"I'm filled with righteous indignation," proclaimed Holger Danske as he came through the west door of the community hall to join the town's other 12 electors for the official annual complaint session of the Homeland Security Committee.

"The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God, the good book says," cautioned Isabel Torvald.

"Right now, I'm not looking for the righteousness of God," countered Holger. "I'm looking for a bulb for Street Light No. 7 in front of my place. The light has been out all summer and now they just added an hour of dark."

"How can they add another hour of dark?" asked Einar Stamstead. "It's got to be someplace."

"They moved an hour of dark from morning and put it in the evening and I got no bulb in my streetlight," replied Holger. "I'm living on the dark side of town, like at the North Pole."

"I got a more important complaint," Gerda Stamstead insisted. "We got bears from Canada in North Dakota and we need to put a fence around town for protection."

"A fence around town!" Ork Dorken exclaimed. "Who would pay for it?"

"Let the bears pay for it," she suggested.

"That's silly," laughed Josh Dvorchek, the retired railroad depot agent who stayed when the train left. "How can bears pay for a fence?"

"That's their problem," Gerda concluded.

"My complaint is about Christmas decorations," Madeleine Morgan, the refugee from Montana who came to bury her uncle and stayed.

"Last year, we didn't get them up until February and then we found we didn't have enough extension cords to reach the plug-in at the blacksmith shop," she explained. "This year, we should put the decorations near a plug-in. A dark Christmas tree is nothing to behold."

"Has the mayor appointed a decoration committee yet?" asked Isabel. "Last year, he didn't get one appointed until December 22 so that's why we were late."

"Maybe if he would appoint one now, we would get the decorations up by January," figured Garvey Erfald.

"If we can't get anything up until January, we might just as well forget about Christmas and have an all-winter decoration called 'Season's Greetings,'" suggested Old Sievert from his overstuffed chair by the south window.

"That's a doozy of an idea," affirmed Holger. "It would be good for all seasons and we wouldn't have to take it down ever. It would be a decoration fittin' for all seasons."

"We'd have to talk to the mayor before we went that radical," suggested Little Jimmy, now on his seventh college major online. He had the only PC in town.

"We have to do Christmas," Gerda insisted. "We would be the laughingstock of Dakota County if our town quit Christmas. The church people are already mad about 'Happy Holidays.' Without Christmas, we can't have Easter. It's all connected."

"My last town audit showed that we have only $134 left in the treasury after paying for gravel to fill that pothole in front of the mayor's house," cautioned Orville Jordan.

'For sure, we need some money for snow removal," observed Ork. "We need to come up with some fees or taxes."

"Well, almost every town in North Dakota is using the sales tax," noted Dorsey Crank. He was well-traveled, having sold waterless cooking ware all over North Dakota, South Dakota and Manitoba for the past 35 years.

"It seems to me that a town would need sales to get some money and we have no stores," Einar observed.

"Let's take a freewill offering," proposed Little Jimmy as the electors started stuffing themselves into winter coats.

The motion to adjourn was unnecessary. They were gone.

Lloyd Omdahl is a political scientist and former North Dakota lieutenant governor. His column appears Sundays.

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