Men’s Club News October 2013

             There may have been a spring in our steps, but it was time for the fall, and the Autumnal season meant we need put our financial house in order.

            “Time to vote on our budget for the next fiscal year,” chimed President Barry.

            “Thanks for reminding me,” Harry remembered. “I haven’t had a physical this year either.”

            Money-wise, it had been a good year. Men’s Club membership had swelled by 2.6%, and after a robust summer season of luncheon attendances, our coffers had swollen by an additional $18.76. Moreover, Ernie had shamed most of us into electing the salad bar luncheon. One pass, as the menu stipulated, went for $7.99 vs. the $11.95 double patty bacon and cheeseburger with a wedge of blue cheese. We were healthier and wealthier, if no more the wise.

            “Computing the $15 per man tariff, minus the 10% senior discount and the cheap tip, combined with the usual kickback for parking in front of the restaurant across the street, we net, per attendee….. let me work this out,” treasurer Darryl intoned, reaching for his pencil.  “Back of the envelope math…does anyone have an envelope?”

            “I have a postcard,” Ray offered. “It’s from my nephew visiting Italy. Here,” he showed it around. “They’re in Pisa. If you hold the card at an angle, why the tower looks straight up and down.”
            “That doesn’t really help,” Darryl told him. “Does anyone have a calculator?”

            “I have my smartphone,” Jon offered. “Let me see the numbers.”
            Darryl showed him the figures and Jon punched a number of buttons on the phone ‘til a demure female voice asked: “How can I help you?”

            “Tell us Siri, what’s the annual NTHCMC budget look like?
            “I’m afraid that doesn’t compute,” the voice answered. “Would you like to know what the world’s fastest animal is? Do you still think I’m pretty?”

            After some additional number wrangling and with the usual Pollyanna estimates of our Budget Committee, it was determined that the Club would have a net surplus of $11,642.23 for the coming year.

            “Let’s give everyone twenty dollars for coming to lunch, “ George suggested.

            “Let’s rerun the numbers,” Darryl soberly countered. And when we did, the surplus had dwindled to $6.33.

            “Not enough to buy another bronze plaque,” Harry bemoaned.

            “Well,” el-Presidente said, “We still need to vote approval.”

            “Not so fast, “ Bart put in. “I’m not about to approve a budget unless we couple it with defunding Obamacare.”

            “I don’t think we can do that,” Ernie told him.

            “Nor can the House of Representatives,” George shot back. “But it doesn’t keep them from trying!”

            “Ha,” someone else put in, “I had the same problem last night with my three year old grandson. He wouldn’t eat his spinach unless the Affordable Care Act was repealed.”

            “Hey,” Ray reminded the assembly, “we’re all on the government dole for health care anyway. Why should it matter whether Obamacare goes through or not? Remember what Marie Antoinette said: ‘I have my Medicare; let them all eat cake.’”

            “It’s unlikely she had Medicare,” I needed to remind him, “since she died at seventeen.”

            “Well,” Ray said, “maybe I’m misquoting. It could have been Medicaid. Or maybe she got Medicare because of her disability.”

            “What was her disability?” someone wanted to know.

            “Louis XVI,” Ray informed him.

            “We’re getting off track,” Bart said. “This Obamacare thing is a train wreck. I’m not going to be railroaded into passing a budget as long as it exists.”

            “People said the same thing about the transcontinental railroad. That was a train wreck too, they maintained, years before it was even completed.  Well, at least they didn’t mix their metaphors.”

“Meanwhile, here comes the Caboose with our check.”

            Ever the diplomat, Ernie suggested that perhaps we should defer, it being close to 1PM, and everyone in need of a post-prandial siesta.

            “I propose a ‘continuing resolution,’” he proposed. “We can table the budget referendum until our next meeting, and if there’s something better to talk about, table it again.”

            Everyone agreed, except for George, who threatened to filibuster. He maintained that an organization cannot simply ignore its fiduciary responsibilities and continue to run up deficits. When it was pointed out that this was the modus operandi of the Federal Government, he rose to his feet, and began a long tirade about life, liberty, and the evils of socialized medicine.

            “We can’t ignore this any longer,” Bart maintained. “It’s just kicking the can down the road once more.”

            “Hey,” Harry recalled. “We used to play kick-the-can back when I was a kid. Lots of fun, but it could get physical.”