Homeland Security Committee tackles inflation

“Inflation is killing us,” Dorsey Crank announced as he entered the community hall where the Homeland Security Committee was meeting to plan Christmas decorations for 2022.

“We are on the short end of the stick,” he continued. “I think our retailers and service people are taking the opportunity to grab excess profits.”

That suggestion really steamed Madeleine Morgan, the newcomer from Montana who spoke at meetings, disregarding the code of the town that women did not speak in public meetings. 

“Look at eggs,” she commanded. “Last year, eggs were $1.27 for the little extra large ones. Now they are $3.30 and smaller…”

Rising to her feet with fire in her eyes, she continued. “Are chickens making more money?”

A few voices gave a resounding “No!”

“Are they eating more expensive food?”

“NO!” shouted the committee members.

“Are they getting better housing?” she pressed on.

“NO!” the members shouted louder.

“So why did the price of eggs triple in one year when inflation was only eight per cent? The chickens didn’t get it,” she concluded and rested her case.

Old Sievert just hated it when Madeleine got on the warpath but she was really on the right track this time.

Little Jimmy, the only person in town not on Social Security, looked up from his electronic whatever.

“We ought to do something about this,” he added. 

“Let’s boycott eggs,” suggested Orville Jordan, the retired depot agent who stayed when the train left.

“Boycott!” exclaimed Little Jimmy. “No, this calls for an embargo.”

“An embargo sounds good to me — what is it?” Holger Danske asked. 

“A boycott means we just quit buying eggs; an embargo means we don’t let any eggs come into town,”

“Before we embargo or boycott, maybe we should think of less drastic steps,” offered Einar Stamstead. “If we get drastic, the sheriff will come over and tells us we can’t do that — like he did when we passed a resolution to quit paying school taxes ’cause we had no kids.”

“Well, if it helps I will quit eating egg salad sandwiches,” Dorsey Crank offered.

“Instead of three eggs for breakfast, I will cut that down to two,” volunteered Alert Officer Garvey Erfald.

Surveying the 12 electors at the meeting, Orville Jordan predicted: “If we stick together we can bring the egg people to their knees. They will beg us to eat more eggs.”

“If it doesn’t work, those exploited chickens will keep busting their little asses for nothing,” Madeleine observed. The electors were shocked to hear such blunt Billings talk in reserved North Dakota. 

“Everybody is grabbing the opportunity to make an extra buck — even Walmart in Windier City,” grumbled Dorff Warnt. “When I went to the city, I always liked those little pies at Walmart for 50 cents. The last time I went they had jacked the price up to seventy five cents — the price had doubled in two months.”

“The price of gas must be filling somebody’s pockets,” Old Sievert complained. “I can’t even afford to drive my car out of the garage.”

“Were you thinking of going somewhere?” asked Dorsey. 

“At these prices, I can’t afford to even think of going anywhere,” Old Sievert shot back. 

Florine Erfald could hold her peace no longer.

“You guys don’t do the grocery buying at Cheapest Food so you don’t know the half of what we face trying to put meals on the table,” Florine argued. “The prices have gone higher and the containers have gone smaller.”

“So what can we do short of embargoes and boycotts?” asked Chairperson Ork Dorken, hoping for some light at the end of the tunnel.

“Write to our congressmen,” suggested Dorff.

“They have no say about inflation. It’s all decided by private business,” explained Little Jimmy.

“When all other things fail, maybe we could pray,” suggested Dissery Danske.

“Pray? Pray?” responded Orville who had deistic leanings. “I don’t think that God wants to get involved in this human mess.”

Little Jimmy then offered the light in the tunnel.

“I will send an e-mail to the world to ‘whoever it concerns’saying that our town objects strongly to inflation and we aren’t going to put up with it anymore.”

Considering this a solution, the electors rose and headed out before Ork could even rap his Coke bottle to close the meeting. 

Lloyd Omdahl is a former lieutenant governor of North Dakota and former political science professor at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.


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