Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Never Afraid Society meeting had been canceled twice in row when they met for the last time. Before they could move on from old business to new business, Philip, the Historian of the club, stopped the meeting to report that he smelled gas.

Leila, the Sergeant-at-Arms, insisted that what Philip smelled was actually the smell of heart disease, which is the nation’s greatest killer. All of their hearts were rotting, from cholesterol or use or heartbreak, and Leila was sure that was the stench that was seeping into their nostrils.

Derrick, the President, was uncomfortable around conflict; even Venn diagrams and sentences containing semicolons put him ill at ease. He’d seen the disagreements between Philip and Leila over minute details, such as the minutes, erupt into knockdown, drag-out snippy stare fests. And the thought of a moment in distress spurred his brain, which raised his gavel and adjourned the meeting.

Philip shouted, “What about my principled rejection of arbitrary decisions by those in authority?”

“I’m sorry,” Derrick said. “You’ll just have to suck on your principled rejections today.”

“Here, here,” Leila said, seconding the emotion. She then begged all nine members to wear both sweaters and turtlenecks to the next meeting to contain the stench of their decaying hearts.


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