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Barroom Politics This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

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“… the economy.”

“God, don't even get me started on the economy.”

“I'll tell you, these guys in Washington couldn't care less about us. It's not their money. We could be bought by China tomorrow for all they care. Wouldn't make a bit of a difference to them. They'd fly off on their private jets, off to their private islands, and live out their days in luxury. They're crooks, the whole lot of them.”

“And then there's the president.”

“Don't get me started on the president. No offense, Marv.”

“Why would I take offense? I didn't vote for him.”

“You didn't?”

“No … why would you think I voted for him?”

“Come on, Marv, don't make me say it.”

“Say what? Oh, don't tell me-”

“I'm not trying to offend you
or anything.”

“Well, it's a little late for that.”

“I didn't mean anything by it.”

“No, of course you didn't. So just because I'm black, that means I voted for Obama? I didn't know that was how it worked. Boy, you white guys must have had a real tough time voting in the past elections with two white people running. How'd you ever decide who to vote for?”

“Actually, I don't vote.”

“Of course you don't. Why would you? It's just our county's future. Ain't no biggy.”

“Look, Marv, you need to calm down. Have another drink.”

“Naw, I'm out of here. Bigots!”

“Must be his period or something.”

“I don't know, Mike. Even I thought that was insensitive.”

“Insensitive? How about you stop with the woman-talk, Leo. Anyway, I didn't mean anything by it. If you want to make something of it, we can settle this in the parking lot. Otherwise I suggest you chill out.”

“Calm down, Mike. No one wants to start anything with you. Maybe you should lay off the beer for a while.”

“Oh, you're one to talk.”

“Well, I'm not trying to start fights at least.”

“Could have fooled me the way you're running your mouth.”

“All right, let's cut this out. Go back to complaining about D.C. You're more pleasant to be around when you've got something to focus your aggression on.”

“I'm pretty sure I should be mad about something you just said, but I'm not entirely sure what and I'm a little too drunk to care.”

“Don't you think there's something sad about a group of middle-aged guys sitting around a bar on a Wednesday afternoon arguing about something none of them really care about?”

“It's all Washington's fault.”

“How do you figure?”

“They need to fix the job market. I should be working right now, but instead I'm sitting here drinking with you losers.”

“You could always go home to your wife and daughter.”

“You worry about your life, I'll worry about mine.”

“Sorry, and anyway, I don't see you coming up with any good ideas.”

“Ideas for what?”

“Ideas to fix the job market.”

“Why should I do that?”

“Somebody's got to.”

“That's their job. They can figure
it out.”

“Well, until someone figures it out, I suppose we'll be spending a lot more time at Puzzles.”

“What kind of a name is Puzzles for a bar anyway?”

“Beats me.”

“Doesn't really matter. The beer is good and it's right by my house.”

“Well, I'm sure the beer would be just as good anywhere.”

“Still, I'm used to it.”

“Yeah, me too.”

“Better enjoy it while it's here. Pretty soon Mr. President will find a way to ruin this too.”

“You think the president is going after small town bars all across the country?”

“Wouldn't surprise me. It's not like he's doing anything else.”

“Mike, I'd love to see you as ­president.”

“Let me tell you, things would be different.”

“How so?”

“Well, for starters I'd fix the ­economy.”

“How do you plan on doing that?”

“Don't worry about it. I'd figure something out.”

“Of course you would. Then what?”

“Then I'd end the war.”

“Sounds good. How?”

“I'll just pull the troops out.”

“Well, if it was that easy, don't you think someone would have done it?”

“Those morons? They have no idea what they are doing.”

“Of course they don't. All right, then what?”

“I'd set everybody up with jobs,
of course.”

“What kind of jobs?”

“Good ones. No one would have to worry about money.”

“Even as I ask this, I'm pretty sure I know what you are going to say, but how are you planning on doing that?”

“Well, I don't know off the top of my head! I'd figure something out.”

“Of course you would. Yep, you'd make a great president.”

“I'd vote for me.”

“I thought you didn't vote.”

“I'd make an exception just this once.”

“You know, you have to have a clean past to become president. They look into that stuff.”

“Yeah, so what?”

“You've had a few run-ins with
the law.”

“Nothing serious.”

“Yes, well, you've been arrested.”

“Those were just misunderstandings.”

“Assault, public drunkenness, I don't know how many DUIs. Where do the misunderstandings come in?”

“What are you, a cop?”

“No, I'm just saying. I don't know how many people would vote for somebody with as colorful a past as yours.”

“You're probably right. I probably wouldn't be elected because it seems like they only elect idiots anymore.”

“I wouldn't say that.”

“Oh no? Haven't you read the newspaper lately? Don't you know how much trouble our country is in?”

“Yeah, I know. Still, they can't all be stupid.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Well for starters, didn't most of them go to Ivy League schools?”

“Yeah, so what?”

“What college did you go to?”

“Things were different then. My girlfriend was pregnant; my dad kicked me out. I didn't have time for college.”

“I know, Mike, I know.”

“Why do you got to bring that up anyway?”

“I'm sorry, Mike. I don't know. I wasn't thinking, I guess.”

“Whatever. Even without college, I'd still be a great president.” Mike drained his sixth beer, knowing full well that it wouldn't be his last.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the May 2011 Teen Ink Fiction Contest.




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This article has 20 comments. Post your own now!

writer5 said...
Aug. 14 at 5:53 pm
This is really well done!  Even though it's just dialogue, you still kept my attention.  I also LOVED that How I Met Your Mother reference.
 
In_Love_with_Writing said...
Jan. 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm
This was absolutely phenomenal!!! Great job on it!! And check out some of my stories! Please rate them, subscribe, or comment if you can. It really means a lot and brings a smile to my face each time. Thank you so much!
 
wishingtheskywasbluerThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm
this is really different! i thought that the unexpected narration at the end  and the idea for this piece was great. 
 
DaisyAngel said...
Mar. 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm
I really enjoyed your use of dialogue as the sole focus in this piece. The only thing that I can think to change is the lack of indication as to whom is speaking. You are obviously doing something right, though, since this is in the magazine. Keep it up! I have also read some of your other pieces and liked them as well, just so you know. :)
 
Def_Leppard_fan120 said...
Dec. 28, 2011 at 10:33 pm
Check out my article called THE BATTLE by Def_Leopard_fan120 and leave a comment on what you thought about it
 
DarkMountain said...
Dec. 11, 2011 at 3:15 pm
Definitely captured that element of politics- it seems so easy until it's you making the hard decisions. Very well done! an easy 5 stars.
 
foreverme said...
Jun. 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm
I loved this! I thought it was very interesting, even though I don't care that much about politics. I could understand who was talking when, for the most part. I loved your style.
 
PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm
thank you im glad you liked it
 
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 18, 2011 at 9:36 am
This was kind of cool--definitely unique. I think you did a great job with it :)
 
PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm
thanks glad you liked it
 
Imaginedangerous This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm
That dialogue was great- and I didn't get confused at all about who was speaking when. The sudden narration at the end was a little awkward, though. Great job.
 
PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 8:41 pm
im glad that you liked it and im sorry that you didnt care for the narration
 
Fayrouz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm
LOVE the beginning. You have a talent with voice, and letting normal characters shine through as strong and down to earth. Definitely easy to read, but not an easy, light subject. This is terrific! Keep writing!
 
PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm
thank you i really appreciate it
 
Timekeeper This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 23, 2011 at 7:44 pm
I certainly wasn't expecting this-- it's really unique and told from a nice perspective. The only thing that bothered me was the sudden narration at the end and the misspelling of "college" as "collage".
 
PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm
oh well that is an unfortunate word to mispell isnt it?  i'm sorry about that i'm awful at catching spelling mistakes  (though i did use spell check so i'm not sure how that one slipped by)  thank you so much for taking the time to comment
 
youngpilot said...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm

like the other stories, this is a very interesting way of writing, telling the story strictly through dialogue:) im not big on politics, but do enjoy talking about them from some time to another. i do have one question though, how many people are speaking, because there are three names mentioned, though i assume that 'leo' is refering to a cop correct? its really cool the style that you have, and i would recomened continuing with it:)

 

 
PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 10:05 pm
thank you i appreciate it  the characters dont particurly matter in this story  there are three but one leaves early on leaving just mike and leo  leo is the more sensible of the two  i can see how this one might be harder to follow whose speaking
 
Alia_TanThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm

hey :) Hmmm, i think that this one there were a LOT of grammar mistakes!!I have to agree with youngpilot, it was also ocnfunsing who eactly was talking. I would sugest next time you put them in certain places like for example..

                  (bob talks here)

Mary talks here

         (Kate talks here)

this is just so that it would maks it ... (more »)

 
PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm
Thanks for the feedback  i agree that it might be difficult to tell whose talking in, but it's not particurly important to the story    i apologize for any grammer errors  i am terrible at catching them 
 
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