Stan talks softly and carries a big bat

I was asked to be the moderator at one of our usual current-events meetings. All I have to do is:

1) Call on those who want to speak

2) Limit their comments to two minutes, and

3) Be the referee in case a fist fight breaks out

In my opening comments I stated that I was okay with numbers 1 and 2, but if there should be a number 3, I introduced my dear friend Rawlings — a 28-inch baseball bat — which drew some laughter as I placed it on the desk.

Menendez, a Cuban-American, brought up the subject of the president’s visit to Havana. He said that Cuba was a wonderful place before Castro took over. A neighbor who did not wait to be called on shouted, “America was a wonderful place before Obama took over.”

That opened the door for the bomb throwers, which led to a shouting match between some on the right against some of their neighbors on the left. The room became quiet when I stood up, picked up Rawlings and slammed it onto the desk. In fact, it got so quiet that I think I frightened myself.

Current events these days are almost all about politics.

“Okay”, I stated. “Two minutes each when you are called upon. And then quiet down so that we can hear what others have to say.”

The following is a small sampling of what was said.

One Trump-nik had a lot to say on behalf of The Donald.

“I’m very much in favor of Trump, because I like what he has to say about a wall, drugs, illegal immigrants, and jobs. I wish someone else would be saying those things, but since nobody else is, I’m sticking with Donald.”

“Mrs. Clinton was paid enormous sums of money for her speeches. Was it because she is such a brilliant speaker? Of course not. The big bucks came her way to buy influence. Does anybody doubt that?”

“I think you Republicans are a bunch of children. You spend more time finding fault with Trump than you do Hillary.”

“I hate it when I hear that people want a woman president. I want a competent president. We haven’t had one for seven years.”

One of the biggest rounds of applause came after hearing, “I teach a fourth-grade class. In my school, we took away one of the teacher’s restrooms — a single stall toilet that only one can use at any time. When a transgender student finds it necessary to use the restroom, a volunteer is called to escort that student and wait outside the door for that student to exit. The volunteer then escorts the student back to the classroom.”

The least amount of enthusiasm came after one woman said, “Since so many of us were Prince fans, it would be nice if we each contributed a few dollars to make a permanent plaque in honor of the entertainer to be mounted on a wall in the lobby.”

That was greeted by a big round of indifference. I finally put my two cents worth in when I said, “If you want to raise funds for something, make it for a worthwhile cause which everyone would agree with. Let’s put up a plaque honoring our veterans.”

That was followed by several comments, all agreeing with me. With that I brought the meeting to a close. I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net acknowledging those who thanked me for my participation. Yes, I promised to sit at that desk again in a few months! And no, you cannot have Rawlings!

Read Stan Gershbein’s column every Monday on BrooklynDaily.com.