Art stood looking at Steve’s butt, which topped the edge of the dumpster. Steve looked to Art like a butt and a couple of legs. In Art’s opinion, Steve could sometimes be a yasshole, and not seeing the upper half of him eliminated that dumb hat. Art started thinking about the fact that Steve now looked complete with only half of him showing and his ass on top when Steve’s stupid red canvas fedora/fishing hat appeared next to his … upper end.
“Hey! Hold my hat!” Steve hollered.
Art reached up next to the yasshole and retrieved the hat, “Can ya git it?”
“Buncha paper in the way! Here! Take some!” The hat was replaced by a messy stack of forms.
“ … But I’m holdin’ yer hat!”
“Put it on and take the dang papers!”
Art jammed the idiot hat on over his blue baseball cap. He grabbed the paper stack.
Steve’s left leg kicked up as he reached deeper, “Crap! It’s busted!”
“Mebbe we can un-count it and sell it fer less?”
“Nope. Dang blender’s busted all ta hell.”
Art looked at the papers he held, “Can we sell these papers?”
He sat down on the concrete next to the dumpster behind the Tai Chinese Japanese Cuisine Palace and began to examine papers while Steve, folded nearly in half, hollered and thrashed around trying to extract himself from the dumpster. One of the papers said that Democrats were assholes and poverty levels in the United States had risen under Barak Obama. Steve screamed his name, but Art was deep in thought, wondering if those rising poverty levels had made Mr. Obama taller. While Steve continued to make a lotta noise, Art looked at another paper. This one said that wealth was distributed wrong and those asshole Republicans did it. As near as Art could figure, the papers all seemed to say that Democrats or Republicans were the reason he and Steve had to look in dumpsters for stuff to sell so they could get a baloney sandwich and some wine.
Steve sure was makin’ a lotta noise now, but Art spotted a different paper by a Libetunian guy who said that America oughtta stop screaming at itself and get stuff done about poor people. Mebbe this guy Johnson was talkin’ about him and Steve, and mebbe they could sell this paper, which didn’t seem to call anybody a yasshole, wanted to do things about stuff, and must be more valuable than the rest of the stack.
Steve had been banging on the inside of the dumpster really loudly, but had quieted down enough for Art to discuss his discoveries. Art got up and walked over to Steve’s legs, which also seemed to have quieted down from kicking the outside of the dumpster. He leaned back against a leg, which twitched a little.
“Hey, Steve! We could sell this paper that says Libertunians wanna work on stuff.”
“Oh, fer Pete’s sake, Steve! Come on outta there!”
Steve mmmmphfed again, so Art grabbed him by the belt they had found in a discarded shopping bag next to a sidewalk bench with almost nobody sitting on it and pulled him out. Steve flopped onto the ground.
“Dang, Steve – yer face looks a little blue.”
“Well, okay. You rest, and I’ll go get our boxes from Pastor Mike’s Mission Truck and Lunch Dispensary.”
Art headed out after tossing all the papers except the Libertunian one back into Steve’s fold-in-half dumpster. He came back ten minutes later wearing two hats with two Styrofoam-packed lunches, the Libertunian thingy, and an almost-full discarded bottle of wine he had found sitting on the ground next to an outdoor rack on the sidewalk after he had moved it a little, kinda like that almost-empty bench.
“Hey, Steve. Ya changed color from blue to red!”
Steve glared at Art. “You b-, ya b- … gimme my hat.”
“Oh yeah! Fergot I wuz wearin’ it!”
Lunch was an exercise in Art discussing Libertunianism and Steve being rude about everything, but Art didn’t mind much. He was too interested in assessing the value of the Liberts paper for sales value. Art noted that Steve turned purple at one point, so Art decided that blue Republicans and red Democrats and Steve’s face or something meant that Libertunians had to have a color too, and Art assigned them purple so they’d have their own color because they needed one on accounta they didn’t call other people assholes like bluepicans and redicrats did, and Steve had just turned purple which had given him the idea.
Most of Art’s logic seemed lost on Steve, but after they had relaxed for a day and Steve had convinced Art that the Libertarian
“Yer sayin’ it wrong.”
… papers probably couldn’t be sold, they discussed the concept with their local street intellectual, one Dewey Dwinkernon Delaware, who told them that the value of a politician who refrains from calling other people names and wants to work on things is quite high. Dewey approved the color Purple as a sign of Libertunianism and mentioned something about slavery, then told Art and Steve it was possible they could pull themselves out of poverty by advertising for the Libertarians
“That ain’t the way ya say it.”
… with political signs. Pulling out of poverty was so attractive to Steve that he began to tolerate Art almost as much as before the fold-in-half dumpster incident. He told Art that things were looking up, and Art checked the sky.
No funds were available for the new campaign, so Steve and Art liberated a few materials where they found them. Steve accidentally knocked over a wire newspaper stand getting out of a local hardware store with ten cans of purple paint stuffed under his shirt while Art stuffed big capital letter stencils under his shirt.
The noise from Steve’s accident gave Art some time, but it was nip-and-tuck. Art came out with enough stencil letters for their needs by grabbing a “Q” just before the hardware store manager came up and asked him if he needed any help sir.
Free of the store and in possession of materials, Steve and Art made up the stencil they’d use to re-purpose all the political signs in their downtown area. The finished stencil product would work, even though it had suffered from Art’s spelling ability and the urgency he had experienced getting that last letter:
Dewey told Steve and Art that the game was now afoot, and they both looked at their feet. Then the new Political Action Committee headed off into the late evening armed with purple paint cans and stencil, determined to end poverty and get some money.
There is more to the story that involves City Fathers, law enforcement, the fact that Art likes jail food (sort of,) and an actual encounter with the candidate who expresses his thanks even though his name is spelled … differently.
Stay tuned. Steve, Art, and Dewey will save America’s future.