All this talk about dining room tables reminded me today of one of my favorite public meeting quotes from my time as a reporter in Millville, N.J.
“It smells like somebody took a dump on my dining room table.”
This in reference to a so-called farmer who was spreading layer upon layer of liquid chicken manure on a field near several housing developments. The man who spoke those words is now deceased, but I will never forget him. To the politicians at the time, he was kind of like a dining room table. He too wasn’t very much fun with which to converse or argue.
Most gadflies are like this. They’re pesky, inappropriate, unreasonable and often flat-out misinformed. But they make great copy. And even better sound bytes on television or radio.
Unlike seldom used dining room tables, they aren’t quite so easy to ignore.