(Inspired by a laminated handout from
Scottsdale Seminars Business Writing 2000.)
A decision was made by the committee.
On all future correspondence, the agent of action
will be put behind the verb. The effect is what
the chairman describes as “sounding professional.”
Outside, old man Jimmer picks through the doughnut bag,
banished for opposing the decision.
“Why should Jimmer even have a say in this decision?”
said young Clifton. “We’ll be on this PUD committee
after he’s filled his last colostomy bag.”
Jimmer heard these words, but retreated from action.
He’d been Jean Reno’s trainer for The Professional.
He said, “Just wait.” Clifton replied, “So what?”
And Clifton proved to his elder what
yield youth can attenuate, hasty to a decision
best left to another kind of professional.
In a golf-green front lawn, the rest of the committee
gathered around sirens, the result of an action
that left an old man quiet in a heavy black bag.
The murder weapon was a Krispy Kreme bag
filled with staplers, and the authorities were aghast at what
could’ve inspired a resident of Stone Creek Village to such action.
Even more puzzling was Clifton’s apparent decision
to turn a stapler on himself. The cops warned the committee,
“A silent killer now haunts these lawns, brutal and professional.”
In response, the PUD committee hired a professional
of their own; a psychic linguist whose bag
was syntax and grammar. “Dear committee,”
she said. “Your silent killer is passive voice. ‘Who did what
to whom (or what)?’ written on PUD property, can allay his decision
to strike you again.” But the committee doubted this action.
An agreement was made by the homeowners that no action
that may decrease property values is either right or professional.
“Our streets and yards must stay pristine. That’s our decision,”
they said. That night, starless quiet smothered the PUD like a bag.
The next morning, “Who did what to whom (or what)?”
was written in gasoline on the lawns of the committee.
Now inspired to action, the committee made a final decision,
hiring a professional to write “Who did what to whom (or what)?”
on every bag of doughnuts bought for meetings by the PUD committee.