Saturday morning, they were at the park by seven, setting up the tables arrayed with water bottles and spread out pamphlets. Next to the tables, they piled up the signs. The rally was scheduled from ten to twelve, but Harriet and Jack arrived just after nine.
“I wanted to see if you needed any help,” said Harriet. “Looks like you’ve got everything in order though.”
“You mean that for once I look like I know what I’m doing.”
“I didn’t say that… but it’s essentially true.” She turned to his wife. “Good morning, Patience.”
“Good morning, Harriet. Your teeth look especially white this morning.”
Mike supposed that she had designed this complement for his daughter because Harriet was a dental hygienist in a dentist’s office, but then Harriet replied. “Thank you. I just had them whitened.”
By ten o’clock, there were at least fifty people. Not quite the crowd that Mike was hoping for, but better than nothing.
“You should give a speech, Mike,” said Patience.
He didn’t know about a speech, but he was prepared to make some remarks. Standing in front of a classroom full of kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, as had been determined in 2019 all children were born with, every day for the past twenty years; as well as speaking at conferences, assemblies, concerts, and sporting events had long ago driven away any fear of public speaking that he might have had. Pulling one of the ice chests out onto the grass, he stepped up onto it.
“Excuse me ladies and gentlemen. May I have your attention please?”
Almost all of those present turned to look at him.
“Three… two… one…” he said, clapping his hands together between each count in the old trick he used to bring his classes to order. The remaining crowd members turned.
“My name is Mike Smith. You may know me. I’ve lived here in Springdale for the past thirty three years and I taught geography right over there at Midland for twenty years. I’ve lived here on North Willow for the past twenty-seven years. I still live there with my wife Patience. That’s her right over there. As you may notice, she’s a robot.