When I was a teenager, I had two jobs. One of them was at a woman’s lingerie store. Although it wasn’t technically a job in the sense that I didn’t get paid, and the manager would call the police whenever he saw me trying on one of the negligees.

The other job I had was at Burger King. The interesting thing about that job (aside from the fact that the burgers were made of termites) was the fact that we had to always look busy, even when there was nothing to do. At midnight, on the off chance that a customer would come in (lets just say that the customers who came into Burger King at midnight were really, really big Pink Floyd fans) we had to be constantly wiping the same spot on the counter over and over again, just to create the illusion of activity.

I often wondered if other professions had to do things to look busy. Perhaps surgeons had to cut random body parts when the boss walked by. Milli Vanilli’s job was exclusively to look busy. Bhuddist monks on the other hand, to avoid getting in trouble, had to look not busy.

Being in the legislature is sort of the same thing. We’re not actually voting on anything substantive, but we don’t want to look like we’re not earning our salary, so we do completely mindless things that approximate activity on TV. For example, as mentioned in previous Vents, we vote on “Resolutions,” like declaring 2004 “The Year of the Ferret” and passing commemorations of the “Invention of the Speculum” and “Partridge Family Awareness Month.”

Sometimes we just give passionate, but utterly meaningless self-serving speeches to make us look good to the people back home. I gave into that temptation myself recently and talked for 20 minutes about how I found terrorism “distasteful,” and how I strongly believed that every child should have a mother and a father, at least biologically.

Finally, when all the resolutions and speeches were done, we started passing something we call “acknowledgments.” These are things that we decide to be true, for what it’s worth. Last week we voted the following ways on the following acknowledgments:

= The Sky is blue (sometimes) Passed 203 – 0
= Marshmallows are “gooeylicious” Passed 203 – 0
= Representative Leach is a “Hottie” Defeated 1 – 202
= Republicans Suck Defeated 94 – 109
= Democrats Suck Passed 109 – 94
= Boy We’re Busy! Passed 203 – 0

Perhaps soon we’ll get around to the serious business of legislating. But until then, I want to be part of the action. For next week I’m working on a series of resolutions demanding that Pornographic depictions of Winnie the Pooh be kept on an “only as necessary” basis.

Dutch Laroooo