Talk about about an event rife with opportunity. Me, Aunt B, and a gaggle of Conservative Republicans at the State Capitol. It’s the sort of once in a lifetime opportunity that, properly documented, could propel a fledgling writer from blogosphere obscurity to a career chock full of fortune and fame.
I completely screwed it up.
In my own defense, I will say that it was not entirely my fault. See, many people that know me will tell you that I am a Heyoka of some repute. Usually, the complete transformation, or more accurately, graduation, to full blown Shaman occurs only after a Heyoka has grown weary of his fun and games, and decides to act like a grown up. I really wasn’t completely sold on the idea, but, unfortunately, the Temptress over at Tiny Cat Pants forced my hand by gifting me the last item I needed to begin my worldwide journey to heal the planet, and everyone* in it.
Bones. To be exact, coyote “finger” bones. The moment she unceremoniously plunged her mitt into her bag and produced the bottle of bones, my life, and your State Legislature, changed forever.
Just between you and me, B was so nervous about being in such close proximity to a room full of poorly dressed males that collectively seek to seize and maintain control of her reproductive processes, that she had to pee damned near every 5 minutes. In an effort to comfort my fearful friend, I removed the bottle (which I had snuck past the oppressive security at the Capitol entrance) and, with a manly yet mystical flourish, shook my bones at the lot of them and whispered to the spirits to cleanse the area of hostilities. Like I said, in terms of Shamanism, I possess the equivalent of a learner’s permit. It’s a little like the first time you make chili, and, instead of carefully measuring the ingredients, you just say, “fuck this”, and dump whatever you have on hand into the pot. Sometimes you get chili, sometimes you get a brown spicy paste.
Anyway, I admit I over-did it. I suppose I should have noticed when a couple of them seemed to be able to walk as if they did not in fact have a sharp stick tucked away in their posteriors. A few of them managed what almost looked like sincere smiles, which was amusing because one could tell that this was a tad foreign to them, and their lips kept sliding back over their teeth a little. So, after navigating the gauntlet of halls, elevators, escalators, and darkened narrow passages that is the path to the Assistant Minority Leader’s office, we were invited into a room where a collection of mostly East Tennessee conservative bloggers were already seated. There was introductions all around, then we were escorted to the house floor, or, rather, the balcony overlooking the house floor, where the carnage was supposed to take place.
As soon as the half dozen prayers and pledges were through, the proceedings turned into a virtual love-fest. It was as if the gladiators and lions of ancient Rome suddenly decided to play leap frog instead of tearing each other apart. Every spoken word was met with the proper amount of head nodding and encouragement. Even when Stacey Campfield elected to speak up and ask an inane question, it was pondered, respectfully, then patiently answered. When the voting took place on the half-dozen or so bills and amendments under consideration, the ayes prevailed in a rout. 97-zip, every damn time. A freshman Representative introduced his first bill, effectively breaking his legislative cherry, and I swear I saw a teary eye or two on the floor.
After witnessing the Mutual Admiration Society in action, we were invited to Logan’s Roadhouse to dine with members of the Republican Caucus and a trio of Bellsouth lobbyists. Dutch Treat! Again, courtesy and politeness ruled the day, or evening, as it were, even Aunt B and Rep Campfield broke bread together without incident. I drank tequila.
To all of you breathlessly waiting for every gory detail of Blogger Day on The Hill, let me extend my sincerest apologies for getting carried away with my newly found powers.
Tomorrow, I shall fill you in on some of the people we met, I’ll try to spice it up a little.
*Please don’t wander out to my place and ask me fix your toenail fungus or conjure shit up, please. I’ve serious work to do.