As the sun came up next morning, the nation of Inner Horner was holding a second whispered frantic national referendum.
“First thing is,” said Wanda. “Let’s don’t panic.”
“You’re already panicking, Wanda,” said Elmer. “Look how fast you’re talking. You’re already panicking before we even voted on the issue of not panicking, which I think indicates a very high level of anxiety.”
“Who are you to criticize my level of anxiety when your extenders are visibly quaking?” said Wanda.
“My extenders may be quaking, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a man,” said Elmer.
“Who said you weren’t a man, Elmer?” said Carol.
“At least I’m talking at a normal rate,” said Elmer.
“I always talk fast,” said Wanda, who did always talk fast but was now talking about twice as fast as normal, while rapidly blinking and worrying her Quigley Manifold with her thumb.
“Guys, let’s not turn on one another,” said Curtis.
“Easy for you to say, Curtis,” said Elmer. “No one’s accusing you of being a coward.”
“I didn’t accuse you of being a coward,” said Wanda. “I accused you of having quaking extenders. Which you do. I could also accuse you of dribbling iron shards from your Manifold while aggressively leaking Adhesive.”
“Well, I could accuse you of being red in the face and abnormally pink in the exposed portion of your midriff,” said Elmer.
“Look, we’re all scared,” said Carol. “We’d be crazy if we weren’t scared.”
“I’m not only scared,” said Curtis. “I’m missing a footpeg.”
And they all turned and looked at Curtis’s footpeg on the roof of the Outer Horner Cafe.
“How did we come to this?” said Wanda.
“Too much discussing,” said Curtis. “That’s how. Too much talking.”
“I agree,” said Elmer.
“Absolutely right,” said Carol.
And the nation of Inner Horner fell into a brooding heartbroken silence that was only interrupted by the distant sound of voices singing.