CONTENTS | LR

I'm Just a Bill
What follows is a small glimpse of a typical day's proceedings in our nation's legislature. Hopefully this nutshell view will give you a better idea of how our country's laws evolve.

After roll call the day's hard work began with an impassioned speech by Jim Ross Lightfoot (R). He had authored a bill that all children under the age of seven and adults under 5'2" be declared wards of his home state of Iowa and be put to work in the fields, on the theory that they were too short to be good to anybody and were therefore better put to use in "Constructive endeavors," as he put it.

Jim Ross cited an obscure states rights provision of the Constitution, and argued most eloquently on this theme for the half hour he was allowed. His closing remarks brought tears to his eyes: "The breadbasket of America, of which Iowa is an essential loaf, is rotting from within because there lacks the human element. Machines are soulless servants. Tiny hands, uncreased by the proud lines of labor, should be utilized to continue to keep this great land of ours fat. I can only hope that my home state, Iowa, proves worthy of hosting this grand experiment, and that when later we meet, distinguished colleagues, we can expand the scope of my vision."

Following Mr. Lightfoot was J.J. Pickle (R) of Texas, who felt that the television show 'Dallas' should, by decree, resume production. "Reruns," he spat at one point, "are the spawn of Godless Communists. Perhaps a very small surtax on the sale of infant incubators to hospitals, or on milk for school children, could be painlessly implemented to support the production costs necessary for this very real contribution that the Lone Star state has made to culture. J.R. is a symbol of an America that other countries stand in awe of: he is ruthless and wily. He's the John Wayne we're lacking. With his help we can continue to broadcast our strength."

It was the next congressman's opinion that Millard Fillmore has never reaped his proper share of laurels. Ron Klink (D) of Pennsylvania felt stirred to proclaim: "Many citizens view Millard as a figment of historical imagination. Children in schools today know next to nothing about our passionate 13th president. My proposal isn't a modest one, but Millard's achievements weren't modest, either. I feel that a Millard Fillmore Monument, roughly the height and configuration of our beloved Washington Monument, be erected forthwith along the banks of the Potomac, where visitors can meander and stroll through the entrance gardens I've planned before coming face to face with the concrete that is our loving memory of Millard. Thank you all."

James Sensenbrenner, Jr., a Republican from Wisconsin, was thinking cheese. "It's an American institution," he beseeched. "The Badger State has contributed cheese to the nation, and the nation has answered, 'Feh!'" Sensenbrenner pounded his right fist into his left hand for emphasis. "I propose that cheese be declared an illegal substance until such time that these combined United States approach Wisconsin on bended knee and apologize! Then, and only then, will the production of cheese continue, with Wisconsin the central processing center for all requests, the 'Big Cheese', as it were. That's all I have to say."

Before Sam Coppersmith (D), Arizona, could venture into his fond hope that new, recreational vehicle -only lanes could be added to interstates, someone from the gallery stood up and declared "Mr. Speaker! Point of order! This man is an idiot!"

The spectator was removed.