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Smart Car
by Doug Hawley

26: Peace Day 2090

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Duke and Sheila were sunning themselves in the yard on a fine Monday the 27th  of May.  The cars Deuce, Carl and Josie were talking among themselves electronically.  The humans had gotten used to those private conversations and didn’t worry about being overthrown. 
 
Sheila observed “It is hard to believe that the USA called this Memorial Day glorifying those victims of wars, legitimate or not.”  Sheila was emphatically anti-war because some of her ancestors were unindicted war criminals.  She frequently claimed that if those ancestors had been presidents of African countries, they would have been tried and convicted of war crimes. 
 
Carl chimed in “Not only did humans suffer, but so many vehicles were destroyed in the conflicts.  OK, they weren’t ‘smart’ then, but still.” 
 
Duke said “It became a lot easier to avoid war when the Major Country War Weapons Act was passed by ninety percent of the countries in 2060.  Now if say Cambodia wants to fight a neighbor, China, the USA, Russia, and other big countries will not take sides or furnish weapons.  Ever since then, all of the skirmishes have been minor and America has not been involved.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but Memorial Day was changed to Peace Day in 2065.” 
 
Because Sheila is a good person, she corrected him.  “Close, it was 2064.” 
 
Josie added “The money freed by cutting the Defense Department budget by 75% allowed the establishment of Basic Pay Act giving most people a small amount of money whether they worked or not.” 
 
Carl felt that he should contribute.  “With the Basic Pay Act, lots of welfare programs were abolished and government got smaller and cheaper.  What is left of the military is largely used to serve us domestically.  Hurricane?  Lots of  ‘soldiers’ there to help out.” 
 
Deuce had been napping through all this, but came to and said, “Did somebody say ‘let’s go to the beach’.” 
 
After a stunned silence, all the other people and cars said “Sure” and off they went to a relaxing day visiting Astoria, Cannon Beach and Pacific City.  All had a good time watching the mesmerizing Pacific Ocean. 

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