“Tough day in Congress, dear?”

“You said it, honey. I was in a committee meeting all day.”

“Again? I thought you were finished with that bill. Here, why don’t you have a martini and tell me all about it?”

“Thank you. Let’s see, where should I start? We were just about to send the bill to the floor when Congressman Stone attached a rider to pay for the construction of a 20,000 seat amphitheatre so that artists like George Strait and Pearl Jam could play in his district.”

“That’s understandable. After all, I here he has a lot of Jimmy Buffett fans in his constituent base.”

“I know, but as soon as we approved his rider, Congresswoman Snyder demanded, that if Congressman Stone was going to get his amphitheatre, Congress should approve additional funding to improve the sound systems in all the other concert venues where Barenaked Ladies and Usher are scheduled to play this fall. Says she’s worried about the people in the nose bleed seats. Damn liberal.”

“Now, now, dear, remember your blood pressure.”

“Then Congressman Rogers butted in, saying that he wanted assurances that Congresswoman Snyder’s attachment to Congressman Stone’s rider wouldn’t abridge Fourth Amendment rights to keep and bear arms at all Yanni concerts. Sheesh.”

“That’s not so unreasonable.”

“Maybe so. However, that’s when Congressman Martin started gripin’ about wanting a sub-clause prohibiting people from making disparaging remarks about drummers, percussionists and/or anyone playing in rhythm sections for such acts as Metallica and Van Halen, within 1000 feet of all major venues. He claims that the slander and lies have gone on long enough.”

“I got to admit, it makes my blood boil whenever I hear those jokes like, ‘what do you call a guy who hangs around with musicians?’ So, what did you do?”

“We stuck it on the bill, of course. After all, Lars Ulrich is a big campaign contributor and no one wants to cross him. Once he gets you on the phone, he never stops talking.”

“He is the little chatterbox, isn’t he?”

“That’s the truth. Anyway, we were able to incorporate all the riders, amendments and clauses into the bill. In fact, we were just about to submit it to the House for a full vote, when it happened.”

“Oh? What?”

“Congressman Hance pointed out, that if we approved Congressman Stone’s amphitheatre rider, there wouldn’t be enough money to guarantee members of Congress free air travel, tickets and backstage passes for in Mexico City.”

“You mean…”

“That’s right. We’re back to square one.”

“Well, it sounds like you have your work cut out for you, dear.”

“That’s the understatement of the year. You know, honey, sometimes I think we’ll never get this ethics bill out of committee.”

“Don’t be so glum, dear. Tomorrow’s another day. Would you like another martini?”

“Better not. I’m already running late, and my wife is holding up dinner until I get home.”