Short Story

Smart Car 21

Heroes Day

Sheila, Duke and their cars Carl/a, Josie and Deuce gathered outdoors in the yard of their house in Lake Grove, Oregon to celebrate Heroes Day 2091, the descendant of and President’s Day.

An atypically happy Duke noted “What a fine day for the first Monday in February.”

Sheila smiled and responded “Cold but sunny. Will you read the bio of this year’s designated hero?”

Duke’s car Carl/a and Sheila’s car Josie weren’t interested and so drove off for some alone together time. Deuce didn’t have anything else to do, so he stayed to hear the story.

“OK, this year’s hero is unlike the others. Of course, most US presidents have been disqualified by being slave holders or some other unacceptable behavior. Stephanie A. Clifford, professionally known as Stormy Daniels is the first former president to be honored in many years. There have only been one or two others since Heroes Day became a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in February. We had the doctor Jenkins who found a genetic way to prevent most cancers and the billionaire Eugene Springfield who perfected the Mind Phone ™, but politicians aren’t that big a deal anymore. A car, a 2078 Ford named Fred, won in 2080 when it detected a crack in a bridge that humans hadn’t noticed and blocked traffic from crossing before the bridge’s collapse. What do you think of that, Deuce?”

“Makes me proud to be a vehicular American.”

“Sorry, I got way off track there, but I studied Heroes Day and like to show off my knowledge. Stormy Daniels was born in 1979 and worked in pornographic films. Most of the USA became aware of her when she exposed Donald Trump as someone who paid for sex with her when he was married. After that scandal which hurt Trump’s reputation, but not hers, she went back to her trade, but was back in the news when her lawyer was accused of stealing from her. At the end of her acting career, she transitioned into producing and directing her movies. She followed that with acting, directing and producing mainstream films. Outside of cinema, she became a social gadfly arguing for equal rights, particularly for sex workers. Her social conscience extended to bankrolling a company to provide clean power.  Her popularity led to millions following her podcasts and columns syndicated in leading newspapers.”

“When Trump Jr. decided to run for president in 2040 she knew that she had to run against him. The electorate had never been as polarized. Voters went with who they hated the least. The Trump hatred turned out the be the larger of the two. She easily got a second term in 2044.”

“She is the third most popular president of this century so far. Under her leadership the bias against sex workers decreased significantly. Trading massive military cuts and the elimination of overlapping welfare programs for a universal basic income made a lot of people happy while simplifying government. Eighty percent of the country approved of her family planning for all. She sold congress on a one-page income tax form, making the whole country, except accountants, pleased.”

“She died in 2073 and was grieved by millions.” 

“What do you think of her Deuce?”

“Her energy program allowed me to receive nonpolluting alternate energy which is both convenient and inexpensive instead of my gas engine, so I’m a big fan.”

Carl and Josie returned in time to see the holiday light show and to join Deuce to entertain the humans with rock hits from the last century starting with a Steppenwolf medley – Born To Be Wild / Magic Carpet Ride / Rock Me / Berry Rides Again. All the cars in the neighborhood joined in, but the humans knew better than to compete with the cars.