Milestones: Masters of illusion, defenders of the faith

Mayor Clem Seifert: Let’s call this meeting of the council to order. Ms. Evans, please lead us in the invocation.

Mary Emma Evans: Heavenly Father, please give the council the wisdom to defend the Sabbath and keep it holy against all who would transgress upon it by making a living, except me and any business I may wish to frequent.

All: Amen!

Seifert: First let’s deal with the agenda items. Let’s move Agenda Item A, No. 6, to Agenda Item 6, No. A. Let’s move Agenda Items B to C and call Agenda Item A Agenda Item D and add six to all enumerated items not to exceed seven.

Mike Rainey: So moved.

Elissa Yount: What? Could somebody please explain that in writing?

Evans: I object to the continued use of the number six. Six is an evil number. I move we strike the number six from all city agendas and documents and replace it with a cross.

Seifert: Mr. Zollicoffer, can we do that?

City Attorney John Zollicoffer: Well, now, uh, there is some precedent for it in French science-fiction films.

Evans: Well, I move we go ahead and get rid of those sixes before the devil gets us all.

Seifert: OK, let’s move Agenda Item A, No. Cross to Agenda Item Cross, No. A. Let’s cross out Agenda Items B and C and call Agenda Item A Agenda Item D and add the number formerly known as six to all enumerated items not to exceed cross plus one.

Rainey: I withdraw my earlier motion to move to adopt this motion. And may I add that I support removing the devil from city discourse.

Yount: What the heck are y’all talking about?

John Wester: I don’t think that the council needs to hear Ms. Yount defend her Satanic master.

Lonnie Davis: (Entering) Sorry I’m late. I had an appointment at 6 that …

Evans: Heretic!

Seifert: Heretic is a little harsh. Let’s call him “Satanically challenged.”

Ranger Wilkerson: Well, now, this ain’t the dumbest thing I ever heard. I saw a toad bump its butt on a log from a-hoppin’ once.

Harriette Butler: (Murmuring) Help me. I think my face is frozen.

Bernard Alston: Do we have any representatives from the school system here? It seems premature to eliminate the number six if the schools are going to keep on using it.

City Clerk Dianne White: I have a note from Dr. Shearin. It reads: “You’re all idiots. I’m going back to Florida.”

Yount: He’s got a point.

Evans: Isn’t Tallahassee cross-hundred threescore and cross miles from here?

City Manager Eric Williams: I think I can answer that question, Ms. Evans. You see, there are several ways of getting to Tallahassee from Henderson. If you fly, then the miles are more or less direct, unless you get stacked up over Atlanta, and then I think you have to count the miles of the holding pattern. You may also want to add ground transportation miles. If you take the train, you have to add the distance differently depending on whether you’re sitting on the right or left of the train. Trains put out a lot of smoke, and at night the windows can be like mirrors, making it hard to see the mile markers. Driving is the best way to measure the distance, but since the council asked me to order all city vehicles to be driven in reverse to keep the mileage on city vehicles low, there’s no way to measure it.

Seifert: That question sounds like it should go to the planning committee.

Yount: I don’t see how it’s the purpose of this body to go changing the numbering system.

Wester: You wouldn’t, evil one. I move that the apostate Elissa Yount be removed from the council chambers!

Yount: You can’t throw me out, John, as much as you’d like to.

Evans: So moved!

Seifert: All in favor?

All: (except Yount) Aye!

Yount: No! Wait a minute! You can’t do that! What about separation of church and state? What about free speech? What about the law?

Evans: That’s the cross time she’s spoken! It’s the devil! It’s the devil in her!

Seifert: Very well. Ms. Yount will be taken to the water treatment plant and cast in. If she comes out smelling like dirt, she’s a heretic and will be summarily executed.

(The council went on to deny Rabbi Shmuel Hirschbaum the use of a city parking lot on Sunday but told him he could use it on Saturday like a good Christian.)