Tonight, we have a Club Committee Meeting.
The Committee has doubled in size since I arrived, and we now have three Committeemen under the age of 23.
The larger the Committee, the longer the meetings, but we do quite well on decision making. We haven’t lost our appetite for improvement. Strangely, our list of jobs has not reduced in the last seven years. Maybe we just enjoy making work for ourselves.
Years ago, we had a Chairman who told the assembly that a slug can devour a dog turd within twenty-four hours.
That was the level at which we operated. We were a room of sad, somewhat defeated people, not able to metabolise the buckets of alcohol required to get through the meeting, listening to a tired man literally talking shit.
Much as we all talk, frankly, we whiz through the meeting as quickly as possible, because the men of the Committee want to play snooker. This has galvanised our dialogue.
With the exception of the AGM, the meetings are closed to the public. They follow the pattern of every Committee meeting ever held in England.
It’s all very polite, for the most part, some of us don’t get along, but we do very well at courteous nodding across the room, not speaking to each other if it’s at all avoidable.
The Chairman welcomes the assembly, asks if there have been any apologies sent (tonight, we’ve been instructed to tell him his daughter can’t make the meeting as she is in a gay bar. I wonder if that will actually happen), and he opens the meeting.
He’ll address the Matters Arising – this is usually the stuff we’ve forgotten about, despite the Minutes, which was left unresolved at the last meeting. Actions to be taken, excuses to be made.
Then, there’s the Chairman’s Report – this is quite positive. I suspect it’s the best way to get work out of us.
Treasurer’s Report – the Treasurer tells us if we’re broke. Hopefully not, he then tells us what bills are coming in and how trade is going. Entertainment – this is a report on the bingo.
Bingo is twice a month, and from the sounds of it, those weeks slip passed far too quickly for those who have the chairs to move and discarded tickets to extricate from under table legs.
There’s a large family who comes to bingo, who have taken over advertising it, and who appear to be trying to take it over. It’s all very Machiavellian.
Any Other Business: this is the best bit. The Chairman goes round the room and asks the Committee if they have any subject they wish to discuss with the rest of the assembly. Most of the Committee shake their heads or shrug.
Until we get to me.
I have a list. Compiled over the weeks since the last meeting, my list consists of everything everyone is failing to do, or failing to do properly, and how they can be better than they are.
I have been called the conscience of the Legion, by my Chairman. The backbone of the Legion, by my President.
I am sure I am known by many names.
I am equally sure that I don’t care.
What is going to make tonight’s meeting especially exciting is that there are at least two other chaps, usually grunty and monosyllabic, and tonight they have lists to rival mine.
There’s a fat pigeon sitting on my TV aerial. I know this because I just lost Channel 4. It must be time to go.
The meeting came and went in a flash. For one bright and shining moment, there was the prospect of a coup when one of the upper management sent his apologies. However, the one who is set to take his place, also failed to show. We continued, coup-less. Just decent levels of drink and talk about the fête.
I have dogs. This is known. Among them, two miniature dachshunds. There’s a countywide group who walk their diminutive dogs together. Aimée and I are part of it. It’s easier for little dogs to play together than try to make friends with bigger, that is to say – normal-sized dogs. Due to our connection with the dog walkers, a heap of them are planning on coming to the fête.
Aimée makes organic, healthy dog treats. The dachshunds love them. I told the Committee that, since Aimée would be making them anyway for all these little dogs that are bound to show up, she might need a table at the fête on which to display the treats.
I’m not sure how, but she’s now running a fun little dog show. I know it was suggested, rather quickly, an off-the-cuff idea from the Chairman. Loads of interest from the Committee. Decided. I must have agreed, or at least not argued, which is not like me. In any case, luckily, Aimée seems happy to deal with it.
I have also been tasked with asking the local Women’s Group (like the Women’s Institute, but a little more devil-may-care in their approach. They do things because they want to do them, not because they’re on a schedule. They’re also known as the Women’s Ninjas) to bake cakes.
This feels like a betrayal. These wonderful, electric women, too feisty for national governance, are being offered aprons. By me. Part of me hopes they tell me where to shove it.
Out of milk, I drove to Tesco and a deer ran into my car. A deer. Ran into my car. Rather late at night, I saw the deer running twenty yards in front of my car, going the same way as me. I slowed to crawling. The car coming towards me, probably trying to scare the animal away, flashed his lights repeatedly, startling it into turning, and running back towards me. It leapt halfway onto a Devon bank, couldn’t quite get its back end on to the lawn beyond. I had come to a complete halt, unsure what else to do. The deer, in its panic, got itself off the bank and came bounding towards my car, went passed my headlights, and then banged straight into the unexpected side of my rear wing. I watched it run like fury down the road in my rear view mirror.
I’m sure he wasn’t hurt. My car has a fine layer of tree pollen on it at all times. I should put more effort into cleaning it but there’s always something better to do. The deer didn’t even leave a scuff-mark in the pollen blanket.