By Thad C. Brogdon
President-elect Jimmy Prescott tapped the dais with a taxidermied woodchuck, and the Sunday meeting of the Tibbly Carcass-Dropping Club was called to order. The pledge of allegiance was recited, and the minutes and agenda from the previous week were unanimously approved.
Two new members were welcomed: Janet Peterson and Scott McCluttney, both of whom said they couldn’t wait to begin dropping! (Historical aside: In 1947, Scott’s grandfather, Peter McCluttney, set the Tennessee muskrat record from atop the Skeetersboro Bank and Trust Building.)
Success! The policy and advocacy committee reported that the Tibbly Town Council had finally voted to decriminalize carcass dropping, except on Sundays and national holidays. There was vigorous applause.
During the community outreach update, Al Moline reminded everyone about the upcoming pancake breakfast with the Kiwanis, noting the need for volunteer cooks and servers as well as two Master Droppers (Level 5 and above) for the morning demonstration.
Secretary Skip Pelham thanked club members for a successful Adopt A Highway cleanup on the interstate frontage road. Special recognition went to Gloria Monroe, who had bested everyone by filling seven trash bags, and Jason Orn, who had found a deer carcass that will surely "bring home the gold" in the ruminant division of next week's competition. Pelham concluded by asking Ernie Nussbaum why he looked unusually pale and sweaty, to which Nussbaum replied that he had likely eaten some bad shrimp.
Prescott explained that due to liability issues, the club would longer be able to present its “Kids & Karcasses” educational series in Tibbly's elementary and middle schools. The news was greeted by boos and at least one call to arms. Nussbaum seemed to take the news especially hard, slumping in his chair with a pained expression on his face.
Social Committee Chair Rita Bosworth said she had received an e-mail from the Society of Remote-Controlled-Vehicle Enthusiasts, letting her know how much they had enjoyed last month’s cocktail hour at Applebee's. She also announced plans for a summer mixer with both the Baked Hams amateur radio club and the Tibbly Model Rocketeers. Ever the joker, Bosworth said Nussbaum looked like he was already warming up for the breakdancing competition. In fact, he was in the throes of a fatal seizure.
Ernie Nussbaum's death was duly recorded. Al Moline knelt by the body and wept softly before calling for volunteers. Chucky Vasquez, Jason Orn and newcomer Scott McCluttney stepped forward, lifted Nussbaum's frail little body over their shoulders and carried him to the rooftop, where Moline gave a brief eulogy. Nussbaum, he said, had been a great friend, a loving grandfather and an enthusiastic club member, a man who had brought grace and dignity to the sport of carcass dropping for more than two decades.
Then, as was his duty, President-elect Prescott grasped Nussbaum by the heels and slung the retired actuary over the side of the building, municipal regulations be damned.
(Had Garrison Keillor spent decades chronicling the fictitious town of Tibbly, Ohio, and had his work had been utterly ignored by everyone but his mother, then he would be known as the author Thad C. Brogdon.)
Monday, May 29, 2006
By Thad C. Brogdon