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It wasn’t that long ago I suggested to the chairman of my church’s School Board that we choose some sort of keyword or gesture between us, something to be employed during a meeting when either one of us begins saying something that has any potential for making the meeting take longer.

I suggested the throat-cut signal, but he thought that’d be too obvious to onlookers. He returned by suggesting the finger-to-the-mouth shushing motion. I told him that’s a signal my wife uses on me pretty regularly so it would probably work.

In the end, we decided to ponder the idea and revisit it. In the meantime, the meetings will remain all but unenthusiastic, which is good, because there’s nothing worse than a bunch of folks sitting around in committee with nothing to do.

As evil may have roots of gold, so many other troubles have their roots in boredom. I mean, what should we expect of people in authority with nothing to do? Start a war, that’s what. I’m pretty sure that’s how the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution came into being. There was probably a committee of really bored congressmen sitting around with nothing to do, and because it’s already innate to the government to make life harder, they decided to outlaw booze. I can see it now…

“Right-o,” I hear in my mind an elected gent saying, “what shall we decide on today?”

“Well, good sir,” another replies, “all is well and there’s nothing on the docket.”

“What to do then, friend?” the first asks, visibly disappointed.

“I say, my friend,” comes an exuberant reply from another at the table. “Let us amend the Constitution! It’ll surely bristle the whiskers of the Lutherans!”

“Hoorah and it’s done, then!” the Baptist chairman says, interrupting with finality. “What a brilliant idea! To it, men!”

And with that, in order to busy themselves, they went to work on crafting their own pietistic importance—or as Tolstoy put it, they engaged in “the desire for desires.”

Indeed, terrible things are born from boredom. However, I’m willing to say that the Title No. 21 (which, technically, is born from this terrible event in history because it’s named after the amendment that would later repeal prohibition) is to be considered an exception to the rule. Even as a bottom shelf whiskey I happened upon at the local Walmart, it’s quite delightful.

The nose of this dram is subtle and sweet, rendering scents of candied pie—chocolate silk with a cinnamon crust. A drop of water lets loose cornstarch and salt.

A sip is a warmed wash of sweet butter, allspice, and overly ripened McIntosh apples. Again, a drop of water introduces something new—a peppery geist.

The finish, a medium trail of the chocolate and cinnamon from the nosing, is a kindly bit of forgiveness to the bored politicians who tried to rid the world of such things, suggesting to them that they nearly betrayed a worthwhile gift of God.

But not to worry, men. We’ve forgiven you. Well, maybe the Episcopalians have forgiven you. We Lutherans are still considering it in committee. Still, there is one thing you should know of the whole lot of Christendom.

Your chances at re-election are incredibly slim.