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The Chamber of Commerce in Britt, Iowa, is backing off its proposal to help out with the National Hobo Convention, which has been held annually in Britt for the last hundred years and organized by the Chamber for a number of those. Why? Because the budget proposal submitted by the hobo-convention organizing committee wasn’t rosy enough . If the committee can produce a budget that shows Hobo Days on track to become “self-sustaining,” the Chamber says, they’ll reconsider.

Now, if a committee of hobos submitted a budget to me, my first reaction would be pleasant astonishment, which I would try very sincerely to convey to them. I might for instance say that if America’s hobos have mastered basic accounting, then surely America is already winning the future even without high-speed trains for our hobos to ride. (Speaking of unsound budget proposals.) I would not quibble over return percentages.

Lack of corporate sponsorship has to be among the lamer reasons to cancel a hobo convention. Not that I can imagine any good reasons to cancel a hobo convention, come to think of it. Rain? No, they’re hobos. All the hotels in town are booked up? No, they’re hobos . Keynote-speaker hobo had to cancel due to family or work obligations? What family? What work?

You know what, Britt, Iowa? I will plan Hobo Days for you, free of charge. I don’t have a lot of time to devote, and the end result might be less than perfectly organized, but even if my efforts are universally condemned, being knocked for poor long-term planning by itinerant tramps is something I’m sure I could learn to live with.

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