I’ve never joined a fraternal club like Rotary or The Elks because I was afraid I’d leave the room for a bio-break and in my absence I’d be put on a committee. I credit this lack of commitment as the reason for my charm and sanity. Believe me, it’s no coincidence that the word “committee” comes very close to to the word “communism” in my well worn Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
I’ve covered countless conventions where big wigs walk around with those long flowing tails of colorful badges dragging behind them that indicate all the committees they’re on. A stakeholder has to be very careful not to trip on their committees. Speaking of stakeholders… don’t call me one. I hate the word and the only steak I want to be holding comes from a bovine.
If the wild west had been run by committees instead of posses and vigilantes the bad guys would now be in charge. On second thought, they are anyway.
I have a friend who is one of those people with a long bridal-train of committee badges and he’s gone to a meeting every night of the week. When he did actually go home he found that his wife left him three years ago, the front lawn was dead and the canary was a skeleton.
Instead of you minding your own business, can you imagine if your ranch was run by committee? Instead of having a dictatorial cow boss tell a cowboy to go feed the cows, you’d have a scenario that sounded like this.
“Bowlegs,” said the cow boss, “The cows are starting to follow my truck everywhere I go so I’m putting you on a Blue Ribbon committee to find out if we need to start feeding the cows.”
“But boss, I’m already on the Select Committee in Charge of Nutrition. What’s the difference between a Select Committee and a Blue Ribbon one?”
“I don’t know Bowlegs but I’ll form a Special Investigative Committee to find out. Now, the owner of this ranch says we’re hemorrhaging money and he wants me to form a Task Force to see what we’re doing wrong, so Bean Belly I’m appointing you Chairman of an all new Advisory Committee and I want you to select your committee members.” Just then all the cowboys tripped over each other trying to bail out of the bunkhouse.
“But Boss,” said Bean, “I’m already swamped with my work as Chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee.”
“That will have to wait,” said the boss, “this is urgent. If we don’t start making money we aren’t going to be here in the long range.
“Hey Boss,” said the new guy, Leather Lip. “I know I just got here and I’m low man on the totem pole but have you ever stopped to think that we aren’t making money because we have too many committees?”
“You may have a point there Leather Lip so I’m putting you in charge of an Executive Committee to look into it. I’ll expect the Corresponding Committee to put out the appropriate press releases, print up business cards for committee members and plan a meeting at an expensive resort where rooms cost $400 a night and have those refrigerators in the rooms where Cokes cost $12 each. Now, since the Grass Committee has reported that there is none, and as we await the Blue Ribbon Committee’s report, we may have to start feeding the cows so I’ll need to form an Emergency Starving Cow Committee. Do I have any volunteers? I said DO I HAVE ANY VOLUNTEERS?”
“Most of you may know,” continued the boss, “that we start branding calves next week so we’ll now hear a report from Chairman of the Steer-ing Committee.”
“Thank you Boss,” said cowboy Hutch Lovely. “All we have left to do is have my committee meet with the Standing Committee,” who were all sitting down.
Meanwhile, the cows all starved to death and the one cowboy on the place who actually did any work was found three months later frozen stiff in the standing position with an axe next to a frozen water trough. At his funeral the members of the Ranch Grieving Committee got together over a few beers to criticize the work of the now dead Ranch Health Committee Chairman.