Backstory: Peter's rules of order
My mind was called into session this morning. Robert's Rules of Order were swept aside because I'm not Robert. I don't know Robert, but he seems like a control freak to me. Can you imagine Robert as a kid?
"Let's go to the playground."
"We have a motion to adjourn to the playground. Do I hear a second?"
"Shut up Robert! We're going."
Peter's Rules of Order are more to my liking. I can lead the meeting anyway I want and no matter how much I object to myself, I still win.
"First order of business: Clothing choice. It is moved to wear the blue Polo shirt. Discussion?"
"Mr. Chairman, I object," a voice calls out. "Yesterday a similar shirt was worn. Article 5 Section 3 of our bylaws, 'Public Image Importance,' clearly states that what people think of you is important. I wish to amend the clothing choice to the black pullover sweater."
"Nonsense!" screams another. Oddly, while clearly male, this voice sounds a bit feminine and snippy: "The blue shirt is fabulous. It brings out the blue in Peter's eyes. I condemn the fashion ninnies. Blue rules!"
"Stop!" yells a macho member of the assembly. "Why are you even debating this? There is a perfectly fine, twice-worn sweatshirt on the floor. Put it on and you'll have made a safe, masculine wardrobe choice and cleaned up the floor."
Done. No vote is taken. With Peter's Rules of Order, I don't have to vote, and the whole process takes only a half second.
"Next item: an e-mail arrived from The Christian Science Monitor asking for a humorous article."
Murmurs from the vox unpopuli. "Isn't 'Christian Science Monitor' and 'humorous article' oxymoronic?" one voice quips. I think it was the same one that mentioned the shirt bringing out the blue in my eyes.
"You just watch yourself," says a voice that sounds unnervingly like my mother.
"Mr. Chairman, I submit that one can write a humorous article filled with wit and uplifting observation for The Christian Science Monitor without fear. Boldly strike out with keen insight. Just keep it clean and always make fun of yourself and no one else (even in jest), apologize often, and make sure everyone feels warm at the end. You can change the world through your humor."
"Are you kidding me?" a hard-bitten voice pipes up. "How are you going to write something that a global audience will relate to? People who don't get it will write long, nasty letters. Don't put your head on the chopping block!"
"Humor is about wrestling with the human condition in a creative way," the chairman says. "What if Peter wrote something about wrestling with his inner voices? He could make it about how we argue. Maybe people would see that their inner assembly isn't as strange as they think?"
Silence from the group. Then...
"We'll sue!" my voices cry in unison. While they disagree on everything else, they concur on not being exposed.
Consternation fills the hall. Unfortunately for them, the recording secretary of my mind isn't computer literate and clicks "send" instead of "save." The minutes are sent to the Monitor - my inner rantings made public.
God help me in running the next meeting once they find out.
• Peter Crabbe is a Los Angeles-based comedy writer.