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The Plight that Failed


Sun, Dec 31st, 2000
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Monday, December 25, 2000

I did not make any New Year’s Resolutions for this year. My wife told me the one that I made last year was enough to last her for a lifetime. It wasn’t so much that she told me not to, it was the way that she made her position clear that convinced me that any future resolves would result in my losing my keeper.

It was just over a year ago when I realized that any attempt at self improvement on my part would be redundant. After all, I have no vices or bad habits; as a matter of fact, I have no habits whatsoever. I am upright, straight forward, and a credit to the county. I might add that in certain circles, I am considered statuesque.

I resolved that I would go out through the county setting a good example and offering advice to those unfortunates that had not been blessed with my acumen and social graces. That would be my only New Year’s Resolution and my mission. For the good of the county and my self-esteem, I would become “ A Man with a Mission”.

I realized that a year is but a short time in the scheme of things so I would need a plan; a comprehensive plan. My plan, The Flaherty Plan, would be to drop in on various farmers, businesses and certain institutions. In the course of my visits, I would drop little hints, certain suggestions and when I saw that the situation warranted it, some constructive criticism.

In a way it was quite an experience to drop in on these people, places and things. I liked to time my visits so that I would be there when they would be very busy. After all, I couldn’t drop any hints, make suggestions or constructive criticism if they weren’t doing much of anything. I soon began to notice their attitudes. They seemed, for the most part, to be uptight, perplexed and exasperated. I am not an Industrial Engineer, but it seemed to me that they would be much more productive if they stopped screaming at people and kicking things. The ones that weren’t screaming at people and kicking things seemed to be wandering around talking to themselves. I wondered if some of them might be suffering from hypertension.

I settled into a daily routine of leaving the house at nine in the morning, hitting two or three business places and then stopping for lunch at different restaurants. After lunch, I would drop into a bank or two and then visit a farm at milking time. I soon found that it was much more convenient for me to pack a lunch since I couldn’t seem to get a table at any of the restaurants that I had visited.

Well, that’s the way it went until one day in May when I couldn’t find my car keys. I looked all over and couldn’t find my wife’s keys either. I was standing in the kitchen scratching my head when my wife called me into the living room. She said, “Sit down, I have to talk to you.” I asked, “What about?” She said, “I’ll tell you what about!” And she did.

She informed me that the bank had closed out our account. That I had been barred from every restaurant in the county and that if she wanted to dine out, she had to promise to leave me at home. She told me that our clothes were no longer welcome at the Dry Cleaners. The Club Committee at the Elks had declared that I was persona non grata. My attendance at church was no longer required and if I did show up, the organist would refuse to play. Not only that but my dentist’s office had sent a note informing me about what I could do with the teeth that I had left.

Well, that put an end to my public service. I was somewhat consoled by the thought that after the Civil War, the South had been granted a period of Reconstruction and after World War II, Europe was put back together by the Marshall Plan. Perhaps there will be a plan for my reconstruction. I wonder if it will be referred to as The Flaherty Plan?

John Flaherty

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