The Flutter: Ish 8 

"Off. Ogn.=Soc. @ >ing Peeps ^"

And we come to this. The second day from the last day of the year. The eve of the eve of New Year's Eve. The hump 'twixt holidays. Dec. 29, a date with no significance whatsoever, other than it's the day this issue of The Flutter hits the streets.

As we ushered in 2010 with a Society For Making People Better newsletter, I thought it fitting to usher the year out in the same manner. I am determined to use this fin de decade issue to say all those things I wish I had said over the year, but for one reason or another, didn't. So many unspoken thoughts. So many un-uttered observations. So many un-opined opinions. It feels like having to urinate but with no place to go that wouldn't involve a public indecency charge and possibly a bail bondsman. And instead of my bladder, it's my brain that is stretched to the popping point. My mind aches from holding in so much pith. It must come out, and this is the place to do it. On this page, I will purge myself of every last drop of 2010's unwritten words.

But first, I feel an obligation to explain the subtitle. You see, I decided (in my capacity as publisher, editor and Grand Marshal of our organization) that The Flutter needed a slogan. If you'll notice, all of the truly outstanding newsletters have slogans--eg. "Bringing the World of Sewage Processing into Your Home" from the Idaho Association of Treatment Plants newsletter. And of course, there's "Meat Packing for the Weekend Butcher" used by the Guild of Retired Slaughterhouse Workers as a slogan for Whack!, their award-winning bi-monthly newsletter.

After intense creative struggle, I came up with what I believe to be a perfect slogan for the newsletter you are now reading: "The Official Organ of The Society For Making People Better." Pretty darn good, if I say so myself. (The literary savants in the audience will surely note it's the word "Organ" which gives it that special pizzazz.) In the mental picture I hold, this slogan would float below the main title as though it were a proud banner rippling in the wind. At each end, there would be birds. Most likely owls, to signify wisdom and watchfulness. In the early stages, I preferred eagles. Big, pissed-off-looking eagles with sharp talons, to signify bravery and fierce determination. But upon further consideration, I concluded that pissed-off eagles might get our dear society confused with one of those quasi-fascist organizations who always use eagles to signify their studliness. I won't name names but you know who I mean.

Trouble is, as I prepared this issue for publication (in my capacity as artistic director and graphic designer-in-chief) I ignored the reality that at present, The Flutter is at the mercy of Boise Weekly, which has kindly agreed to carry the newsletter until which time as we arrange for our own office space, printing, proofreading, ad sales, distribution, janitorial services and whatever else it takes to put out a publication. Even worse, it slipped my mind that I was given a limit as to how many characters I could use in a subtitle. That's right! Your Grand Marshal is being bossed around by a person who in every other respect is a fine young lady, endowed with great talents and a cornucopia of professional skills, but who nevertheless thinks she can tell me (your Grand Marshal) that I can only use so many letters and spaces in my subtitles or it won't fit. Can you believe that!? (I will not name names here, either, but she knows who she is.)

Tragically, her idea of a subtitle does not exceed 50 characters. Fifty ... measly ... stinking ... characters! And guess what. "The Official Organ of The Society For Making People Better" comes out to 58 characters, and that's not counting the quotation marks, which I wanted to keep so you would know I said it.

I argued my case before her. I pled my position. I prostrated myself at her feet and cried, "All you would have to do is make my page a tad wider than the rest of the paper, see? Or longer. Or something!" But she won't do it. This ... this ... tyrant refused to budge.

As a result, I was forced to squeeze my brilliant subtitle into her allotted space by using abbreviated words and symbols to convey the message. This is how "The Official Organ of The Society For Making People Better" became "Off. Ogn.=Soc. @ >ing Peeps ^." It will do but somehow, I can't help but feel much of the poetry has been stripped from the original.

One more thing before I spill my year's worth of repressed impressions. I would like very much to change my personal title to "Rajah." I am bored with "Grand Marshal," and I firmly believe that an organization (such as ours) being administered by a Rajah would garner more attention than we have as of yet been able to garner. However, it states quite clearly in the SFMPB rule book that it takes a "yea" vote from two-thirds of the society's board of directors to approve a title change for high ranking officers. So at our next monthly potluck, be prepared to cast your vote.

(Incidentally, I forgot to tell you I added a new rule to the official rule book. Rule 14 reads as follows: "It takes a 'yea' vote from two-thirds of the society's board of directors to approve a title change for high ranking officers." Write it down before you forget.)

At this point, I would love to unzip my brain and let all those unrequited views whiz out. But as monstrous as it may sound, the same person who limits my subtitles to 50 characters has also limited my word count to just about where we are right now. My whizzing will have to wait. I do hope I don't get an infection.

'Til Ish 9, ta ta--Your Doting Raj ... er, Grand Marshal.

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