For months the members of the Ostrich Society had been uneasy when in attendance in the President’s garage. Since the governor’s “shelter in place” order, gradual rifts in the usual continuity of the mindset of the members had formed a crack: One faction began to show up wearing a mask, others scoffed, making sport of the masks …and so it was until fall when the officers of the society were up for re-election.
In the past, election of officers was just a blurb, an extra five minutes set aside at the beginning of the meeting squeezed between the sound of the hammer hitting the President’s workbench and the announcement that the bar was open. This year, a special meeting was called.
The Society had become a microcosm of the national election where Democrats and Republicans in all races had little to say other than their opponent was dumber than a rock, more crooked than a corkscrew and just plain incompetent.
For months, the President of the Ostrich Society – not only president but also landlord (he owned the garage where the meetings were held) – addressed the coronavirus and tried to get the members to participate in the recommended precautions, like wearing of masks or social distancing. A loud faction of the membership argued it was their right not to wear masks and were adamant not to.
By the time the election came around, the society was thoroughly fractured. The only aspect of the Ostrich Society that flourished was the pouring of bourbon, two fingers at a time.
The election came and went and it came time to count the ballots. Past custom was that the bar would not be opened until after the votes had been tallied, but at this election it was determined two fingers of bourbon could have a calming effect. Or so it was thought.
Forty seven ballots were cast. The ballots were counted in front of the entire membership present. Someone from the crowd took the ballots and read each one while another member put hashmarks next to the names of the candidates on a poster board so everyone could see the tally.
As the ballots were read and marked on the board, a hush came over the crowd. The President and challenger were tied at 23 votes each. One ballot was left to count. Slowly the ballot was picked up and read. The challenger had won.
Immediately screams for a recount were heard. After several minutes of the President hitting the workbench with the ballpeen hammer, the membership quieted down and after refilling their glasses with two fingers of bourbon, the recount was started. A different member of the society counted the ballots and a different member placed hashmarks next to the candidates names. More glasses were filled as the count continued and result being the same. Again cries of a recount were heard and after more filling of glasses, another member counted the ballots and another member put hashmarks next to the candidates names.
The process continued for several hours until every member had counted the ballots and every member placed hashmarks next to the candidates names. Each time the outcome was the same.
The President of the Ostrich Society gaveled the meeting to order and in a gracious manner conceded defeat and congratulated the new president. His final act as President of the Ostrich Society was the announcement that it would be up to the new president to provide a meeting place for the Society. The members looked quizzingly at one another.
The President went on to say, now that he now longer had the responsibility of presiding over the Society, he was going to retire to his cabin up north.
More glasses were filled and the tone changed, mellowed, and finally the challenger – newly elected President of the Ostrich Society – stood. In a mostly coherent speech said he hadn’t given much thought to the responsibility that went with the office. He went on to say he would not accept the outcome of the election and asked to have his name withdrawn from the ballot. The membership was silent, not sure of what was going to happen and who was going to make it happen.
The out going President of the Ostrich Society stood and said he objected to the newly elected President withdrawing after the vote was taken. He insisted that the vote be entered into the minutes and he passed the ballpeen hammer to the victor.
The new president repelled and began questioning the validity of the votes cast. He demanded the record of each member be checked to make sure he was in good standing and able to vote.
That was two weeks ago. After forty seven recounts, an audit by a CPA and several lawyers addressing the membership, the vote was certified.
The first order of business by the new President of the Ostrich Society at the new meeting place – the basement of his condo…he doesn’t have a garage – it was announced the dues had to be raised to pay for the extra bourbon the election cost as well as the fee for the CPA and the lawyers.
At last count, a number of members present during the meetings tested positive for Covid19.
Recorded in the minutes of the Ostrich Society as THE TRUTH, WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH….give or take a lie or two!