Somewhere in the blight of soulless suburbia and neighborhood associations; voices screamed to be heard.
It wasn’t that change never came to Pleasant Hills. When it did come, it was through the loosely organized, “Pleasant Hills Resistant to Change Freedom Fighters.” A group of malcontents, that fought their fiercest, when there were personal gains to be made.
Its existence fought at every turn–it was a miracle the neighborhood council ever came into being. These were human lab rats, test subjects in a real-life social dynamics experiment, responding to various stimuli.
“I’m worried about the nine-digit numbers on the front of these fancy new garbage cans. It could be another way to keep track of people,” Said Charlie Warner.
“I think we have grounds for a lawsuit. Why can’t I, or anybody else, have the kind of trash can they want?” Asked Litigious Larry.
Preacher Phil, retired barracks lawyer, itinerant pastor in search of a flock, was not to be outdone. “Why don’t we put this up for a vote?”
Reeling from sucker punches, Sam the moderator exploded, “Why don’t all of you sit down and shut up! We’re going to talk about it; just not everybody at once,”
Ralph, former professional athlete, flexed his pectorals, pondered the advantageousness of a return to the ring.
“If I may speak for a moment,” Said, Wayne “The Brain” from somewhere in the back of the room. Wayne was professor emeritus of a major state university and seldom spoke.
“This is a matter of personal responsibility, not the council’s. The council has nothing to do with setting trash pickup rates, nor does it have anything to do with trash cans. Anyone can choose to unsubscribe from the present service and go their own way at any time.”
The room went silent. Sam the moderator breathed a sigh of relief. Why hadn’t he thought of saying it that way?
Wayne “The Brain’s” eloquence was rewarded with a nomination for council treasurer–which he promptly declined.
Somber, staid, Gustav Adolphus Hall, white-framed former schoolhouse, church, wedding reception hall, and polling place, deserved none of this.