We’re a small but dedicated group, meeting once a month at the Food Court at the Big Y. You probably haven’t noticed us. Fact is, we look an awful lot like a fantasy baseball league. This maybe isn’t the best time to admit it, but we believe in sharing the wealth. Simply put, the earth belongs to us all. We need to distribute its bounty in a fair and equitable way. And most radical of all, we believe that the people who do the bulk of the work – making and building and growing things, teaching people, healing people, serving people, and hauling away our trash deserve more money than the insurance company executives who live to say no to cancer patients.

Freddy Engels got us all hats with the ISC logo: the International Socialist Cabal. If you haven’t seen us in action, you should know that the ISC is a pretty feisty bunch. Between you and me, everything got a bit crazy at our last meeting. You probably read the latest poll: 40% of you think Barack Obama’s a socialist. Reading about it sent Betty Marks into a rage.

You could hear her in the bakery section: “It’s not often that we call people out, but really how many chances does the guy deserve?”

Before you know it, half the group was in an uproar. With some people complaining that he sold us out. And, even worse, suggesting that he’s giving us a bad name.

Betty White reminded us that he bailed out free enterprise by giving away trillions of dollars to the very banks and investment houses that wiped out the equity of millions of Americans. Betty fumed, “Then he allows these guys their million/billion dollar bonuses for wiping out our retirement plans.”

That’s when Chairperson Mo reminded us, “Hey, he’s a rookie. Everyone makes mistakes.”

Norman Thomas gets very excited at these meetings – it’s probably all the soda he drinks – but Norman, trembling a bit, started to rant about health care. “The guy spends his time meeting with health insurance and drug company execs and sells out the public option. He’s forcing twenty million more people to buy health insurance from the same companies that rip us off. Yeah, maybe there are a few good things about it, but without real competition, our rates will just go up and up. Not to mention my blood pressure!”

That’s when Morris Finster made the motion to publically expel him. Annabelle Bach-Choye reminded us that he wasn’t really a member, and probably has a full-time personal shopper. Which got Norman Thomas going again: “The guy has so much money these days he doesn’t even need Buy One, Get One Free.”

But still some of us said, “Give the guy a break. Look what he inherited from Bush. He’s living in a new house. Probably not getting enough exercise.”

Fi Dell wasn’t so forgiving: “Allowing the oil and gas companies the right to drill off-shore when he won’t fairly tax their outrageous profits, that’s it for me.”

Morris Finster called for a vote: it was six for expulsion and six against.

Debby Eugene was turning red. And couldn’t control herself: “Zippo on global warming; no real jobs program; never closed Guantanamo; lousy on civil liberties … And give me a break – the guy plays basketball. It’s not about exercise. “

The tide turned for good when Emma Goldperson weighed in: “What about the asinine decision to go to war alongside Hamid Karzai – a crook with an even more crooked brother in Afghanistan. After all we learned in Iraq.”

Morris Finster put down his slice of mushroom pizza and called for another vote. It was twelve for expulsion. Game over.

Even Chairperson Mo had to agree: “Barack Obama is the World’s Worst Socialist.”

Which is when Morris Finster began the Wave and Harry Simpson, the Assistant Manager of the Food Court suggested we shift our meetings to Price Chopper.


Mickey Friedman still owes Freddy Engel $17.50 for his ISC hat.

The Berkshire Record, Thursday April 8, 2010. © Mickey Friedman. All rights reserved.