Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Saturday Aug 25 I play politician's wife and run into a wierdo who attended the meeting of a board I'm on

I went to the picnic with Primo. We chatted with a few voters. I kept my mouth shut about the issues because nobody cares what I think about them. Which is fine. It's bad enough to have to talk about politics with people I know - I really don't want to discuss it with strangers.

This guy walked up to us. He looked familiar. I said so. "Where have we met?" I asked him.

He didn't know. But he had crazy eyes that I remembered quite well.

As he and Primo were talking, it hit me: He had come to a meeting of a board I sit on. He was not on the agenda. We thought he was with the other two attendees, but after they presented their business and got it resolved, the crazy eye guy stayed.

What drew my attention - and the other board members' attention - was the fact that he had with him a set of power tools that he had arranged very carefully on the chairs around him.

This board - I would rather not say what it does because I am trying to maintain some anonymity here - has nothing to do with power tools. We do not buy them, we do not use them, we do not recommend their use. We are a board of volunteers appointed by the mayor to address certain issues in our city and these are not issues about power tools.

So why did he have power tools with him?

Stupidly, we finally asked him why he was there.

We should have just told him that because he was not on the agenda, we couldn't let him speak. I think that's actually true, because of open meetings laws and all that. But he said he had called and someone had said it would be OK. If I ever find that person, I am going to slap him.

He started to speak. He spoke. And spoke. About how these power tools would revolutionize things.

Our jaws dropped. Why was he telling us this?

Nobody knew what to say to get him to shut up. We were all so stunned. Then he plugged one of the tools in and started it.

It was very noisy. He was waving it around. I was afraid he was going to hit the wall or the chairs. He kept talking the whole time because he is a never shut up kind of guy.

That's when the chair finally regained his composure and said he thanked Crazy Eyes very much but the board did not have the authority or the budget to purchase any power tools and that we were not in the position to recommend any tools to anyone else because that is not part of what this board does.

He kept talking.

The chair thanked him again. I looked at the clock. It was 9:30. We'd been at this stupid meeting for two and a half hours now, which is more than I ever want.

"I move to adjourn," I blurted out.

"Second!" said Liz.

"All in favor?" the chair asked.

"Aye!" rose the resounding chorus from the table.

Crazy Eyes was still talking.

The chair said, "Thank you for coming. This meeting is adjourned."

I decided by that point that I didn't care if we seemed rude, that Crazy Eyes had earned any rudeness he got.

"The board meeting!" I blurted out.

"Yes!" His crazy eyes lit up. "I had the power tools!"

"What power tools?" Primo asked innocently.

I tried to squeeze his hand really hard as a signal to stop talking. In my mind, I was hissing at Primo, "No! Don't ask him any questions! We'll never get out of here!"

But it was too late. Crazy Eyes was off and running. It was another five minutes of excruciating boring stuff about power tools before we escaped.

I guess I will have to learn how to graciously exit a conversation if I am going to be a successful politician's wife.


  1. Sounds like he was selling multi-level marketing products. I'm on a nonprofit board too and someone hijacked one of our meetings trying to sell us Tahitan Noni Juice or something like that. Ugh. The whole meeting had been unproductive to that point, so I made an excuse and left early.

    1. He was trying to sell something! Turns out he was a small-time contractor and was trying to drum up business.