“Members of the Legislature, my name is Figby, and I have been asked by House Speaker Dennis Ralston — he is the gentleman over in the corner eating the Twinkie — along with Sens. Tommie Williams and Chip Rogers to discuss some potential campaign issues this fall. They are, of course, your leaders and have helped make the General Assembly what it is today.
For you House members who may not know him, Sen. Williams is the distinguished gentlemen covered in pine straw. Next to him is Sen. Rogers, who seems to be putting a cotton swab on a cut.
Would any of you like to say something before I start? Yes, Mr. Speaker?”
“It is a little hard to understand you with the Twinkie in your mouth, but I appreciate the kind words.
“Sen. Williams? You have some comments?”
“Yes. Voters need to know that pine straw is an important economic development tool that will make Georgia a key player in the international marketplace of the 21st century and I have it on sale for $4.40 a bale. Next year I plan to introduce legislation to grade pine straw from ‘A’ to ‘D,’ like I did schools this year. Why should pine straw be any different than schools?”
“Excellent point, senator. Sen. Rogers, you look as though you are bleeding.”
“Nothing to worry about, thank you. As I have stated many times, education is in my blood.”
“Sir, I think a Band-Aid and a couple of weeks teaching civics in a public school and you should be good as new. Now, let’s talk about how to impress the voters back home and to ensure you get re-elected and come back next year.”
“Who said anything about coming back? I’m not coming back.”
“Not sure folks in the back of the room could hear that, but Sen. George Hooks, dean of the state Senate, says he is retiring after 30 years in the Legislature. Out of respect for his years of service, the new redistricting plan would require him to run for re-election in suburban Chicago. That was a classy thing to do. With Sen. Hooks’ retirement, white Democrats in South Georgia are now an endangered species, joining the tiger beetle, sea otters and public school teachers in Georgia. I see Rep. Alisha Thomas-Morgan’s hand raised. Yes, ma’am?”
“I am poised to be one of the most influential women of the 21st century. It says so right there on my web page.”
“That’s very impressive. I’m sure Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey are running scared, but I don’t believe most voters in Georgia give a flip. Sen. Rogers, are you OK?”
“Education is in my blood.”
“Senator, I’m not a hematologist but I don’t think that’s public education in your blood. I think you have an AB blood type, meaning ‘anything but’ public schools. You are a carrier of this deadly disease, kind of like the tsetse fly. Given your performance these past couple of years, I believe I’d drop that shtick about education being in your blood if I were you. Even the tsetse flies don’t believe you. Yes, Speaker Ralston?”
“Mgumpgf Germany fmbmfs Thanksgiving trip mfpbmg $17,000 fmblmbf.”
“I couldn’t quite get all of that, Mr. Speaker. Maybe you should wait until you finish your Twinkie to speak. I think that is your third one, is it not? I believe you may have been saying your $17,000 Thanksgiving trip to Germany over the 2010 Thanksgiving holidays with your family and paid for by a lobbyist has cast a bad light on all members of the Legislature, and voters should know you are sorry for your extremely bad judgment. Is that accurate?”
“Glad to help, sir. OK, I know you folks are ready to get out of here but before you go face the voters, let me remind you that thanks to the speaker, they are going to want to know why you won’t impose limits on lobbyist’s expenditures. In addition, school teachers will ask you if Sen. Rogers and Sen. Williams have told you that Education Week magazine ranks Georgia’s public schools seventh in the nation for overall quality, but only 38th in per-pupil spending. I would suggest you tell them none of this was your fault and to have their lobbyist invite you to The Masters, and you will explain the situation there. That should shut them up. Meeting adjourned. Who stole my Twinkie?”
You can reach Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.