Posted by Linda Perkin 750 words
In the first instalment, Captain Council cast the management alchemy spell, only to immediately fall unconscious to the ground. Awakening some time later, he rushes to that evening’s council meeting ….
Taking his seat, Captain Council looked around the chamber. The usual crew were present. All of the councillors were in their usual positions, watching each other warily. The CEO and officers were sitting nervously waiting for business to commence. Perched on chairs at the front of the auditorium were the two regular attendees – like Statler and Waldorf.
He had heard that every council meeting has its own Statlers and Waldorfs, usually no more than four, waiting patiently for the opportunity to ask a question or say their piece to attract the attention of the local media. They are always men aged between 50 and 70 – the negative community opinion leaders busily gathering material for their daily discussions with the unwary at the shopping mall or Senior Citizens.
Captain Council sighed, these two would never be happy and he often felt that their presence kept other, regular, people away. They were the only attendees at most meetings, unless there was an unpopular decision being made and the opponents filled the chamber, or prizes were being given out to children, when their families did. Going to Council meetings wasn’t on the list of weekly highlights in his community.
He spied Ron Sole, ace reporter, settling in for the evening after a few early beers to get him in the right mood. His reporting apparently improves, the more alcohol he drinks. Keep buying him drinks and the story gets better. His emotion packed diatribes against the Council sold copy. It was important not to slip up and give him anything juicy.
Captain Council shifted his gaze back to the other Councillors. The Mayor was about to open debate on the first item of business – a petition asking the Council to support the inaugural Tinkerbelle Ball. The 200 signatories wanted the Council to provide a hall and prizes for the ‘best dressed Tinkerbelle’.
The other councillors seemed relaxed and uninterested. Some were using their tablets – checking out Facebook to see what people are saying about them. Ah, for the good old days. Captain Council thought fondly of the days when the local paper came out each Tuesday, just before the Council meeting. Each councillor would pore over it searching for every mention of their name. The ‘letters to the editor’ got special attention. Who was writing in about whom? Had someone recognised their worth or taken a pot shot at one of their opponents? The fact that most people wrapped vegetable peelings in the pages of the local paper or lined kitty litter trays was lost on the councillors. This was their moment of glory – a chance to build their public profile!
Nowadays, the attention was constant with tweets and social media postings by the minute. Council decisions put online by the local paper immediately. Councillors could read the reporting on their decisions as they made their way back to the lounge for a drink at the end of the meeting. No one had to wait for anything, be it gratification, damnation or congratulations.
Captain Council’s attention returned to the meeting. This was interesting. Councillor Tailor was moving that the officer recommendation be accepted. He never did that. He was the eternal sceptic. It was well known that he believed officer advice was a trap for the unwary councillor – believe them at your own peril! Councillor Belle Tinker seconded the motion. Even more interesting.
This was an unholy alliance if ever there was one. Everyone knew they hated each other. They barely tolerated each other at meetings. Captain Council began to feel a strange sensation. Somewhere, deep inside his eardrums a buzzing sound had begun. It grew louder as Cr Tailor spoke glowingly in favour of the recommended course of action. When Cr Tinker congratulated Cr Tailor on her foresight in moving this motion the sound suddenly became deafening. At that moment, Captain Council saw through the superficial dialogue into the minds of the mover and seconder. He saw through the rhetoric and hyperbole. They had made a deal. In return for seconding this motion, Tinker was going to get Tailor’s support on his foreshadowed motion to provide a hall for the Drapery Society fund raising dinner.
Then it dawned on him. He was able to see through bullshit when he heard it, as if he had just awakened from the Matrix. He had a super power – Bovine Faecal Vision (BFV) – and it would enable him to expose rorts and shenanigans wherever they occurred!
How dare Tinker and Tailor trade balls and halls! Captain Council was determined to use his newfound superpower to prevent this assonance …