Friday, February 06, 2009

Get Thee Behind Me, Empress

Back in the early ‘70s, the literati – namely young Washington journalists with too much time on their hands – began playing a game called, “Stennis, Anyone,” in which you strung together the names of congressmen and senators to come up with funny names for legislation.

Stennis, of course, was the racist from Mississippi, but, hey, the name worked. One of the best examples was something like the Fong Hong Spong Long Hong Kong bell bill. Or the Bible Church Bell Tower bill to do something for religion.

This kind of word game has been a specialty of mine and it is the biennial version of it that inspires my best work for the Style Invitational. It is my favorite right next to the annual competition, see last week’s The Nitty Gritty posting, to make funny couplets about the previous year’s crop of dead people.

Tomorrow morning the results of the legislative bill-names contest are published. And all I got was a shared mention with another contestant, using his (or the Empress') wording, but not mine.

Empress, I divorce thee.

No more entries, no more brain teasing, no more Empress, and basically since I am not reading the print version much any more, no more Post subscription.

Judge for yourself as to whether any of these deserved mention.

Bright-Cao resolution to replace Rudolph on Santa’s sleigh team

Kissell-Massa resolution to improve civil discourse in the House.

Austria-Shock trooper provision banning military training to neo-Nazi governments.

Harper-Lee bill to protect the species Mimus polyglottos

Schauer-Shock bill to prevent home water heaters from exceeding 120 degrees.

Kaufman-Coffman hernia research bill

Hunter-Lujan-Begich-Udall-Udall- anti-nepotism bill

Peters-Hunter Capitol Page School Protection Act

Risch-Fudge diabetes research bill

Adler-Coffman-Kaufman-Dahlkemper-Driehaus-Franken-Heinrich-Leutkemeyer-Schauer-Schock-Schrader-Risch-Austria “Talk Like a Teuton Day” Resolution.

Fleming-Coffman lung congestion relief act

Austria-Posey act to replace the edelweiss as the national flower

Lance-Peters anti-torture bill.

Risch-Paulsen amendment limiting treasury secretaries to net worths of $10 million.

Udall-Udall-Warner tax relief for the start-up Warner Cousins movie studio.

Franken-Paulsen amendment to publicly finance campaigns of actual comedians.

Pingree-Lee bill to honor the contributions to children’s television of Pincus Leff.

Kosmas-Hunter bill renaming the Naval Observatory after Carl Sagan.

Rooney-Polis bill renaming Maryland’s capital after the Steelers’ owner following the Ravens loss in the AFC championship game.

Pierluisi-Perriello-Hagan bill prohibiting immigrant Irish from taking the jobs of consiglieres.

Franken-Lee “My Dear I Don’t Give a Damn” resolution honoring famous last words.

Franken-Titus bill to fund mad scientists’ work on inflammatory diseases.

Hunter-Thompson libel law reform and shotgun control act.

Hunter-Thompson ridiculous final Act.

Cao-Peters Anti-Cloning Bill

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