The other night, I went to a town meeting.
I felt like I was on an episode of The Gilmore Girls, sitting in the town meeting with Luke and Lorelai. I half expected Suki to come in with a basket of freshly-baked scones.
Now, I’ve never been to a town meeting before. This sort of stuff is really my husband’s bag, but he was traveling for work, and it was an important issue, so Yours Truly took one for the team and joined the masses in the Activity Room at the Senior Center. (You think we’d actually be in the Town Hall for a town meeting?)
The issue at hand: the town is thinking about making the street next to ours a one way street. We’re against this because it would increase the traffic on our street. We specifically picked our street when we moved to the neighborhood because it wasn’t a cut-through street with lots of traffic, blah blah blah.
We found out about the meeting because our loony neighbor is part of the civic association. She accosted us one afternoon to tell us all about it and how we HAD to go to the meeting.
(FYI, she didn’t even go to the meeting. But her bat-shit crazy mother did. More on that later.)
I don’t want to bore you with the details (unless you are having trouble sleeping, in which case, just call me and I’ll start talking).
So, here are the highlights:
• Everyone on the board was at least 87
• The place was packed. Standing room only.
• Channel 8 News was there. The meeting was going to be on TV! (Hi, Mom!)
• The chairman brought the meeting to order with a gavel. He actually banged it on the desk three times. (He then used it later when discussions got heated; he even shouted the words, “Order! Order!”)
• The meeting was recorded. On this:
(Do you remember this radio??? I watched the secretary push down the RECORD and PLAY buttons together. I had this radio. When I was TEN. I live in a high-tech town, obviously.)
• You got 5 minutes to speak if you were first on a topic, 2 minutes if you were a subsequent speaker. And they timed you with an egg timer. That was shaped like an egg.
People spoke, things got heated, there was yelling and lots of people talking under their breath.
And then, my neighbor’s mother stood up to speak.
Now, let me reiterate: she is CRAZY.
As usual, she was dressed in over-sized clothing with a hat, big bushy hair and clown makeup.
People are at this meeting speaking about preventing accidents, reducing speeds of cars, protecting children. Neighbors have cut down trees to make visibility better.
The two main reasons this institution-bound grandmother doesn’t want a one-way street?
1. She would use too much extra gas to get to her house
2. She’d have to change the way she gives people directions to her house.
I almost laughed out loud at her. Was she serious?
On that ridiculous note, I had to leave. Plus, I was starving. These people had all night to stay here and talk. I had pizza waiting for me.
So I’m sure if I get my big break and I am actually on the news coverage, it will most likely be of me sneaking out of my very first (and last! fingers crossed!) town meeting.