North Dakota Carrot Days are coming
“We’ve got to have a community event this summer,” insisted Little Jimmy, addressing the town’s restless 14 electors gathered in the community hall for the 35th special meeting of the Homeland Security Committee, Chairperson Ork Dorken presiding. “Every respectable town in North Dakota has some kind of day.”
“Good grief! It’s August; summer is over,” snapped Madeleine Morgan, known asMontana Moll in Billings before moving to North Dakota. “It’s too late unless we plan sled races.”
“We could have our day in September or October,” Jimmy retorted.
“What would we do? Our community day would probably last 10 minutes,” Johann Kerianski observed cynically. “We’d say the Pledge of Allegiance, read a telegram from the governor, have that Legion guy from Oakville play taps, and closesinging ‘Happy Days Aren’t Here Again.'”
“This is hardly a job for the Homeland Security Committee,” Chief Security Officer Garvey Erfald pointed out. “Where is Mayor Mort and our town government?”
“He’s got his hands full running the city with nobody willing to be on the town board,” Madeleine explained.
“Is it legal for only one person to be the whole town board?” asked Holger Danske. “Laws don’t apply to small towns,” Madeleine responded. “Anything is legal as long as nobody asks. Small townshad ‘don’t ask; don’t tell’ long before the Army thought of it.”
“Let’s get back to the subject,” Ork ordered, tapping his Coke bottle lightly on the table.
“We used to have Old Settlers Days,” Einar Torvald noted sadly, “but we ran out of old settlers.”
“Small towns all over North Dakota celebrate a day in summer,” Little Jimmy persisted. “Taylor has a horsefest. Churches Ferry has vegetable week. Rutland has Uffda Days. Towns that aren’t even towns have days. We’ve got to get with it or fold up.”
“Those Churches Ferry garden days sound good to me,” Holger observed. “Everybody raises vegetables. Frankly, I’d like to show off my carrots.”
“Me, too!!” Orville Jordan, the retired depot agent, exclaimed. “That’s a great idea. Let’s do it. I bet no town has a carrot day.”
“Great!” Jimmy said excitedly. “We can have a carrot competition for the whole state. We’ll call it thethethe International Carrot Exposition of North America with all kinds of carrot contests biggest carrots, tastiest carrots, longest carrots -and then we can use the carrot entries to make gallons of carrot soup and serve it with creamed carrot sandwiches for supper, with carrot juice for drinks. Wow! We’ll be the carrot capital of the world. Maybe Chuck Suchy could even write us a carrot song.”
Einar’s heart raced. He jumped out of the only stuffed chair in the hall.”Let’s do that,” he half-shouted, his voice bouncing off the decorative antique metal that adorned the walls.”
I’m going home right now to put Miracle-Gro on my carrots,” Holger announced as he rose from his chair.
That started a mini-stampede. Everyone dashed for the door to launch a new level of competitive carrot husbandry.
“This whole carrot thing sounds crazy,” Dolly Dorken whispered to Gladys Erfald as they shuffled toward the door. “But it could be worse, you know. Somebody could have suggestedrutabagas!”
Omdahl is a UND professor emeritus in political science and a former lieutenant governor of North Dakota.
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