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The USA: One Flag/One Language
Short yarn in 500 words by Bill Russo
The following tale is a challenge to myself to write a short story of 500 words or less. It finished itself at about 600 words, so i guess I will soon try an edit and shave off about a hundred words. In the meantime here's my take on "America for Americans"
An office building in a major city
This is the story of a man who has lost faith in his country – the United States. He is certain that the republic is in imminent danger of crumbling into a random collection of weak city-states that will be ripe for picking by any one of a dozen hostile insurgent nations.
He sits in the cafeteria of his office building in the early morning before work. A cup of coffee is placed before him, along with a plate of eggs, ham, and beans, and a side of fruit salad.
Across the table is his friend James also being served breakfast by a plump Hispanic woman.
“Thank you Juanita. My ham and eggs look perfect. Tell the cook, he’s doing a great job.”
Juanita smiled and busily hustled off to serve her next table in the crowded dining hall.
“Jimmy, why do you even talk to them?”
“What do you mean Bobby? Talk to who?”
“That waitress. That’s who - and all of her kind. You know they are taking jobs away from real Americans.”
“Bob. She’s been bringing you your food every day now for over three years and you obviously like the food, but never once have even said good morning to her. What is your problem?”
“America should be for Americans. If you come here speak English. Also don’t go around talking about your old country and don’t go sporting any foreign flags and don’t be sending any American dollars to any overseas locations.
“I am glad I am almost out of it,” he continued. “I will be retiring in six months. But you still have ten more years to work. The way things are going this country might not even last another decade.
“I go into my office and I hear every damn language except the Mother tongue. Try to find somebody who speaks English!,” Bob continued his rant. “Over in one corner it’s Spanish, in another it’s Italian, or Ukraine, or German or I don’t know what! I am sick of it. This is America.”
“English is a very difficult language to understand Bob,” Jimmy said. "People have a very hard time when they first get here, but they will learn it eventually.”
“No they won’t Jimmy! Besides, I am pretty sure that most of them are spies for their own country. They are infiltrating us and they are going to try to take over from the inside out.”
Starting the Work Day
A short time later, Bob was getting settled into his office on the fifth floor. His assistant, a Harvard educated young man named Bradley Standish, brought him a cup of coffee and a list of the day’s appointments.
“Brad. Set the coffee down and then get down to the supply office and get me a new appointment calendar. I ruined mine just before I left last night. I spilled coffee all over it.”
“Yes Mr. Carver, I will be right back with the new calendar.”
But he didn’t come right back. More than 30 minutes elapsed before he finally returned.”
“Boss, I am sorry it took me so long. The head of the supply office is out sick today and the fill in clerk is a foreigner. He couldn’t speak English! I finally had to climb over the counter and get the bloody thing myself!”
“It’s not your fault Brad. It’s the damn foreigners and their impossible languages. You mark my words. If this mess keeps up, the United States will be out of business in just a few more years.”
Bradley opened the new desk calendar for the boss and peeled away a fairly large bundle of pages until he got to the current date - July 26, 1923