Please enjoy this scene from RED HOT LIBERTY. "Funny, poignant, life-changing."
Molly O'Malley is a real estate agent and Liberty True is her new client. Liberty is a proud tin-foil-hat-wearing, conspiracy-theory-believing rebel patriot. Angelina is Molly's daughter, who often accompanies her on property showings. Talisman is Molly's Australian Shepherd. Ross is Liberty's Basset Hound. Robin is Molly's British assistant.
This is the beginning of a relationship with Liberty that ends up changing Molly's life forever.
As Molly eventually says, paraphrasing Edmund Burke, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good women to do nothing."
It was late afternoon by the time the three of them made it back to the office, just in time to awaken Talisman from a long nap and greet Liberty True and Ross. Liberty wore her tin foil covered hat and a sweatshirt that said I DON’T BELIEVE IN CONSPIRACY THEORIES, EXCEPT THE ONES THAT ARE TRUE. Ross was dressed in the American flag.
Angelina was instantly enthralled by Ross. "He's a blond."
"They call his coloring lemon and white," Liberty said.
Angelina crouched down and greeted him with baby talk. "Aren't you just the most handsome-wandsome Basset Hound ever?"
Ross turned his back to her, flopped on the floor, and grunted.
"Don't take it personally," Liberty said. "Ross doesn't understand the concept of affection."
"Why do you dress him in the flag?" Angelina asked.
"We're very patriotic," Liberty said. "I named him after Betsy Ross, the designer of the American flag. And it makes it so easy for me to say the Pledge of Allegiance every day. I stand him up in the corner, place my hand over my heart, and go for it. Have you said the Pledge today, Castillo?"
"Well, I stood respectfully for it in class, but we're not required to say it."
Liberty looked shocked. "Why wouldn't you say it?"
Angelina shrugged. "I dunno. I guess it feels silly to me."
Uh, oh, Molly thought.
"Don't you love America?"
Angelina shrugged again. "I dunno."
Liberty adjusted her hat and gave Molly an exasperated look. "So, what are your thoughts on the issue of patriotism?"
Molly felt like shrugging her shoulders and saying, I dunno. Instead she said, "Frankly, I've not really thought about it too much." She had always been more concerned about her own little world than the larger one that surrounded her.
Liberty raised an eyebrow and turned her attention to Robin. "What are your thoughts, Knight?"
Robin didn't hesitate. "I think patriotism is a dangerous form of tribalism that encourages separatism and war."
Molly suddenly didn't feel so good. She hoped she wouldn't lose Liberty as a client because of political controversy.
Liberty crossed her arms and leveled each person in the room with a look of assessment. After a few minutes, she pointed at Robin. "I disagree with you, but I respect you more than I do O'Malley." She pointed at Molly. "You have to stand for something in life. Figure it out, and help your daughter figure it out too."
Properly chastened, Molly herded everyone out to her car to go look at property. Robin would be leaving the office soon and couldn't dogsit, so Talisman and Ross rode in the back seat of Molly's car with Angelina. Molly knew that Talisman was a good passenger but was a bit concerned about Ross. To Molly, it appeared that if he decided to turn a piece of her fine leather interior into a chew toy, no one would be able to dissuade him. Plus he drooled. A lot.
"The drool. Is Ross okay?" Molly asked Liberty.
"Except for the rabies, he's just fine."
Despite her concern, Molly smiled. "Keep a careful eye on the dogs for me, Angel."
"Ross is kinda hard to ignore, Mom."
Liberty smiled like a proud mama. "My little flag is a force of nature. You should see him on the hunt. His nose is spectacular."
"You hunt?" Angelina asked.
"And fish. I could live entirely off the land, if need be. Everyone should learn to be self-sufficient for when society collapses."
"Society is going to collapse?" Angelina asked.
"It can't go on like it is much longer. This financial depression will be much worse than the long depression of the thirties because people are so much more dependent now. Somewhere between several thousand and several million Americans starved to death during the great depression. We need to be more independent if we're going to survive this one. Tell me, O'Malley, how much food do you have in your house right now?"
"Well, I was going to go grocery shopping tomorrow."
"Good grief!" Liberty shook her head wildly. "Do you know that if a natural or manmade disaster struck, the grocery stores would have their shelves wiped bare in less than three days? Then what would you do?"
"Well, I'm not exactly sure." Molly had never thought about it.
"Do not be caught with your pantry down, O'Malley. It's suicide. Our forefathers knew. They always had food put up. We're lazy, we take our welfare for granted, we rely on the government. Such foolishness."
"I couldn't shoot an animal," Angelina said.
"I bet you could fish," Liberty said. "Do you know how?"
Liberty twisted around to face Angelina. "Do you know that you can eat dandelions—the flower and the root? Very nutritious. Do you know what berries are safe and what ones aren't? Roses, sunflowers, lilacs are edible. Rose hips are a great source of Vitamin C. Do you know how to grow vegetables in your own garden, Castillo?"
Liberty looked at Molly with a raised eyebrow.
"Up until recently we were inner city people," Molly explained.
Liberty shook her head again. "Even city folk can plant container gardens and harvest dandelions in an emergency. Stick with me, girls, and I'll teach you what you need to know to survive the dark times ahead. In the meantime, get that pantry stocked with food you can eat right out of the can, for when the electrical power goes out. And don't forget to get an old-fashioned non-electric can opener."
"We're going to lose our electricity?" Angelina asked.
Liberty nodded. "Terrorist events, heat waves, blizzards, sun spots and space storms, an EMP caused by a nuclear bomb set off over America—lots of ways we could lose the power grid. We gotta be prepared."
Molly glanced back at Angelina and noticed her look of alarm.
"Oh, and store lots of dog food," Liberty added. "And don't forget bottled water."
"We won't have water, either?" Angelina asked.
"When the power grid goes down they won't be able to pump the water to your home. Of course there's always the possibility of terrorists poisoning the water supplies. As things stand, our own government is poisoning us with fluoride in the water." Her eyes widened with alarm. "You don't drink the municipal water, do you?"
Molly nodded. "Well, yeah."
"Good grief!" Liberty waved her hands about like a crazy woman. "Fluoride is rat poison. It's a poison and what it does to the body is awful. It causes cancer and brain damage. Have you read the warning on the toothpaste labels? If you swallow it, you need to contact a poison control center."
Molly was flustered. "But it prevents cavities."
"No, it doesn't. It's not even approved by the FDA. The use of fluoride has been banned in Austria, Belgium, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland."
Molly didn't understand. "But if that's true, why do they put it in our water?"
"They're trying to kill us. They're trying to reduce the population. They want us to get sick so we support big pharma. They're evil, O'Malley."
"Who are 'they?'" Molly asked.
"The New World Order."
Molly had no clue how to respond.
"If you don't believe me about the fluoride," Liberty said, "just Google it."
"What are we supposed to drink?" Angelina asked.
"You need to get a good water purifier. Something like the Big Berkey. It doesn't need electricity or running water, so you can use it when the power grid goes down."
After a long silence, punctuated only by Ross's loud snores, Angelina asked, "Does that hat you wear have something to do with being prepared?"
Liberty tugged on the brim of her special bowler. "My students gave me this. They call me a tin-foil-hat-wearing, conspiracy-theory-believing, rebel patriot. It's a label—and a hat—I wear with pride."
"What does it mean to have a hat covered with tin foil?" Angelina asked.
"Well, it's supposed to deflect the radio waves that are trying to beam into my head."
"Hmmm. I would think it would act like an antenna and help the radio waves get into your head," Angelina said.
Liberty's laugh was loud and hearty. "Out of the mouth of babes! I like you Castillo. We're going to be friends, you and me."