December 9, 2023

Quarterly Meeting


The Doodlebug Island Development and Adjudication Board, Bureau of Licensing and Energy recently held their “quarterly” meeting; actually held sporadically and on an unpublished basis–to consider two licensing requests. The first involved the application of Bink Manley to start a fish-food operation; the second, an application to establish a counseling service whose purpose centered around a vortex and crystal recovery program. After the shortest meeting on record (no records are ever kept), members of the licensing bureau approved the first and denied the second.

Naturally, Bink was elated while the counseling service people were outraged. “Are we to understand,” they demanded, “that you approve feeding fish but refuse us the right to feed the souls of those impacted by the presence or absence of Sedona vortices?”

“We’re aware of your good intentions; we just don’t happen to share the same vision,” replied Chairman Dan Brinker. “We consider anyone willing to stumble around these hills looking for centers of cosmic wonder to be centers of cosmic curiosity themselves.”

“But have you considered the devastation and disappointment of people who have spent their hard earned money to buy Red Rock Passes only to find no parking spaces left to them, and who are ticketed for parking in undesignated places, and who then endure the heat and stress of hiking to remote spots only to discover no place nor energy different from that of the lobby of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce?”

“Yes, but isn’t that Sedona’s problem? You’ll notice there’s not a single vortex on Doodlebug Island, and if anyone finds one we’ll pave over it! Besides, we find it quaintly amusing that grown people need to be patted on the head and assured their silliness is something bordering on a quest for spiritual guidance.”

No amount of cajoling or angry remonstrance could sway board members, so eventually the counseling people left, swearing to “take the issue to the people of Doodlebug for redress!”

Now, Bink’s business venture enjoyed the enthusiastic support of board members because it promised to solve a real dilemma, that of disposing of no-longer-edible bulk foods stored by members of the LDS (Mormon) church who, encouraged by their leaders to keep a two-year supply, have stored beans, rice, wheat, and flour which can become rancid or “mealy.”

Bink, himself, is LDS and knows the problem first hand. In fact, it was when he was about to dump some weevily wheat into the Sedona landfill that he remembered an “invitation to bid” announcement submitted to the Excentric by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. The request for bids concerned food suitable for trout being raised in the Page Springs Hatchery. Bink looked at the wheat he was about to dump and wondered if it would make good fish food.

“Why, the weevils would be a bonus, if anything,” he thought.

With that, he took the wheat home, ground it carefully, and went to making small glutinous biscuits which he baked lightly and fed to his wife’s goldfish. They attacked the biscuits with relish and seemed to flourish, so he submitted his idea to Arizona Game and Fish in the form of a bid, and simultaneously requested a Doodlebug Business License. Both were granted.

The venture appears to stand an excellent chance of success, for the LDS folks now have something to do with their unused and unusable storage, and the Game and Fish people appear to be delighted with their low-budget solution to feeding so many hungry fish.

Well, flushed with success in keeping guidance, counseling, and psychological services a vain hope on someone else’s horizon, members of the Development and Adjudication Board, Bureau of Licensing and Energy–locally referred to as DABBLE–congratulated themselves on launching a new and needed service and adjourned until further need.

“If we get any new applications, we’ll try posting notice of the meeting a day or two in advance, but the agenda is privileged information,” they said. “After all, we volunteer for this job which means if we don’t get the sunscreen, we’re not going to take much sunshine.”

As editor of the Doodlebug newspaper, I sometimes know when this or other agencies are meeting, but I don’t print the information. Participatory democracy sounds like a good idea until you try it. Then it’s like attempting to resurrect a June bug spattered over the grill of a Mercedes Benz. But don’t worry, we don’t pay any of our elected or appointed officials, and you’d be surprised how that contributes to limited ambition, government, and budgetary outlay. If we did, we might need that counseling help.

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