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Flash Fiction, Society, Writing

Trifecta Week Sixty-Five: The Board Meeting

I have been somewhat remiss in my Trifecta duties for the past couple of weeks. I hang my head in shame. However, I can again hold my head up, since I have again rejoined the land of the…er…um… Well, you know what I mean. The prompt this week is

EXHAUST (transitive verb)
1a : to consume entirely : use up <exhausted our funds in a week>
b : to tire extremely or completely <exhausted by overwork>
c : to deprive of a valuable quality or constituent <exhaust a photographic developer>
2a : to draw off or let out completely
b : to empty by drawing off the contents; specifically : to create a vacuum in
3a : to consider or discuss (a subject) thoroughly or completely  

My 282-word offering this week is entitled “The Board Meeting:”

“Madam Chairman, it is imperative that we determine a proper course of action regarding the series of complaints raised by a majority of the residents in the Downs; those malefactors are objecting to the proposal offered by the Board to the Housing Committee, suggesting that the original housing developments be taken down and energy efficient condominiums be immediately erected so as to improve the conditions for the elderly, infirm, and disadvantaged.” Mr. Bainbridge took not even a single breath as he opened the meeting with yet another argument.

Ms. Falkenbrecker did her best to not to roll her eyes; despite having handed out and electronically shared all the tenets of Robert’s Rules of Order, Mr. Bainbridge insisted on doing things his way, particularly after being voted out of the chairman position. She hammered the gavel to silence the rumble of complaint that grew in the room. “Mr. Bainbridge, need I remind you yet again that no motion, vote, or opening for questions has been offered? You are out of order.”

Mr. Bainbridge stood, the movements of his immense girth punctuating each of the sentences that made his response. His argument was passionate, sublime, colorful, angry, and far from humble; he did everything he could to address and exhaust every potential point of contention the other commissioners might have developed during his half-hour dissertation. He punctuated the end of his statements by sitting and going silent.

Ms. Falkenbrecker gave one rap of the gavel and closed her copy of the agenda. “Thank you for that detail Mr. Bainbridge. As you refuse to follow the stated order, we will postpone this issue indefinitely.” And with that, the final meeting of the quarter was ended.


  1. joetwo February 18, 2013 10:52 pm

    Good one! Good language!

    • AR Neal February 18, 2013 11:25 pm

      Thank you, Joe! One must be on their best game when jumping into the Trifecta pool!

  2. Scriptor Obscura February 19, 2013 12:06 am

    Reminded me of this…its been circulating for a while now on YouTube…

  3. Brian Benoit February 19, 2013 2:47 am

    Ah, government! Nicely done, and you tell ’em Mr. Bainbridge!

    • AR Neal February 19, 2013 3:16 am

      Hahaha! Brian!

  4. Kelly Garriott Waite (@kgwaite) February 19, 2013 5:16 pm

    the detail of his insistence upon doing things his way after being voted out of office is really telling.

    • AR Neal February 19, 2013 5:24 pm

      Thank you, Kelly; having served on boards and commissions, I’ve met people who were a lot like him 🙂

  5. Sandra February 19, 2013 6:44 pm

    Some people are just so public spirited… Nice one.

    • AR Neal February 19, 2013 6:50 pm

      🙂 Very true, Sandra! Thank you!

  6. Annabelle February 19, 2013 7:08 pm

    Some people really are impossible to silence; glad he gets his in the end!

    • AR Neal February 19, 2013 7:11 pm

      Haha! So true! There are times when I wish I could just have a gavel…not just for meetings, but general life 🙂

  7. Bee February 19, 2013 10:08 pm

    “the movements of his immense girth punctuating each of the sentences that made his response” <–love this!

    • AR Neal February 19, 2013 10:21 pm

      Thank you, Bee! I think of one councilman we horridly nicknamed “DeForest Belly” (in homage to Star Trek’s doctor, DeForest Kelly) because of similar belly-ness… 🙂

  8. Draug419 February 20, 2013 4:36 am

    Oh I could see his face growing as red as a tomato (: Awesome piece!

    • AR Neal February 20, 2013 4:50 am

      Thank you–love it when the imagery works! 🙂

  9. jannatwrites February 20, 2013 4:57 am

    I’m glad they didn’t let Mr. Bainbridge rule the meeting. People like that can be frustrating, to say the least.

    • AR Neal February 20, 2013 1:57 pm

      How true, Janna! I have had to sit through more than a few meetings led by Bainbridges!

  10. kymminbarcelona February 20, 2013 12:29 pm

    Is there any greater waste of time than in committee meetings like that? I shiver before every coop meeting!
    Loved the bit about his girth, as well.

    • AR Neal February 20, 2013 1:55 pm

      🙂 Thank you, Kymm!

  11. Trifecta (@trifectawriting) February 21, 2013 7:38 am

    The language of this was just lovely.

    • AR Neal February 22, 2013 2:48 am

      Thank you! I enjoyed this prompt 🙂

  12. atrm61 February 21, 2013 7:18 pm

    Ha!ha!What a fab picture you drew about these kind of tedious & meaningless meetings Andree’-I enjoyed it 🙂

    • AR Neal February 22, 2013 2:49 am

      Thank you, my friend! So many meetings are, it seems, for the sake of meeting and not getting anything done. That’s what I was going for 🙂

      • atrm61 February 22, 2013 8:58 am

        True & most of us have experienced the agony,ha!ha!

  13. Suzanne February 21, 2013 7:21 pm

    This is so good! I love that you used the word malefactors – such a good word. Great writing, really makes me happy I rarely have to attend meetings.

    • AR Neal February 22, 2013 2:50 am

      Hahaha! Suzanne–yes, that is one of the things I don’t miss about board service!

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