We hitched up the Airstream real early the next morning and hit the highway for San Bernardino. We were going at a pretty good clip, but traffic snagged all of a sudden about a mile from town. By the time we got about 50 yards from the city limits, I saw that San Bernardino was surrounded by an eight foot fence with razor wire and folks were being sent away by armed guards. *
“This don’t look good Son,” says Preacher Joe. “No man lookin’ for a government job should ever be turned away. You see Son, I been preachin’ the Gospel for a long time, and the way I see it we’re all just the childern of one big government. And if’n a government doesn’t act like a ma and pa to its people – or a ma and ma, or pa and pa, or whatever have you – then that’s just as shameful as a ma and pa not being there for their childern. So if’n a government ain’t listenin’ to every complaint the people make, and takin’ care of their every need, and maybe slappin’ ’em on the wrist when they’re bad, then that government just ain’t doin’ it’s job.”
Preacher Jo’s words will stay with me for the rest of my life, I tells you.
We finally reach the gate and a guard approaches the car. I tells him, “I’m a furloughed EPA code inspector and I came here lookin’ for a government job.”
“Ain’t no government jobs left Son. The Okies came and took ’em all, and they work for half price.”
Preacher Jo was right worked up. “Are you outta yer mind? What kind of ungodly devilment are you spoutin’? If’n a man comes to you lookin’ for a government job, it is your duty to find him one! Do people even read Scripture anymore?”
“Sorry, ain’t no government jobs left. Now turn around and get.”
Well after the talkin’ I got from Preacher Jo, I was fired up. We turned around and parked the Airstream on the other side of the road so as to block traffic from gettin’ out, and Preacher Jo does what xe does best. Xe started preachin’ the Gospel of Social Justice to the stranded government workers out on that highway, and xe hasn’t stopped since. Looks like we aren’t goin’ nowhere for a while.
*Note – There actually is a fence with razor wire around San Bernardino, but it’s not to keep people out. -Ed.