The Hundredth Meridian

Government by the People

Héctor Villa was, by nature, a patient, long-suffering man.  Even so, he arrived home in a cross mood that evening, at the end of an unusually frustrating day.  First, there had been the traffic ticket; next, his unproductive meeting with Mrs. Ahmadinejihad.  Finally, he’d been unable to meet with the school principal, after waiting for better than an hour for him to be through with what his secretary described, in an awed voice, as a meeting with the football coach and the head cheerleader.  When, at last, the principal emerged from his office, he and the secretary had held a rapid conversation in whispers, ending with the principal striding off without a word to Héctor.  He had, the secretary explained, a seminar on educational democracy to attend at the Valencia Branch of UNM.

“Panchito, what is the matter?” AveMaría exclaimed when she saw him.  “That creature in demonia’s form agreed to give Contracep a B at least, didn’t she?”

Héctor waved her off impatiently on his way to the fridge for a beer.

“I’ll tell you about all that in a minute,” he said.  “I got a fifty-dollar ticket on the Jarales Road this afternoon driving over to the school.”

“A ticket?  Driving my car?  What for, I’d like to know?”

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