leave the USA, they should kick the blue states out of the Union and make them fight to get back in.”
“Wow, that’s really creative,” I said. “And it would be really cool to arrest someone besides a lot of poor Central Americans for trying to sneak into the country.”
“But wouldn’t we have to amend the Constitution in order to toss a state out of the Union,” I added.
“At first I thought so too,” the Tricky One said. “But then I realized there was a fiendishly clever way around that.”
He paused for effect again.
I looked at him quizzically.
“An interstate compact — just like the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact!” he thundered.
“But using an interstate compact to do an end run around the Constitution has got to be unconstitutional,” I stammered.
“Well you might think so and I might think so, but the Democrats don’t think so. They’re the ones who came up with the idea of using an interstate compact to do an end run around the Constitution and deep-six the Electoral College. That’s where the fiendish part comes in.
“And another thing,” he continued. “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says a state can’t be 86ed from the U.S.A. So you wouldn’t even be doing an end run around the Constitution.”
“But in 1861 we fought like hell to keep states in the Union,” I said.
“So now you can fight like hell to kick states out of the Union,” he said. “It’s 2019. Times change.”
“So how many states would have to sign on to the compact in order to expel a state,” I asked.
“This is America; majority rules, baby,” he said. “When 26 states join an expulsion compact, the expellees are out.”
“Who should be the first state to get the boot?” I asked.
“New York, of course,” he said.
“Why New York?”
“Because the two most despised politicians in the country come from New York,” he said. “Half the country hates Trump and the other half hates Ocasio-Cortez. So kicking New York out would be wildly popular, unite the American people and allow the country to start to heal. If you can make it happen in New York, you can make it happen anywhere.”
“So start spreading the word,” ’Bub said.
And in an ionized cloud of purple haze they were gone.
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