Editor's Note: The following column was originally published in 2007.
These are the official meeting minutes of the Neighborhood Committee, transcribed by me because I arrived five minutes late and found I had been elected recording secretary by unanimous proclamation plus derisive laughter and insults.
1. The newly elected recording secretary (me) submitted his resignation. The chair ruled that resignations could be submitted only at the end of the meeting; also, several people threw pretzels.
2. Mrs. Kilgore declared for the record that people should not throw food, not even at the recording secretary, who she stated deserved it because his St. Bernard was always running loose and terrorizing the little dogs of the neighborhood, like the tiny one she owns, which is of the breed "quishy-poo" (spelling approximate and phonetic). The recording secretary denied that the St. Bernard runs loose and denied that it terrorizes quishy-poos, and anyway he doesn't even own a St. Bernard.
3. Mr. Clark said these pretzels are stale, who brought them anyway? When Mrs. Clark said that she did, Mr. Clark withdrew his objection.
4. A speech was delivered by Mr. Nedermeyer complaining about children, cars, cats, trash and basically everything else in the neighborhood. The chair ruled that since there was no motion, Mr. Nedermeyer's comments would be stricken from the record, which was good because the recording secretary didn't bother to write them down anyway. Mr. Nedermeyer objected to having his rant cut off, so he was pelted with stale pretzels.
5. Motion from Mrs. Ladner that we change the name of the Neighborhood Committee to one that more accurately reflected what the committee did. Seconded by acclamation. Discussion: This motion would be difficult to implement since no one was aware of the committee having actually done anything. Names were discussed:
"Neighborhood Watch Committee": Pro - lots of neighborhoods have these committees, and we could possibly get a cool sign from some government agency or maybe just go to one of those neighborhoods and steal one. Con - nobody in the neighborhood watches much of anything but television.
"Neighborhood Action Committee": Pro - it sounds like we're accomplishing a lot and maybe people would pay their dues.Con - nobody can think of any action to take.
"Neighborhood Peace and Freedom Committee": Pro - Miss Newman likes this idea, and the men all seem to like Miss Newman. Con - Mrs. Clark will resign from the committee if we pick this, and she's the only one willing to bring beverages and snacks (i.e., stale projectile pretzels).
The chair announced that in the interest of adjourning in time to catch the basketball game, he was appointing Mrs. Ladner to form a subcommittee to look into the matter.
6. Motion from Mrs. Dutton that everyone should take down their holiday decorations by the end of the month or face a fine. Discussion ensued about the fact that we probably didn't have the authority to levy fines and that, if we did, we would levy a fine against Mr. Nedermeyer just for existing. Mrs. Dutton amended her motion to make the payment of the fine voluntary. Discussion of Mr. Nedermeyer's question: Is "voluntary fine" an oxymoron, or is Mrs. Dutton a moron? Discussion: Will Mr. Dutton punch Mr. Nedermeyer in the nose? Discussion: Next time, would Mrs. Clark bring tomatoes or something more fun to throw than pretzels? Motion failed due to the Duttons leaving the meeting before the vote.
7. The chairman asked that if there were any unthrown pretzels at the end of the meeting he could have some to eat while he watched the game. Mrs. Clark responded that would be fine, but (significant glance at her husband, who looked like he were being horse-whipped) apparently some people felt they were stale. The chairman said that was OK, it wasn't going to be a good game anyway.
8. Motion to adjourn the Neighborhood Committee. Passed by acclamation and pretzel-throwing. Recording secretary shouted his resignation. Chairman stated resignations should be brought up at the start of the meeting. Recording secretary stated fine, he wouldn't come to any more meetings. Chairman replied that's how he got elected chairman. Recording secretary said he'd put the resignation in the minutes anyway.
9. Recording Secretary resigned. Period.
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