Town’s dawg caught in ethnic fight

Lloyd Omdahl
Local Columnist

“I got bad news!” exclaimed Madeleine as she rushed through the door of the community hall where 11 of the town’s electors were gathered for the annual midsummer garden report.

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  Chairperson had just called the meeting to order and Holger Danske was standing, ready to give the outlook on carrots for the year.  It was really dry so everybody already knew the carrot crop was going to be a fraction of last year’s bumper yield.

“Okay, Madeleine. Sit down Holger for Madeleine’s hot flash,” Ork instructed.

 “Old Sievert isn’t here because he’s positive,” she reported.

“That’s news,” Josh Dvorchak affirmed. “He’s usually negative.”

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“No, he’s got one of those new variations of COVID,” Madeleine added.

“You’re positive,” Einar Torvald doubted.

“No, I said Old Sievert was positive,” Madeleine clarified.

“If he’s positive the rest of us must be negative. Everybody has to be one or the other,”

Dorsey Crank speculated.

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“Well, these new variations are really dangerous…could even take somebody who’s been vaccinated,” Chief Security Officer Garvey Erfald cautioned.

“If Old Sievert is taken, that means that we would have 11 voters to decide on the name of town Dawg about which we have been tied six to six in seven votes,” prognosticated Orville Jordan, the retired Soo Line depot agent who stayed in town because he didn’t want to move Heather’s grand piano. 

“Who wants to get into another divisive fight over naming Dawg?” queried Garvey “We are so polarized that we couldn’t share gardens this year. Everybody is going to eat their own stuff.”

“Well, I got a compromise proposal for Dawg,” offered Dorsey. “I move we name him ‘Oofta’ so he can have an ethnic heritage of sorts.”


You can’t name him something Norwegian like ‘Oofta’,” objected Orville. “He’s a German Shepherd.”

  “If he’s German, he probably wouldn’t know what ‘Oofta’ meant,” Little Jimmy guessed.

“Only if he was bilingual,” Gerda Danske offered.

(Jimmy’s folks were still in the Klondike gold rush so he was fending for himself even though he was only 17, the only person in town not on Social Security.)

“Yeah!” exclaimed Josh. “We could call ‘Oofta’ ‘Oofta’ all night and he wouldn’t come if he’s German.”

  “We don’t know that he’s really German. He got no papers,” worried Einar.

“He got dropped off with nothing, not even a green card,” Little Jimmy chuckled. It was supposed to be a joke but most of the electors didn’t know about green cards so they didn’t laugh.

“For all we know, Dawg could be a Norwegian Elkhound in which case ‘Oofta’ would be his native language,” Holger speculated.

“Maybe he’s a mix of everything,” Gerda spoke up for a second time in one meeting.

(Talk from the women had been unusual at Homeland Security meetings but Madeleine had been telling them that the First Amendment applied to women as well as men. That’s why the men were trying to deport her back to Montana.)

“If he was part German and part Norwegian, he would have died long ago,” Einar figured.

  “Enough of that kind of talk,” Madeleine scolded. ‘We can carry this ethnic stuff only so far because we are all mixed Americans now and so are German dogs and Norwegian dogs. We have to live together.”

  “Well, I think we should name Dawg ‘COVID’ because that takes care of all nationalities,” negotiated Orville.

  Just then Old Sievert burst through the door and cast a suspicious look at the seated electors.

  “What’s going on here?” he said accusatorily. “I don’t know why we have these meetings when nothing ever gets done.”

  “Sit down before you fall down,” Madeleine ordered.  “You are negative even when you are positive.”

   “The ‘Oofta’ motion dies for lack of a second and the meeting is adjourned,” announced Chairperson Dorken as he rapped his Coke bottle.