“Okay, okay,” said Marge, who was trying to lead the regular Wednesday night Commune Meeting. “Let’s get started. We have a lot to discuss tonight. What should we begin with?”
Dan said, “Sal and I need some help from the group in order to move forward.”
Luna said, “Before we do that, we really need to figure out which Humbug we’re keeping.”
“It better be me,” Humbug Sally said. “I applied here first.”
“Well, you better not toss me out,” Humbug Bobby said.
“Before you try to figure out which Humbug is which,” Sal said, “we’ve really to deal with some real interpersonal issues. Dan and I are having a lot of problems and it’s stopping the construction work.”
Viv said, “I understand that, we just need to sort out the Humbugs first.”
“No, please,” Earthworm said. “The building problem is a lot more urgent. We’re not going to get anything done until we’ve worked things out between Sal and Dan.”
“Well, I’m tired of refereeing between Humbugs,” said Luna. “Let’s just get that taken care of first before they do any real damage to each other.”
“I’m worried about Dan and Sal doing damage to each other,” Mo said. “Can we please focus on that first and then take care of more minor problems.”
“Dealing with my stupid brother is not a minor problem!” HS yelled.
“Well, you deal with your stupid brother!” yelled Lois. “I want to be able to get some work done.”
“Well, I want to be able to get some work done, too!” Viv screamed.
“Wait a minute, wait a minute!” yelled Marge. “You’ll all get your turn. We just need to figure out which issue we deal with first.”
“That’s easy!” Dan said. “Sal and me. We’re your commune mates!”
“You may be our commune mates,” Luna said, “But I’m the commune founder and I’m just about to ready to start tearing my hair out!”
Three hours later, much of the commune had gone to bed. Marge, Luna, Dan, Viv, Sal, Mo, Lois, Earthworm, Sorrel, Dandelion, Sowbug, and the two Humbugs were all still arguing.
“Look, everyone,” Marge said. “It looks like we’re all that’s left and I’m very tired and I want to go to bed. You can continue to argue about who gets to go first, but really, the meeting’s over. No one gets to go first. At this point, we’re not going to discuss anything at all.”
“Well, what are you going to do about my stupid brother?” Humbug Sally said. “I thought you said it would be resolved by tonight.”
“Nevermind that,” Sal said. “How am I going to be able to work with Dan--in less than seven hours? I thought the point of having commune meetings was to be able to resolve things like this.”
“Well, I’m just not going to be able to work with you,” Dan said. “It’s not your fault. If these other folks weren’t so selfish…”
“Wait a minute!” Luna yelled. “You want selfish. The two of you are so enmeshed in your little quarrel that you couldn’t even give us the space to work out something that affects the whole commune.”
“The whole commune??” Sorrel said. “You want something that affects the whole commune. Wait until we don’t have any more new buildings…”
“New buildings?” Sowbug said. “I’m not even sure we’ll be able to do any maintenance work until stuff gets resolved between Sal and Dan.”
The two Humbugs stopped glaring at each other and started glaring at Sowbug.
Luna and Dan began talking, heatedly, just inches from each other.
Viv and Sal and Sorrel started engaging in an intense conversation that Earthworm and Dandelion joined in on. Lois and Mo just looked at each other.
No one noticed when Marge walked out of the room and went to bed.