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June 29, 2007

An Immigration Reconciliation, Courtesy of Baskin Robbins.

It's a Friday Night, which means that the future Mrs. Jack M., Fox News' Miss Suzanne Sena, and I like to drive into Old Town, Alexandria to indulge in the rich, flavory goodness that is a Baskin Robbins milkshake.

Scoff if you will, but it is the simple things in life that help keep our relationship strong. As such, I left my apartment in a phenomenally good mood. I put the top down on my car. Suzanne fiddled with the radio until she found a station playing Liza Minelli classics. (Such are the burdens I endure to bring happiness to my beloved Suzanne.) The stars were out shining in force, and it seemed like nothing could disturb the idyll of two young and crazy kids cementing their love over mint chocolate chip (Suzanne) and Reese'e peanut butter (Me) ice cream.

I was wrong though. Soon our picture perfect outing would be shattered. The dark side of the Senate's immigration debate would interject itself into our romantic outing. I was to come face to face with one of the shadow people.

All seemed normal as Suzanne and I entered the Baskin Robbins. Suzanne, of course, was dressed as you might expect: the living embodiment of the electric elegance she portrays every night on her 2:30 AM overnight cut in.

I, however, had made a fateful choice. In a flight of fancy, I dug deep into the wardrobe and resurrected a long lost "G.O.P" t-shirt which I had last worn while working on the Clinton Impeachment proceedings. To add insult to injury, I had also added a "U.S. Senate" baseball cap to my ensemble, a left over from my days of service in that body.

As Suzanne worked on deciding which of Baskin Robbins 31 tasty flavors to choose from, I felt a menacing presence. It was as if I was being watched. In fact, I was.

From behind the counter I noticed a 4' 11" dynamo of ice cream preparation. Her name tag read "Iris" and she handled the scoops with a deftness one would have expected could only come from a rhythmic gymnast. Or someone who had destroyed a pinata or two in her time. Or maybe both.

In any event, I noticed her glaring at me, spinning her scoops in her hands as if they were an extension of her own body. Her manner told me that she had hurt men before with these weapons of cold destruction. I began to flinch.

"Jack, I'm scared," I heard Sena whisper. "Maybe we should just leave."

"No, Suzanne. I promised you a milkshake, and a milkshake you shall get. I'll handle this."

I proceeded to the counter. Iris glared at me, her eyes scanning my shirt, and then my hat, and then my shirt again.

"Que?", she asked.

"I'd like a mint chocolate chip milkshake, and a Reese's peanut butter milkshake,please" I replied.

"Si", she answered. And yet she made no effort to move. She just stood there, twirling her twin scoops of steely death. In the background I heard a lonesome train whistle blow.

As the seconds turned to minutes, I began to believe that we might never get our icy beverages. In fact, I was already making plans to fall on the scoops so that the lovely future Mrs Jack M. could make a dash for safety and survival. Suddenly, Iris spoke.

"Gringo, why ees it you want to keep mi hermanos and hermanas een the shadows" she asked.

"Because Ice Cream melts in the sun", I said, trying to defuse the tension with a joke.

"Jack," Suzanne whispered, "this is no time to be smart. I don't want to have to report your death when I'm breaking into Red Eye at 2:28 AM!"

I heeded Miss Sena's words. She has never led me wrong before. "Iris," I explained "I don't want you to live in the shadows. I want you to come here legally. If so you are welcome. As are your hermanos and hermanas."

I sensed skepticism in her eyes, but noticed her grip on the scoops slackening.

"Look, Iris, lets not focus on that which divides us. Right now, lets focus on that which unites us. Like, for example, our love of ice cream."

"Si!" she replied.

Slowly she began to fill our order. First Suzanne's milkshake. Then mine.

As I attempted to pay for the milkshakes, Iris stopped me. "Before I can give you these milkshakes, gringo, I have to ask a question."

"Fine," I said, "fire away."

"Ees eet just me or ees Ron Paul a complete and total douchenozzle? And eef I can follow up, ees it that hees supporters are completely loco?"

"Iris," I replied, "if you ever need a sponsor for citizenship, you just call on me".

"Si, Meester Jack. I will. Amigo."

As I walked back to my car, milkshake in hand, Suzanne whispered in my ear, her brown eyes tearing over at the beauty of the cross-cultural exchange to which she had just witnessed. Until you've seen the streetlights reflect off the joyful tears of Miss Suzanne Sena, you haven't lived a full life, my friends.

And I have to admit. Even I got a little choked up. Who knew a trip to Baskin Robbins could be so satisfying?

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posted by Jack M. at 10:21 PM

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