Just a Bill
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.