How boring is it? Erin would tell you it is right up there with high school graduations – boring enough to make you want to get down on the floor and roll around moaning. Well, it’s not that bad.

I speak from experience. Part of one of the merit badges (one of the required ones by the way) is to visit a local city council meeting. It’s a common thing; apparently the city council chambers are usually half-full of boy scouts occupying the back rows. Last night was no different.

I was expecting it to be (in the words of a co-worker’s daughter) “as boring as an old dead frog” but it wasn’t that bad for me although Erin thought it was. Evan fell somewhere in the middle; he didn’t ask if we could go home for at least 45 minutes.

We got to hear the head of the local cable TV outfit come and update us on the status of the system’s “rebuild”. It turns out that our cable TV system is the oldest and most technically obsolete in living memory and this was coming from the company song-and-dance man himself. Luckily, they’re about done with the upgrades. And after all the descriptions of massive upgrades, the inevitable question from the peanut gallery: “why does my picture stink?” Once again, a complete and accurate technical explanation goes over the heads of the unwashed masses.

Still, that’s a fair question: why indeed is it that our system has to change so much? Now, we have a single cable coming into the house. Life is simple. In the coming months, we will have to have that replaced, and a set-top box installed (and a cable modem if you want internet access). Life will become more complex with yet another remote control. It’s interesting to see a professional spin-doctor at work explaining that sort of thing in such a way that

“It makes our lives easier and more profitable”

morphs into

“It enhances the customer’s overall entertainment experience.”

Then a complaint about a neighbor who parked, on average, three pickups in his front yard. He didn’t say what was parked in the driveway. Result: there are no city ordinances against that. GASP! Sorry Charlie.

Finally, the zoning change requests. On the agenda, they look something like:

BAZ01 on map grid 17 upgrade from level 3 to level 4.

Whoa! We’re partying now!

Actually, during the meeting, somebody was supposed to show up and explain exactly what that meant. Cool; we got to hear about what great new stores and restaurants are coming to town. None, it turns out (this month anyway) but someone is going to build a Bed & Breakfast. Plus a golf driving range. Not together on the same property, mind you. Although, that might be kind of fun. You could sit in a hot tub on a balcony and watch guys trying to hit golf balls and swearing. Maybe not so fun.

So, I got some reliable gossip on where the local public disturbances were last month; although you can get that from the Broken Arrow Ledger (circulation in the dozens) since they eat that stuff up. I also got to find out where the next WalMart is going to be. Evan got to see a bit of small-town America at work and Erin…well, Erin got a few pages of her latest book read. Not what I would call a waste of time. Plus, we got one of the most boring (for a kid) merit badges completed.

Melissa? She was over at a friend’s house playing Bunco. One must prioritize after all.