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Homeland committee takes on pandemonium

By Lloyd Omdahl - | Oct 3, 2020

Chairperson Ork Dorken hadn’t even rapped his Coke bottle on the table when Old Sievert burst into the community ZCBJ hall to join the town’s 13 other electors for a meeting of the Community Homeland Committee.

Pulling his mask down below his chin, he cursed in a string of 4-letter words that no family newspaper would print.

“I’ve had it with this dang pandemonium,” he barked.

“Pandemic! Pandemic!” Chief Security Officer Garvey Erfald corrected. “Pandemonium is confusion where nobody knows what’s going on.”

“That’s what I mean, pandemonium,” Old Sievert insisted. “Everybody and his dog is in the fight and nobody knows what’s going on with the president telling the governor who is telling the mayors all sorts of contrary things.”

“Well, the state health men knew, but they kept quitting because nobody was listening to them, mostly the governor,” Sievert continued.

“We ran out of state health men and we’re leading the country in pandemic without professional advice which we weren’t taking anyway. It’s a real pandemonium. “

“You’re right, Sievert,” Holger Danske affirmed. “Nobody to give us advice and here we are all meeting like we shouldn’t with the pandemic behind every door.”

“Next time, let’s meet by Zoom,” proposed Little Jimmy who had the only computer in town.

“What’s Zoom?” asked Josh Dvorchak.

“Some guy over at the Empty Keg in Cooterville told me that Zoom was a new pill for diarrhea,” reported Holger. Holger did his best to keep the keg empty.

“To do this zooming we would all need computers to watch at home,” Little Jimmy explained.

“Who’s got computers ‘sides you?” Holger probed. “Maybe we could all come over to your place and watch on your computer.”

Little Jimmy smiled.

“The idea of zooming is so we can avoid meetings so everybody coming over to my place wouldn’t help much.”

Chairperson Ork broke into the conversation. “You should know that the mayor said he doesn’t want to see meetings of more than 20 people in his jurisdiction.”

“He needn’t worry,” Old Sievert noted. “The town census hasn’t been over 17 for 30 years and that was the time we had our own census taker because there really was only 15 and we cheated to get more state aid.”

“Well ‘iffen the state ain’t going to help, I propose we take charge of our destiny and fight the pandemonium ourselves,” suggested Dorsey Crank who everyone thought escaped the COVID 19 while down in Sturgis, South Dakota.

“Yah, Dorsey, you had your fling out there in pandemic land so now you are ready to coop us up,” grudged, Garvey. Garvey had wanted to go to Sturgis but his bike needed a new carburetor which didn’t come from Amazon in time.

“I didn’t go to Sturgis,” Dorsey confessed sheepishly. “I thought about all you people with underlying health problems and decided not to bring the plague back so I took a tour of the Enchanted Highway and stayed in Medora for three days.”

“What do you mean “underlying health problems“? I’m fit as a fiddle,” Einar Stamstead insisted, flexing his right arm.

“Your underlying health problem is being 80 years old,” Dorsey responded. “And it’s more obvious than underlying.”

“And if the virus ever gets into this town, we would be virus fodder,” he warned in his best prophetic voice.

“This is a crisis that needs a committee,” Chairperson Ork declared. “Garvey can be chair and pick two others. Until they report, wear masks and wash your hands. Everybody in favor say “aye“; motion is carried; meeting adjourned.”

By the time he rapped his Coke bottle, most of the electors were out the door.

Lloyd Omdahl is a former lieutenant governor of North Dakota and former political science professor at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.

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