Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Manchin and Sinema go on a date…

“Table for two free-thinking patriots, please,” said the genial owl-faced Senator from West by-God Virginia.

“Right away, Senator Manchin. Here’s a lovely table right here…”

“It’s OK, but it’s a little too much in the center. What about that nice two-top over on the right? We don’t want to draw too much attention to ourselves, right Kyrsten?”

“Yeah. We HATE attention, Joe” (maniacal laughter from both)

“Jeepers, Kyrsten, you sure look nice tonight. I love the colors in that, er, dress?”

“Thanks, Joe. It’s from Anthropologie. People have this, like, obsession with my clothes and, honestly, I’m so much more than that. My shoes are ah-mazing, too.”

“I hear ya. Whenever I go home, people always wanna talk about my yacht and my Maserati like those are bad things. Ha! Liberals. What’re ya gonna do? Can’t live with ‘em, can’t put a burlap sack over their heads and toss ‘em in the trunk of your car when they start whining, right?”

“You said it, Joe. I mean what part of “Just because I’m a Democrat it doesn’t mean I’m going to actually support any of the party’s core values and legislation” do they not get?”

“Exactly, Kyrsten. It’s like we have the same brain. Wait. That would mean we each have half a brain. Ha! Anyway, take this whole Build Back Better business. I mean, a child tax credit? In West Virginia, we call that by its rightful name: socialism.”

“True. It’s not like those displaced coal workers need to be having more children anyway.”

“Look, we need to just offer those poor folks our thoughts and prayers. Not free community college or universal pre-K whatever the hell that is. Universal? Does that mean like for Martians and stuff?”

“I know! Why can’t they see we’ll never get anything done if we can’t reach across the aisle and give the Republicans every single thing they want? And another thing, where is it written that it’s our job to preserve democracy?”

(Waiter: “I’m going to say the …Constitution?)

“Oh, never mind him. You know, Kyrsten, some people say you and I are the most important people in the entire country right now.”

“Feels good, Joe. Feels real good. Biden’s calling me 12 times a day and I’m thinking of blocking him. He’s all voting rights this and filibuster that and I’m like, honestly, you are sooooo needy. He’s like the worst Hinge date ever.”

“Hahahahahahaha! Next thing you know, he’ll be outside your window holding a boom box in the rain!”

“Schumer did that already. Kinda creepy.”

“Look, all I’m saying is it’s nice to finally be courted a little. And, let’s face it. Even I was surprised at how good my approval ratings are doing. I mean I represent the sixth poorest state in the country and I’m on TV every day saying how much I want to take that extra $300 from families. Why? Because they might not go back to work when you got that kinda money rolling in. And they still love me! I swear you can’t beat a state full of folks who consistently vote against their own best interests.”

“Joe, you’re living the dream! I’m not nearly as lucky as you. My approval ratings among Arizona voters are tanking. They’re already talking about primary-ing me in 2024 with a “real Democrat,” whatever THAT is.”

“Look, you will never go wrong if you just listen to your conscience and always do the right thing for all the people of your state.”

(long pause then spit-take laughter from both)

“You folks ready to order?”

“Sure. Ladies first!”

“Welllllll. I’ve been dreaming about that filet mignon all day long so….I’ll have the vegan risotto instead.”

“Same for me. But don’t tell ‘em back home. They’d never understand.”

Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Write to her at [email protected].

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