Day Of Reckoning

A Fool In NH Column Heading

Well, it’s finally upon us. I never thought that I would see the day.
If you have been living under a rock not only must you be very uncomfortable, but you also may not realize that next week is the big convention by the Flatlander Party to choose their candidate to run for governor.
I have to admit I’m a bit nervous. Yes, we always have these conventions, but they have mostly been small affairs held around the table at a Subway shop in the western part of the state. Four or five of us (depending on what size table is available) sit down to some foot-long subs, a soda and a chocolate chip cookie and go through the motions of nominating…well….me as I was the only one that was ever running.
We could forego the gathering all together, but the protocol of our convention rules insist on a gathering of at least this nature (there has been some controversy over this rule since the head of the rules committee also owns the Subway franchise, but it soon passed when he also offered a ten percent discount).
This year it is all different as there are two of us running for the nomination. (I refuse to mention my opponent by name so as to give him the benefit of extra publicity.)
The Flatlander Party doesn’t have a primary election since we never needed one and the cost of organizing the whole thing was way beyond out budget (even with the ten percent discount at our nominating luncheon). Our rules never addressed the situation of having more than one candidate, so we quickly made some up.
We will be meeting next Tuesday night, July 5th, in the basement of one member whose wife will be away for the week visiting her mother in Iowa. His was chosen since it was big enough to handle the twenty or so we are expecting. There will be at least one delegate from each of the counties in New Hampshire and a few will be bringing dates since they had already made plans.
My opponent and myself will each have five minutes to address the crowd and then there will be allowed two speakers to chime in in support of each of us. After that, the delegates will all meet upstairs in the family room to discuss the nominees and then will return to the basement for a vote.
After all is said and done, there will be Subway sandwiches, sodas and chocolate chip cookies for everyone. Of course, we have all pledged to stay an additional half hour after the convention is finished to clean up so as to make sure the member who contributed the space doesn’t catch all sorts of heck from his wife when she gets home. (I’ve met her, she can be pretty rough.)
One of the stipulations is that it is to be a clean fight. There are to be no derogatory remarks made by one candidate against another (unless, of course, they have video to back it up). A simple majority is all that is needed and the sandwiches will only be either Turkey or Tuna, no cheesesteaks, even though the discussion on that was pretty contentious.
I have been working on my speech for about a week now. I realize it might be the only chance I have to sway a few votes my way, though I admit it will be hard to talk about just myself and not spend most of my time slandering my opponent (unfortunately my team hasn’t discovered any videos…yet). It certainly won’t be politics as usual.
I did forget to mention that there will be a press section at the convention. We have roped off a small section of the basement with a bungee cord and we figure we can squeeze in two or three local reporters. It will be good to have a little publicity. We are ordering three extra tuna sandwiches to dangle in front of their noses in the hopes of getting them there.
What will happen is anyone’s guess. Besides the fact that all of the sandwiches will be on Italian bread, no one can predict anything that will happen. We are certainly hoping that things don’t get out of control and any furniture gets broken. There is no one in the Flatlander Party who would want to be that member once his wife gets home if that were to happen.
Win or lose, I will accept whatever happens. Will I be called on to carry the torch for the Flatlander party again or will I be forced to sit on the sidelines and praise my opponent through gritted teeth?
Only time will tell. I’ll keep you posted.

To find out more about Brendan’s book and upcoming appearances go to www.BrendanTSmith.com