“Gentlemen.” The historian opened the morning’s coffee-fueled conversation in an unusually formal manner. “I want you to realize that we have been witnesses to a fundamental process of government in these United States. Miss Schmidlapp, our civics teacher, would have utilized at least a full week studying the recent history of relationships between our city’s governmental representatives and citizens.
Just look at what happened. A citizen asked for a move by the elected agents of our local government. There was discussion and legal light cast on the matter. And perhaps most importantly, people let their elected council representatives know how they felt about the whole thing.”
“I would like to hear information about what types of opinions were voiced,” added the cynic. “For example, was it a values issue with folks objecting because of their serious concern with alcohol in a public park? Or maybe it was the result of taxpayer financed alcohol-awareness programs such as ADAMS or the DARE program operated by police departments. Perhaps folks thought that they didn’t want to walk uptown in proximity to public use of alcohol thereby keeping alcohol as more of a private matter.”
“Drinkers sometimes overestimate their charm or cleverness, leading to public displays which are not well-accepted by the average uptown patrons whose dollars we also hope to attract,” echoed McBeane.
“Speaking of letting council persons know about your wishes/point of view, it is my understanding that one councilman reported that his constituents’ comments were overwhelmingly opposed to the proposal. And that is the way the vote went also by a 4-2 vote,” reflected Doberman
“If votes cast by the council members reflect the feelings expressed by their constituents, can we assume that voters in the districts of the two “yes” council votes were overwhelmingly in favor of the measure? If not, did the council person vote against the opinions expressed by those who contacted him or her?”
“We can always think about it for a few months and vote accordingly. If you think the person in there now votes as you prefer, cast your ballot to re-elect; if not, vote for the opponent,” counseled the philosopher.
“If we only could convince our representatives in Washington to operate as their folks back home would prefer. But we will have a chance to show how we feel about how they have preformed with regard to this awful war.”
“And there is the immigration issue to worry about too,” warned the merchant.
“That’s it,” cried the cynic.
Doberman looked expectantly at the cynic over the upper rims of his glasses. “I hate to ask, but WHAT is IT?”
“We could ship our council to places where their wisdom can be utilized to solve even larger problems than this local stuff, and pay them huge consultant fees,” responded CCC’s skeptic. “Just think how many careful, democratic decisions can be formed as examples to benefit Washington lawmakers.
Goodness knows they could use some old-fashioned home-spun common sense. It doesn’t seem that NEW-FASHIONED District of Columbia common sense is working worth a hoot.”
The philosopher closed the session with a thought for the senior group. “I recommend we each increase our patronage of our hometown, historical restaurant. You find three “C’s” there all the time.
Not us fossils, but Cuisine, Courtesy and Competence. For me the thought of liver and onions, topped off with Berry’s rice pudding sounds like just the thing for supper tonight. Maybe we will have the same courteous, thoughtful blonde server who watched over us the last time.”
Keep those who serve their country in your thoughts and prayers.
Richard Armbrust of Norwalk is the unofficial scribe of the Cheap Coffee Club, a group of retirees who meet each morning for coffee and conversation at a local restaurant. He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected].