Upon hearing Charlotte's words, Claire's eyes widened with anger and she began a diatribe. “Can you believe that? Mayor Dick is such a...such an...idiot. Forgetting Earth Day is in April and moving the city's celebration to March. Oh, it steams me! I just can't imagine what would possess him to be so arrogant – so backward about these things.”“I think he didn't want people to show up for the real Earth Day, so he moved it.” said Charlotte. “His record on the environment has been pretty bad. This is worse than not acknowledging Earth Day at all. Look, there's hardly anybody here.”Wanting to impress Charlotte, Ned said, “Yeah, maybe he really didn't want them to show up. And...and...” He was looking for something to say that would sound intelligent. “Maybe he wanted to toot his horn about his new small business initiative that is supposed to help reduce carbon emissions.”“That initiative doesn't do anything to reduce emissions,” said Claire. “He just says it does. It will actually increase emissions because it allows larger businesses to create more under a cap and trade agreement.”“Yeah, and he could toot his horn next month if he wanted anyway,” added Charlotte. “When its warm out.”Ned shrugged his shoulders and changed the topic, “Are you and Topping going to garden with Bartholomew?”“Yeah, I'm so excited. This is going to be fun. I've never gardened before, have you?”“No, not really,” said Ned. “My parents had a small garden but I never helped them with it.” Neither of them asked Claire that question, because they knew her parents really liked gardening-- and they even raised chickens. As Ned began to wonder why it was that he never helped his parents garden, he noticed several crows flying toward a tree behind the stage. Then he noticed that the tree, which looked like it had leaves, was actually full of birds.The band stopped playing and a woman's voice rang out, “Ladies and gentleman, welcome! Welcome all of you to the Great Earth Day Celebration!” A few cheers rose from the pitifully small crowd as people turned to face the Deputy Mayor.“It is a great honor to have you all here. It's a little chilly, but seeing all of you warms my heart,” said the woman. Applause rose from the crowd, mostly to keep their hands warm; a couple people whistled. “Let me delay no longer. I have the great honor of introducing to you the person most responsible for this Earth Day celebration. A person without whose leadership and guidance this city wouldn't be the spectacular place it is. Ladies and gentlemen, your mayor and your friend, Mayor Dick!”There was no applause or cheers from the smattering of cold people standing around. The word “moron” was heard inside some muffles coming from somewhere back by the display booths.“Thank you, thank you,” boomed the voice of Mayor Dick. The mic was too loud. “What a great honor to be with you all here on this beautiful day – Earth Day.”“But it’s not Earth Day!” yelled a young woman's voice.
This Friday, March 22, 2013 Earth Day will be published.