Election gives Homeland Committee new dreams
“I hope we’re not here for some sort of political wake,” declared Madeleine Morgan as she burst into the room for another meeting of the Homeland Security Committee.
Even though sunshine poured in through the south windows, the cavernous Bohemian Lodge Hall was freezing, guaranteeing a quick meeting.
“This is a transition meeting,” announced Chairperson Ork Dorken as he banged his old Coke bottle on the wobbly table in front of him. “We need to figure out if we can get anything from the new administration in Washington.”
“I didn’t vote so I shouldn’t have to sit through this meeting,” confessed Einar Stamstead, half rising from his chair.
“We are all in the same boat whether we voted or not,” Madeleine lectured. She became quite civic-minded as a candidate for the legislature. Even though she lost, she decided to continue her campaign indefinitely.
“The new administration is going to be terrific for homeland security committees across America,” Chief Security Officer Garvey Erfald predicted. He was just thrilled to his toes over the election even though he had gout.
“Security will be a big thing and we are likely to get federal money,” he prophesized. ‘Maybe we could get weapons, maybe even a Sherman tank.”
“Haven’t you heard about trickle down politics?” Old Sievert barked from the only stuffed chair in the room.” By the time the big pigs divide the pearls, there won’t be any to cast our way.”
“I’m waiting for them to change Social Security so we can invest the money ourselves,” Josh Dvorchak hoped. “I’m going to invest in a new car.”
“How are you going to live without Social Security?” asked Little Jimmy who was now majoring in economics online as his ninth try for a college major. He was the only person in town who knew what “online” meant. Orville Jordan, the retired railroad depot agent, thought it was taking courses by telegraph.
“I’ll file for food stamps and fuel assistance,” Josh figured.
“Maybe they’ll abolish food stamps and fuel assistance,” Madeleine cautioned.
“That would be for the common good,” Einar Torvald observed as he pulled up the collar on his sheepskin coat.
Einar didn’t need food stamps. He would have to live to 140 to eat the 437 quarts of pickles he had accumulated over the last 17 years. And there would be more to can next summer.
“The business of this meeting is security,” Garvey asserted. “Let’s get back on subject. The first thing terrorists will attack is our infrastructure.”
“I didn’t know towns our size had infrastructure,” Dorsey Crank wondered aloud. “Where’s our infrastructure?”
“We got the foot bridge across Danske’s ditch to get to the town well,” Josh noted.
“But nobody has used the town well since rural water came 30 years ago,” protested Orville.
“The government won’t know that,” Garvey replied. “We’ll get the money and decide later how to spend it.”
“That doesn’t sound ethical to me,” moralized Madeleine.
“What does ethical have to do with it?” queried Garvey. “This is the government we’re dealing with.”
“No, but it’ll be us who do the cheating,” Madeleine retorted. ‘Besides, what if they catch us?”
“The fear of getting caught keeps more people ethical than anything Jesus ever said,” Holger observed cynically. He wasn’t exactly an atheist because at his age he couldn’t afford to take the chance.
“I move that Chairman Ork name a committee to find ethical security projects,” Madeleine suggested. “It’s too cold to do details today.”
Without so much as a second, the electors pulled themselves together and headed out into the cold north wind. Garvey would have to wait to apply for his Sherman tank.
Omdahl is a former lieutenant governor and former political science professor at UND.
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