Omdahl: Homeland Committee considers legislative actions

“We got to get somebody down to that legislature,” asserted Orville Jordan as he burst into the town’s converted ZCBJ hall for a meeting of the Homeland Security Committee. All 12 of the other city electors were huddled around the old heater close to the stage.

LLOYD OMDAHL
Guest Columnist

Orville was a retired depot agent who didn’t leave when the railroads rolled the tracks up, leaving a 12-foot track bed running through the middle of town. It could be used for sledding if one had a short sled. Of course, there were no sledders in this group.

“Why do we need somebody down at the legislature?” asked Chairperson Ork Dorken. “Don’t they make enough trouble by themselves?”

“They’re messin’ with our lives, that’s why. For one thing, they got a bill so stores can be open in Sunday mornings,” Orville replied as he pulled another chair into the circle.

“Our business community cannot be expected to bear new costs that result from adding hours to opening,” he added.

“But we have no business community,” Holger Danske reminded Orville. “The last business we had was Bo’s Blacksmith Shop and Horseshoe Repair and that lasted longer than horseshoes only because Bo was selling Watkins on the side.”

“The legislature would just tell us that we had no business down there because we have no business up here,” inserted Josh Dvorchak, giving himself credit for his witty use of words.

“We don’t have enough money to send anybody to Bismarck,” Homeland Security Warden Garvey Erfald explained. “Remember when the county was going to take a culvert out of the Horesch Road and we couldn’t afford to send anybody to the county seat to protest?”

“Let’s not be penny wise and pound foolish,” warned Madeleine Morgan.

“Oh cheese! Here comes some of Montana wisdom again,” Dorey Crank whispered to Einar Torvald. Einer giggled agreement.

“They’re dividing up the big Legacy Fund to help communities with infrastructure?” Madeleine continued after kicking Dorsey in the shins.

“Do we have any of that?” asked Old Sievert the hood of his sheepskin coat.

“If not, this may be our chance to get some,” Einar speculated.

“We could improve our infrastructure by tearing up that wooden sidewalk that goes across the railroad track seeing as how there are no tracks or people to use the sidewalk,” suggested Madeleine.

“I ‘spose there would be all kinds of requirements and paperwork to get some of that infrastructure money,” ventured Erfald. “Besides, I don’t think they will approve tearin’ down instead of buildin’up. Maybe it’s time to fix the road to the cemetery.”

“Well, I ain’t going to Bismarck to lobby for a cemetery road,” Chairperson Dorken said with finality. “When they had that bill to outlaw outdoor privies, I went down and lobbied to allow outdoor privies in cities under 100 population and I got laughed out of the room.”

“There are a lot of other issues in the legislature that we ought to be concerned about,” Madeleine pressed on.

Madeleine was a civic-minded lady, having come from Montana, and even ran for the legislature before she was a qualified elector. Nobody cared. She was on the Green Party ticket.

“We need to be good citizens, make our voices heard in the legislature so let’s appoint Madeleine as town legislative representative and she can get together with Little Jimmy and he can send our opinions to Bismarck on his computer,” proposed Ork.

“What if we don’t have opinions?” asked Josh.

“Well, Madeleine and Jimmy can think some up.” Ork replied. “That’s what most people do.”

There were no objections but plenty of reservations. They adjourned anyway.