A black bow tie poked through the fog. On a dreary morning in the middle of the week, well it could have been a weekend. Nobody was very good at telling time at this point. That tie was attached to the suit worn by an extremely fearful and squeamish leader who, due to the choice of his parents, went by the name of Ted. Flanked by Allison and Lawson, Theodore Leslie Zeffor found himself leading thousands of people from the tent community in which they all lived, back into town in an effort to improve their collective situation. Theodore, that was the way he was to address himself to the judge, assuming their case ever did get heard. It was a long shot, but throughout history there were larger groups of people who faced more enormous odds with more reluctant leaders. Ted felt like Moses leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. Moses didn’t feel up to to that formidable task, and Ted certainly did not expect to be the lynch pin of his operation. Sure, he had the idea. However, Ted was expecting this crazy idea to be shot down immediately. He was surprised when Vernon showed up at his tent with the entire group. Everyone was eager to go along with it. Even if it meant immense humiliation and failure. It was something they had not tried before. Onward Ted marched through the suburban sameness of houses and streets, with Lawson and Allison at his side. The community of thousands spread out behind them like a plague of locusts. They were attracting the attention of passer’s by, and helicopters were now buzzing overhead, adding to the feel of the locust theme. One of the metaphorical locusts was being more annoying than the others, tugging incessantly on Ted’s sleeve like a petulant child.
“What do you want, Vern.” Ted deadpanned.
“I want respect! You have stolen it from me. I want your spot! I started this community! Now you come in as the hip new guy, changing everything1” Vernon screamed.
“Be my guest, I didn’t even want to lead the group.” Ted said.
Vernon triumphantly took Ted’s place at the head of the massive squadron of people, only to be immediately slapped in the face really hard by Allison.
“Return to the middle of the pack where you belong.” Allison said, in a measured, calculated sort of way.
Vernon instantly became an ashamed metaphorical sheep slinking timidly behind other citizens of the community he had built. These people were not dumb. They knew a change in authority was afoot. They were fine with that.
“That was something else.” said Ted. “You really stood up to Vern.”
“Vern is a creep. I’d rather walk with someone I trust.” Allison said.
Ted was quietly overjoyed at this remark. Perhaps his full time friendship with Allison would happen after all. They crossed another street. Ted could see the court house was a block away. Suddenly a microphone was thrust into Ted’s face. He had been accosted by the media.
“We hear you are headed to the court house. Do you really think they will listen to you without an appointment?” Asked a far to enthusiastic reporter who seemed to be assuming a lot for a plan that she was not privy to.
Ted hesitated for a moment, thinking about what to say next. Lawson jumped in on his behalf.
“Listen, Honey, we are just trying to change our lives for the better regarding our pathetic housing situations. We will talk to whoever will listen. If the court will listen to us than maybe something better can happen. If you would let us by, you will see the results for yourself.” Lawson said.
The reporter made way, dumbfounded at the sheer amount of people walking by her. It was clear that she had no idea how bad the homelessness situation was in a city she was supposed to know like the back of her hand.
Climbind the steps of the court house, Ted stumbled only twice. He was caught by Allison and Lawson, saving him from an undignified fall each time. Ted was glad to have friends like this.
Ted now stood at the pinnacle of the staircase. The future of the entire community lay behind ornately decorated, pressure treated mahogany double doors. Lawson and Allison flung them open and the entire community filed in. If the plan didn’t work, at least they would make a scene.