SHERRY ANNA TAPICK: All right, everybody, let’s settle down and take a seat.
“PANICKY” SARA RENTH: I’d rather stand.
SHERRY ANNA PATICK: That’s fine, Sara. (She bangs a gavel.) As mayor of Bluff Creek, I call this meeting to order. Mr. Anikaph, please proceed.
SECRATARY ANIKAPH: Tonight’s first order of business is—
PHANTASIA KRYNCER: Why is Secretary Anikaph’s placard spelled wrong?
SECRATARY ANIKAPH: For the last time, I am not a secretary! I’m just helping Sherry keep things in order. Secratary is my first name, it’s Romanian, and, yes, it’s spelled differently. Can we move on, Phantasia?
PHANTASIA KRYNCER: Fine with me.
SECRATARY ANIKAPH: Thank you. Now, the first order of business is the vandalism problem, which has only gotten worse since last month’s meeting. In the past week, the town’s front lawns have been littered with garbage, most of it stolen from the landfill.
CHRIS P.A. TANNYAKER: Isn’t the culprit obvious? It has to be Trash-Can Rik.
“TRASH-CAN” RIK PAYNE: Excuse me? I take offense to that, Chris! You’re new to Bluff Creek, so maybe you didn’t know, but my nickname stems from a deep commitment to proper waste disposal.
SHERRY ANNA TAPICK: That’s true. Rik’s done a lot of good. This hits him harder than anyone.
CHRIS P.A. TANNYAKER: My apologies. In that case, I’d look to the town drunk. The vandal strikes at night, right? I’d bet alcohol plays a big role.
“TIPSY” KAREN CHARNA: Go to hell, Chris!
SECRATARY ANIKAPH: Everyone, calm down! We won’t get anywhere with all this shouting! I see a hand … Go ahead, Seth.
SETH, AN ARYAN PRICK: Have you questioned all the minorities?
SHERRY ANNA TAPICK: Seth, we’ve talked about this before. If you’re going to be racist, we’ll ask you not to attend the meetings.
SETH, AN ARYAN PRICK: I’m just saying …
HARRY STANCAK PINE: Look, I hate to say this, but maybe Seth, in his backward way, has a point. Bluff Creek is a small, insular community, and we natives have a way of being cold to outsiders. Couldn’t the guilty party be a disgruntled out-of-towner?
SIR CARY K. TANNAPHER: Surely you don’t include me among the accused!
HARRY STANCAK PINE: Well, no, it probably wasn’t you …
SIR CARY K. TANNAPHER: A knight of the Crown has no business among trash! Further, he will not stand to be so maligned!
HARRY STANCAK PINE: What about the Greek guy? He’s always angry.
PHINEAS CINTAKARRY: I have a name, you bastard!
SECRATARY ANIKAPH: Order! Order! It’s unfair to accuse outsiders with no evidence, Harry. And, look, maybe this is part of a bigger problem … Let’s face it, there’s just not enough space at the landfill. People are more wasteful than ever, especially the youth.
HENRY “PACK RAT” NISA: I disagree. I’m only 17, but very thrifty.
HENRY “RAT PACK” NISA: Anyone want to go watch a Dean Martin film?
HENRY “PACK RAT” NISA: Be quiet, Dad!
HENRY “PARK ACT” NISA: I still support the 1872 Yellowstone Park Act.
HENRY “PACK RAT” NISA: Grandpa, you’re embarrassing me!
SHERRY ANNA TAPICK: People, can we focus? Does anybody have a valid idea on how to stop the vandalism?
PERRY TANIACI KNASH: Yeah, I’ve got an idea. I’ve got a great idea. Let’s ask Icy Pants.
“ICY PANTS” HANNAKER: If one more person calls me Icy Pants, which is based on nothing more than the fact that I have a Norwegian last name, I am going to fucking explode!
SECRATARY ANIKAPH: Why don’t you address the allegation? Where were you on the nights in question?
“ICY PANTS” HANNAKER: Gee, I don’t know, maybe I was defrosting my jeans, Secratary!
PHANTASIA KRYNCER: He’s not a real secretary.
PERRY TANIACI KNASH: So you do have icy pants!
“ICY PANTS” HANNAKER: I was being sarcastic!
“PANICKY” SARA RENTH: What if it’s terrorism!
ATICAS PHERRYKANN: Oh, God, I see where this is going.
SETH, AN ARYAN PRICK: I bet you do. Careful, everyone, Mr. Muslim Extremist here might be strapped with dynamite!
ATICAS PHERRYKANN: Seth, you have known me your entire life. You see me every weekend at church, and, further, you know my last name is German. It is different—I repeat, different —from Louis Farrakhan. Who, for the record, is also not a terrorist.
SETH, AN ARYAN PRICK: Well, what about—
PAT NYACKER SIRHAN: Seth, I know what you’re about to say, and I’m warning you to stop.
SHERRY ANNA TAPICK: Enough! If nobody can be civil, I’m ready to adjourn this meeting, and the trash problem will continue unabated!
STEPHANIK CANARRY: Pardonnez-moi, s’il vous plaît. I may only be the town’s hair stylist, but there is one man nobody has mentioned. I’m speaking of the mysterious Armenian butcher.
“PANICKY” SARA RENTH: Cipher Syntarakan!
(The back doors burst open.)
CIPHER SYNTARAKAN: Did someone say my name?
CIPHER SYNTARAKAN: That’s right, citizens of Bluff Creek. It was me! I dumped trash on everyone’s lawn! And I’m talking everyone! I’m talking Ayn Tanrick Parish, the girl named after Ayn Rand. I’m talking Yanshir Trespancek, the Bosnian refugee! I’m talking Terin “Ash Can” Pyrak, the chain smoker! I’m talking “Prankster” Cay Hain and his lesser-known sidekick, “Prankish” Arny Cept, who finally got a taste of their own medicine! I’m talking H.N. “Paris Racket” Nya, the man who runs the French black market. I’m talking “Aspen” Ricky Hartan, the arrogant rich guy who skis a lot! I’m talking NN Party-ac, i.e., Shark—I’m not real sure what his deal is, except that he creeps me out pretty bad. I’m talking—
SECRATARY ANIKAPH: Enough! Someone subdue that man!
(Cipher Syntarakan throws smoke capsules to the ground. When the smoke clears, he has escaped. Only a note remains, pinned to the door. It reads, “I escpr! Ran! Thnk ya!”)
“TIPSY” KAREN CHARNA: Did something just happen?