“Summer still isn’t here yet,” I said to Camp, taking off my windbreaker.
“It was warmer a month ago,” Campbell, as he refers to himself, agreed with a sigh. “It’s the end of the month, the kids are out of school and I’m starting to see a few tourists in the book shop. It can only get better,” he added, while a new waitress asked us politely what we would like to drink.
“The usual, I mean two pints, one ale, one lager please,” Camp said.
“Where is Vicky?” I asked.
“She’s off on holidays with her boyfriend. Winnipeg I think. By the way my name is Rose or Rosie to my friends.”
“A proper Irish name,” Camp said.
“Yes, my mom is Irish. Immigrated to the Kootenays in the seventies.
“The good old days,” Camp said, “when life seemed somewhat simpler or we were just more ignorant and less informed and distracted by all this electronic information and propaganda.”
“Or time plays tricks with the memory,” Rosie said. “My mom said that money was scarce but people looked out for each other. I remember lots of potlucks and neighborhood parties. Now it’s everybody for themselves and money is still scarce. Two pints coming right up.”
“She has a point,” I said. “We are much more focused on individuals than on the community.”
“Speak for yourself,” Camp retorted. “I’m trying to do my part at the town hall. We have a recreation center, parks – even for dogs – soccer fields, indoor swimming pools and ice rinks, mountain bike and walking trails.”
“How about the German loss last night? An epic defeat and the whole of Germany is in mourning,” I said.
“It’s the one big surprise so far. South Korea beating the mighty Germans. Unheard of. But that’s what I like about the game. You just never know. Plenty of drama and excitement and it’s all unedited, uninterrupted live broadcasts. No fake news there.”
We both took a sip from our cold drinks and contemplated the universe.
“What about those primaries in the US and Judge Kennedy resigning from the Supreme Court. Now Trump can really put his stamp on the future. Probably re-open Roe vs. Wade for starters.”
“Maybe he’ll appoint his sister. She’s a judge.”
“Yeah, but maybe too old and not as radical as he would like.”
“You know Camp,” I said, “maybe we’re doing this all wrong. We’ve all fallen into the Trump trap. Exactly what he wanted. It doesn’t matter what he says or does, how much he lies and cheats, we lap it up like free beer. Instead we should all just ignore him and focus on the real important things in life, like healthcare, education, the environment, energy and helping each other out.”
“You’re such a romantic,” Camp laughed, “how can you ignore the elephant in the room?”
“I think we should just close the door on the room and concentrate on the rest of the big house we all live in,” I said. “Trumpism isn’t a way of life, it’s an aberration like Nazism or Communism.”
“Dream on my friend,” Camp said. “People seem to want a strong leader, not a philosophy. They want somebody who articulates all the things they dare not say themselves, somebody they can identify with and somebody that blames everybody else but themselves.”
“Somebody as ignorant, as biased, as prejudiced, as uncouth and as bigoted as you know who?”
“I’m afraid so. It’s starting to look like a civil a war. The people are so divided and the Democrats so disarrayed that they are starting to attack people personally. It’s not what will inspire anyone to change their minds. We need to completely shift focus away from personality to policy,” Camp said. “Alone we will fail, together we may yet prevail.”
“Sounds like you two guys are sorting out the world,” Rosie said, “sounds like my mom’s friends.”
“What we need is more pot-lucks and neighborhood parties,” Camp said.
“That’s a good idea,” I said, “These days people will think it’s a pot party and to bring your own luck.”
“We used to have a dog named Lucky. He had one leg and one eye missing and one lame ear,” Rosie said. We both looked at her not knowing if to laugh or to cry. “And what you two really seem to need right now is a refill.” In perfect synchronicity we passed Rosie our two empty mugs.