The Dade County Commission at its regular monthly meeting on Thursday will vote on what is being hailed as the SBA--"Small Business Abolition" ordinance, designed to put a stop once and for all to local entrepreneurship in Dade.
"Let's smack 'em to the mat," said Dade County Executive Red Tumley. "Let's show these upstart bumpkins that we don't want local people to succeed in Dade."
Tumley was speaking at an SBA rally on the Trenton town square Friday evening, among throngs of like-minded citizens waving signs with such captions as SQUASH THE LITTLE MAN! and KEEP DADE SAFE FOR CORPORATE DOMINION.
Tumley's loyal second-in-command, Gobert Rolf, also spoke at the rally, quoting scripture that upheld the county commission's pro-corporate, anti-small-business stance. "'A prophet is not without honor but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house,' " said Rolf. "Don't that tell you that if you want to accomplish anything, God wants you to go somewhere else?"
"Wait a minute," said a nondescript middle-aged woman carrying a notebook, and smelling faintly of beer. "Am I hearing this right? Are you county commissioners actually supporting an ordinance meant to crush business in Dade County?"
"Not business, hardhead," said Tumley, rolling his eyes. "Just small business. We always support big business. Don't we vote to hand the new Ganvard Porkeration plant hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars at practically every meeting?"
"And so does the city," chimed in Trenton Mayor Calyx Ace. "In addition to $168,000 in city tax funds most recently, we're fixin' to hand over $130,000 in a federally underwritten ARC grant to help Ganvard finish paving."
"In addition to a cool million in cash we got 'em from the state," said Tumley. "Nobody can say Dade County isn't always ready to come up with huge cash infusions for bloated corporate entities that already have plenty of money. It's just the small, local businessman we want to stamp out."
"But I don't understand," said the woman. "Isn't your function as the county government to support and encourage local people?"
Glasses broke. Birds fell from the sky. Boulders came tumbling down the mountainside. Such was the decibel level of the ensuing roar of laughter.
"Land, child, where you been?" said Rolf. "Everybody knows that nobody from these parts is no account nohow." His face clouded with suspicion. "Who are you anyway?"
The woman presented a business card from the pocket of her jeans. "I am Boring Word Follis of the online newspaper The Plaid Dammit," she said with dignity. "I believe that Dade County is the center of the universe, and my mission with The Dammit is to celebrate and elevate the local."
"I thought she smelled like beer," said Rolf.
"Ignore her," advised the mayor. "She's nothing but a blogger."
"Listen here, Miz Follis," said Tumley. "I don't know who you are but I am giving you the benefit of the doubt for that precise reason, since the operating premise of Dade County is that nobody here is anybody."
"Everybody who wants to to be somebody goes somewhere else, like the Good Book recommends," added Rolf.
"We're just a little old community where everybody knows everybody and nobody knows nothing," said District 4 Commissioner Balin Radford. "That's why we're determined not to let nobody here do nothin'! Like this here liquor by the drink issue? If alcohol is served in Dade County, we want to make sure it's by somebody from New York or Chicago."
"Somebody high-class," put in Tumley. "Possibly even in the Mafia."
"Right," said Rolf. "We want a toney operation, like one of them gambling casinos in Mississippi where my wife and I recently went on a cruise. That's what I call uptown."
"Wait a minute!" said the woman from The Dammit, scribbling furiously in her notebook. "A casino? The Mafia? I thought you Dade powers-that-be were against alcohol because you oppose immorality of any kind."
"No, no, no," said Rolf. "We ain't against sin, we're just against the locals. Now, if some multinational corporation wants to come in here and build a nice big bar-slash-brothel-slash-opium den that serves Christian babies as the featured special at Easter, and whiskey to wash 'em down with, brang 'em on!"
"Hell, maybe we can get 'em an ARC grant," said Tumley.
"But if somebody from around here opened a place that served wine and beer, it would automatically be classified a honky-tonk and we don't want no honky-tonks in Dade," said Balin Radford. "That's why we got our county attorney here to write up an ordinance to CRUSH 'EM LIKE A EGGSHELL."
The county attorney smiled shyly down at his size 13s. "Shucks, guys, tweren't nothin'," he said, shuffling modestly. "You know I'm always happy to write you any ordinance you want. But I'd better go now, I've got to work on that new one abolishing freedom of the press. See you at the meeting, fellers."
The Dade Planet has got to go now, too, folks! It's a sunny Saturday in spring, The Planet is of an outdoorsy disposition, and time remains only for two words ....
And perhaps one postscript: This has been a spoof, but with some elements of grim realism. Dade County is indeed fixin' to approve at its Thursday meeting an ordinance which unless modified will indeed have the described effect of crushing local effort and toadying to huge corporate entities that probably have no intention to come here anyway. SO:
See you at the meeting, fellers?