The McHenry County Seal Slaughter

So Many Seals, So Little Sense

The Story Thus Far

The epic saga of the McHenry County Seal Replacement just keeps getting better and better – or at least longer and longer.

It seems as though only ten months ago when the McHenry County Board was visited by an epiphany that revealed the awful truth: The McHenry County Seal is – well, no use trying to disguise the catastrophe with a euphemism – the county seal is boring. And, as if that weren’t enough, officials pronounced it, according to the Daily Herald,1 “uninspiring and unimaginative.”

Yep, you read that right – one of the 3,077 counties2 that comprise these United States is inexplicably burdened with an official seal that is boring, uninspiring, and unimaginative. And to our everlasting shame, that county is McHenry.

What are the odds?

The McHenry County Bore War

Naturally, no responsible governmental body could knowingly tolerate its citizens being endangered by a malignantly torpid county seal. If that fundamental emblem of governmental authority and affirmation evokes boredom rather than excitement and enthusiasm, how long will it be until the county flag is saluted with stifled yawns? Soon, the county’s official stationery will be accounted bland and placid. Next thing you know, sociopolitical malaise spreads from northern Illinois across the Midwest and then the entire country. Then, a pervasive and profound melancholia suffuses the land. National ennui sets in. Attendance at Wednesday night prayer meetings, professional women’s basketball games, and flea markets dissipates. Sales of new cars. bric-a-brac, and sandwich shop franchises all but cease, hospitals and clinics close their doors, and internet porn downloads drop by 0.003%. International trade stagnates. The only uptick in the economy is the revenue from the upswing in sales of Leonard Cohen songs. Lethargic rioters confront languid police. Chaos listlessly ensues. Bloodless and passionless coups occur in third world countries until mounting apathy precludes such movements.

Consequently, on September 18, 2007, the McHenry County Board launched an offensive campaign against the threat of subversive boredom by unleashing a fully armed, 5-WHEREAS class resolution: The Resolution Authorizing The Exploration Of The Development Of A New County Seal For The County Of McHenry.

It must have been one of those fighting fire with fire things.

According to news stories, the strategy called for appointing a “computer specialist” to develop a design for the new seal that “could be ready for the county board to look at within several weeks.”

The McHenry County Seal Deal: Current Status

Despite The Board’s early optimism that projected a timeframe of “several weeks,” which would have had the seal home for Christmas, the McHenry County Seal Campaign has been locked in a stalemate. The McHenryCountyBlog has it that two designs were finally submitted in January 2008. Readers can access those candidates at Two Proposals Surface for New McHenry County Seal. My take on those designs can be extrapolated from this graphic from Best Option Re Final Candidates For New McHenry County Seal.

These designs proved unacceptable, as have all proposed candidates.

Similarly, the many seal designs I volunteered via the Heck Of A Guy blog, some of which are shown in the memorial below, were casualties to the cause of county seal revision – despite their indisputable anti-boredom qualities.


 

Memorial To Fallen Heck Of A Guy Designs For The McHenry County Seal
(Click on graphic to view larger image)

Next

Seal Wars – The County Strikes Back

In the next episode, McHenry County, in desperate straits, solicits help from the hoi-polli. Meanwhile, DrHGuy offers the powers that be the ultimate weapon – the perfect County Seal. Will the County have the courage to accept? Or will the forces of lassitude and boredom triumph?

Stay tuned.


  1. Of course, keeping a story of this magnitude under wraps proved impossible. The tragedy of McHenry County’s soporific seal not only hit the local papers but was also covered by the Chicago Tribune, the Associated Press, and two major market TV stations. []
  2. The total of 3077 includes the “parishes” in Louisiana and “boroughs” in Alaska as well as the “counties” of other states. Wikipedia []

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