Lawmakers are lifeblood for humorists
I always get the blues this time of year. And it's not because I'm recovering from celebrating one of my favorite holidays: Cinco de Mayo.
Anyone who reads this column knows that for members of the Worldwide I Hate Mayonnaise Club, of which I am the founder and el presidente, the Fifth of May is fondly known as Stinko de Mayo. And although the club no longer has an Internet Web site (deft financial management of the I Hate Mayonnaise Club forced us to sell the Web address nomayo.com for quick cash) we still have members of good taste all over the world who continue to fight a global war against the dreaded white slime.
Another reason I like May 5 is that it's my wedding anniversary. My bride and I usually celebrate it by having several goblets of cheap champagne and then arguing over who's going to do the dishes. (Note to young, recently married men: The question of who does the dishes will become the foundation of all future marital disputes.)
This was our 27th. I wasn't sure what the theme is for 27th anniversaries. The 25th, I knew, was silver. And the 30th will be pearls. I was hoping the 27th was golf carts, as my big gift this year was a tee time at a local golf course.
Actually, my wife and I get along unusually well for two human beings who have shared the matrimonial bed for more than a quarter of a century. It took only decades for me to figure out the secret to domestic bliss: I'm always wrong. Once the husband gets that bit in his teeth, marriage is smooth sailing.
So, no, it is not Stinko de Mayo or my wedding anniversary that makes me blue at this time of year. It is the fact that the state Legislature has completed its work and closed its doors. For a humor columnist, this is a devastating time of year because a recent study by the Federal Bureau of Newspaper Humor Development showed that state legislatures are responsible for generating 42 percent of all humorous column material in any given year.
When that tap is turned off, the columnists across the country are suddenly forced to actually come up with their own ideas, a chilling predicament. When I first became a columnist, I suggested it would be cheaper for all of us just to pay legislators not to meet, because whenever they all got together, it cost us a lot of money.
How mean-spirited that was. I'm sorry, fellas. And ladies. I'm now of the mind that legislators should meet all year long and churn out as much silliness, I mean, legislation, as they possibly can. The gas cap bill alone was responsible for, I think, 37 columns. And, God bless 'em, lawmakers were still messing around with this zany piece of legislation right up until the bell sounded last week ending the session. (The new version of the gas cap bill offers a sophisticated formula tying Hawaii gas prices to the wholesale price of yak fur in Afghanistan, cross-referenced with the price of beets in Ukraine and the cost of a single gallon of kerosene at Bob's Heavy Equipment Rentals, Route 43, Springsdale, Idaho.)
To be honest, the Legislature does many, many wonderful things. And I'm not just trying to kiss up. If the state Capitol didn't keep so many otherwise unemployable people gainfully employed, Mayor Mufi Hannemann would have to reopen Ala Moana Park to an entirely new wave of homeless.
This year, I don't seem to have the blues as much as in previous years. I suspect it is because of two little words I keep hearing whispered around the halls of the Senate and House: "special session."
, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org