How many congressmen does it take to …?

January 13, 2013 

How many congressmen does it take to …?

I have great admiration for the 535 men and women who put in the money, time, money and money it takes to be a member of one the most productive bodies this world has ever seen. No, not the Octomom. I mean the U.S. Congress.

Fortunately, the amazingly productive body has hit a shocking lull in effectiveness. To help rekindle their spirit of teamwork, bipartisanship and accomplishment, I've invited them to help me with my project for 2013 - building a birdhouse.

Me: First of all, thank all 535 of you for coming to help me build this birdhouse. Now, let's get started.

Nancy: Wait, point of order. I have here the instructions for building this birdhouse.

Me: Thanks! Wait, this is 76,028 pages long. I've got six pieces of wood and a handful of nails. I'm not going to read this.

John: That's OK. We haven't read past the first four pages of anything since 1963.

Me: Oh, well …

Saxby: Hand me that wood and nails. BAM! BAM! BAM! There you go, a birdhouse. That wasn't so hard.

Steny: Um, it's leaning too far to the right.

Paul: I disagree. It's clearly about to topple over on the left.

Saxby: What?! It's perfectly straight!

Paul & Steny: EXACTLY!

Paul: Wait! Did Steny also say exactly? If so, I'd like to change my answer to maybe not exactly to a certain degree.

Me: Thanks. Decent job, Saxby. But there's no hole for the birds.

Mitch: What kind of bird are we talking about? Because I'm not building a house for Big Bird. He can do that with his own money along with his giggly little red friend, Hellmo.

Al: Well, if there's any folks who ought to know about holes, it's we congress folks.

Everybody: Aye!

Me: See, bipartisan agreement already.

Lindsey: We're not gonna let one of those really colorful, pretty birds or blackbirds in it, are we?

Sanford: What about these little birds? Poor things look like their wings are broken.

Eric: They had their chance.

Sanford: Yeah, but that hawk over there just attacked them for no good reason.

Eric: Hey, that hawk is a supporter of mine!

Me: OK, chill. We'll cut an average-sized hole later. Now, let's paint it. Any color suggestions?

Barbara: Blue!

Lynn: Red!

Bernie: A light beige would be nice!

Me: Here's a thought! How about red, white and blue? You know, something American and patriotic!

John: Wait, it's just gonna look patriotic, for posturing and such, right? We don't actually have to do anything patriotic and good for America, do we?

Me: Of course not.

Nancy: In that case, I say we have a preliminary vote to move this birdhouse to the Subcommittee for Birdhouse Development, who'll send it on to the Committee for Birdhouses.

John: OK, let's vote. We've got 267 and a half to 267 and a half. Wait! How's that even possible.

Me: Oh no, not a tie!

Joe: SMASH! Start over.

Harry: Wow! That was an amazing display of power. I think I just wet myself.

Joe: Did the TV camera catch that spontaneous display of powerful decision making?

Harry: No, but we can put it back together and do it again. Where's Saxby?

Saxby: No can do!

Dianne: While you are stonewalling, innocent birds are sleeping out in the cold in homes made of straw and sticks. You should be ashamed.

Saxby: It's not that.

Harry: Then what is it?

Saxby: Rob stole my hammer.

Mitch: Not a problem. I yield the remainder of my time to the well-armed senator from Texas.

Ted: POW! Got him.

Me: Never mind.

Chris Johnson is an independent correspondent whose "Best of Chris Johnson" is now available for Kindle. Follow him at

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