Carvin and Marvin Flanders lived together—they had no choice. As conjoined twins, they were two heads who shared the same body. They shared the same heart, the same torso, the same ass, the same penis.
What they didn’t share were any opinions. They couldn’t even toast a slice of bread without a vicious political argument breaking out.
Carvin and Marvin were the only children of Vin and Tootie Flanders of Butterfield, MO, a small town in the Ozarks which was geographically smack-dab in the middle of the USA. After their parents perished in a tragic fiery car crash en route to a Yakov Smirnoff show in the nearby town of Branson, the twins inherited their progenitors’ humble wooden one-bedroom cottage and proceeded to endlessly antagonize one another for their political beliefs. Their cramped and dusty living room featured two TV sets placed in opposite corners—one was always tuned to Fox News (which Carvin watched), the other on MSNBC (which Marvin watched).
Carvin defined himself as a conservative and voted for Donald Trump. Marvin was a proud progressive who voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries and then, grudgingly, for Hillary Clinton in the general election.
Carvin was an American patriot; Marvin thought America was the source of all the world’s evil.
Carvin felt emasculated accepting government disability checks because of their condition. Marvin felt perfectly entitled to the payouts.
Carvin was an individualist whose unique torture was being forced to live next to another head on the same body. Marvin was a collectivist who ironically couldn’t even get along with the head right next to his.
Carvin hated that people called them “Siamese Twins” because he wasn’t fond of Asians. Marvin hated it because he thought “Siamese Twins” was a racist term.
Both were convinced beyond one shred of moral doubt that they were right—that they represented good and their twin brother represented evil. They never wanted to discuss things; they only wanted to prove the other one was a bad person.
They would often go weeks without speaking to one another and frequently blocked one another on Facebook.
But when they did speak to one another, it was never pleasant.
One lonely Saturday night after they’d ordered a Domino’s Pizza, yet another fight erupted. Carvin tipped the delivery boy only $2; disgusted at his brother’s stinginess, Marvin tossed an additional five-dollar bill at the boy.
“Why the fuck did you do that?” Carvin agitatedly asked Marvin.
“Because he’s a worker, and it’s almost impossible for workers to get by in Donald Trump’s America,” Marvin solemnly replied.
“If all that idiot can do is deliver pizzas, he’s lucky he has any job.”
“I’m so glad that people like y0u are dying out.”
“Sorry to melt your snowflake with a blowtorch, but it’s people like you who don’t breed. You’ll die out long before we will.”
“You’re a fucking sellout to the corporations.”
“You’re a slave to the nanny state.”
“You’re a brainwashed sociopath.”
“You’re a brainwashed zombie clone.”
“Go blow the Koch Brothers.”
“Go give a foot rub to George Soros.”
“Your side only wants the rich to succeed!”
“Rrrright. That must be why all the globalist bankers support your side!”
“You’re a fucking sick fascist!”
“You’re a fucking perverted communist, and they killed TEN TIMES more people than fascists did, but you’ll never hear your fake news media mention that fact!”
“Fake news? Oh my God, YOU guys are the ones with the fake news!”
“No, it’s your side!”
“No, it’s YOUR side!”
“Sure, go drink the Kool-Aid.”
“I will, the minute you take off your tinfoil hat.”
Then came a brooding silence, interrupted only by the sound of the angry twins munching on their pizza.
Outside their shack, crickets chirped and dogs barked. Trees grew and brooks babbled. Fast-moving clouds obscured the moon and then cleared again. The night air grew colder but would warm up once the sun rose in the morning. Out there in nature, no creatures ever argued about politics. That’s because nature has no ideology. It simply is.
Picking bits of pizza crust from his teeth with his fingernail, Carvin glowered at his brother. “Why are you so stupid?”
“You should look in the mirror and ask that question again,” Marvin replied with supreme satisfaction.
“You operate purely on emotion and not facts,” Carvin said accusingly.
“No, you operate purely on hatred and not facts,” Marvin countered.
It was getting late, and they were both full and tired. They got up from the kitchen table, went into the bathroom, and disrobed. It was time to shower and go to bed.
Carvin’s brain controlled their right hand, while Marvin’s controlled their left hand. By agreement, they would take turns masturbating, and tonight it was Marvin’s turn to jack off their shared penis using their left hand. They still had two brains and were still free to fantasize individually. Tonight Carvin imagined he was impregnating a forty-foot-tall Ivanka Trump, while Marvin pumped furiously to thoughts of Katy Perry verbally abusing him. Together they spilled their genetic slop and washed it down the shower drain.
Together they crawled into bed, turned their heads away from one another, and began snoring. Another sad day had passed with them convinced they were polar opposites, savagely unaware that they couldn’t possibly be more alike.