I believe it was '94* when I sauntered down to the county building on Main and Huron and filled out the form to register the Lobster Rights Party as an official Michigan political committee. Political committees need a minimum of one member, the treasurer, and so I become the sole officer.
This stemmed from discussions with a curious character named Nick Vöss. We often came up with ridiculous things to talk about and pass the time at work as we put dust jackets on books or books into cartons. He said that he always felt bad for the lobsters at Meijer, jammed into a tank, piled on top of each other, on display with their claws cruelly banded and often with the prices of their pitiful lives plainly in view. He said that he would like to go in there with a sledgehammer or a maul, and crack open that tank and shout, "Run, little lobsters! Be free!" He said that he would claim the action on behalf of the LLF, or Lobster Liberation Front.
I told him that I opposed the actions of his group, and that education and legislation were the only way to secure rights for all lobsters, not just the few that he could set free in an act of violence that would surely garner only bad publicity for our shared cause. The Lobster Rights Party would issue a public statement denouncing the LLF's actions.
I don't know why, but to me, such idle games are always more entertaining if you take them too far. That's how I ended up at the county building, filling out paperwork.
The state sent me mail a couple times a year, requesting that we submit our financial statements (contributions received and paid out), and although we were exempt because we had received or contributed less than $100 the previous year, I believe we were still expected to reply and state such. As far as I know, such requests are still sent to "Christopher Herdt, Treasurer," at my old address at 8 Mile and Van Dyke in Warren, as they were, confirmed by my old roommate, just a couple years ago.
Our only real political action, if you can call it such, preceded the 1994 senate election, which pitted Republican Spence Abraham, a real asshole, against Democrat Bob Carr, another real asshole. (For those of you who don't remember, there was a big political non-issue in the early 90s over flag-burning. Bob Carr supported a proposed constitutional amendment that would cause flag-burners to forfeit their U.S. citizenship.) The Lobster Rights Party contacted local media outlets and endorsed write-in candidate Jack Kevorkian as a superior candidate to either of the two morons on the ballot. To my surprise, The Ann Arbor News ran our endorsement as a letter to the editor on the op-ed page.
* I'd previously said 1996, but after further recollection I realize it must have been 1994, based on when I worked with Nick Vöss at Edwards Brothers and the senate election.