“I will follow him, follow him, wherever he may go. There isn’t an ocean too deep, A mountain so high it can keep me away. I must follow him.”

— Peggy March

The alarm rings, and our hero — a person whose blind devotion to his political party is unwavering — gets out of bed, the smell of bacon frying and coffee percolating drawing his attention.

“Good morning, honey,” his wife says, with just a trace of hesitation in her voice.

“I don’t know that it’s a good morning,” our hero snaps. “I have not checked online to see if (the opposing political party) did anything stupid last night. I’m sure they did, but I’ll have to check with (bloviating radio commentator) to see. And, of course, tune in to (the only TV station he watches, one that slants all of its “news” coverage to the benefit of his party and the detriment of the “enemy”).

“OK, honey, you check on everything while I get the kids off to school,” his wife says. “There’s your favorite — a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich — on the table.”

“Good. Don’t forget to tell the kids they have that Young (political party) meeting tonight at James Elston’s house. I saw James yesterday, and he said he and other members of the party are going to talk about (the latest issues that are stirring up the party). It’s things our kids need to learn.”

“But honey, Susan has play rehearsal tonight, and Jet has lacrosse practice. They’ll have to leave early to get to that meeting on time. I don’t think —”

“It doesn’t really matter what you think,” our hero says, a little too harshly. “Those kids have been giving too much lip lately. It’s time they learned about the things that matter.”

Our hero watches (the only TV network he watches) to get the day’s latest headlines, then gets into his vehicle and heads to work. He listens to (his favorite partisan radio announcer on the only station he’ll listen to) and arrives at his business fully updated now on the party line as it applies to (issues that are important to the party).

“Good morning, Martha,” he says to his secretary. “Get me Jim Hutchinson on the phone. Patch him through and hold all my calls.”

“Yes, sir.”

The phone buzzes, and our hero’s friend Jim Hutchinson is on the phone.

“What’s up, Jim? Did you listen to (radio commentator) and watch (TV network) this morning?”

“I did, (hero), and it’s just a damned shame what the (opposition political party) is up to.”

“Yeah, (radio commentator) seems to think we’re headed toward some kind of civil war or at least a day of reckoning when people are going to have to choose sides. Says we can help by sending him a ‘donation’ that’ll help our cause. I’m having Martha draw up a check, and I’m gonna call a few more people and tell them to do the same. I’m sure you’re on board.”

“Oh, absolutely. No way in hell will we let those (opposite political party members) get away with what they’re doing.”

Over the course of the day, our hero calls in several employees to tell them they’re being laid off. He’s had to use a significant amount of operating capital, he explains, to support the (political party) in its fight against (the opposing political party).

“I’m sure you boys understand,” he says. “We all have to make sacrifices in a time of war.”

When our hero gets home, he calls his kids — Susan and Jet — into his den to discuss the Young (political party) meeting.

“It was OK,” Susan says tentatively. “I didn’t understand a lot of the words they were saying.”

“That’s OK, honey,” our hero says. “As long as you’re hearing them from the right kind of people.”

Jet, who’s grown sullen lately (“I’ll have to tend to that,” our hero decides), stuns his father by telling him he didn’t go to the Young (political party) meeting.

“Coach said if I missed any more practice, he was cutting me from the team,” the youngster says.

“We’ll see about that,” our hero bellows. “(The leader of our hero’s political party) says the time has come for us to choose sides. You’re no different, boy. You can tell your coach — no, I’ll tell him later myself — that your first priority is to adhere to the wishes of (political party leader). Now you get up to your room. No supper for you.”

Later, our hero’s wife asks across the room from her twin bed: “Don’t you think you were a little hard on Jet?” she asks, and her husband looks at her in disbelief.

“I go out and bust my hump every day, and this is what I come home to?” he bellows. “No, I was was not too hard on your precious baby. I just told him that we have had a way of life laid out for us by (political leader), and we have to stick to it, no matter what the circumstances. And it’s time you and your bratty kids got on board.

“I saw some of the stuff you’ve bought lately, stuff that (name of business owned by a member of the other political party) carries. I’ve told you I don’t want you shopping there, and I mean it.”

“But ...”

“Don’t you ‘but’ me, woman. (Leader of the political party) says when we support our enemies in any way, we are traitors to his cause. And you know he’s always right.”

With a satisfied smile on his face, our hero turns out the light in the bedroom and lies down, a satisfied look on his face.

“This was a perfect day,” he says and drifts off to sleep with visions of (political party leader) in his head.

Email Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com. Follow him on Twitter

@ABH Fletcher.

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