Hierarchy – The classification of a group of people according to ability or to economic, social, or professional standing.

Every group has a hierarchy. Our government has a President (I said “Hierarchy,” not “Smartarchy”), any company has a CEO. Even the Shriners have a guy whose funny hat is different, and more important, than all the other funny hats.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is no different. As I have come to understand it, the Hierarchy of the House is roughly as follows:

= The Speaker
= The Majority Leader
= The Minority Leader
= The Majority Whip
= The rest of the members
= The Stenographers
= Dead people buried near the capitol
= Otto, the guy with the plate in his head who sells Keilbasa on the capitol steps
= Me

As you can imagine, this can be frustrating.

Frustration- A deep, chronic sense or state of insecurity and dissatisfaction arising from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs.

One of the ways being so low in the pecking order is annoying is the difficulty I have in getting my legislation considered. At first, when I brought up a bill, the Speaker would, with great solemnity, rule me out of order. Then, he would just giggle. Now, when I try to get my bills debated, he doubles over laughing, pulls down his pants and sets his socks on fire. As you can imagine, this can be an effective deterrent.

It’s not like I haven’t tried to be cool. I do all the things I did to be cool back in college. I wear “High Karate” Aftershave. I blast Leonard Nimoy records from my souped-up Pacer. I brandish photos of my Bar Mitzvah at all the parties. The usual stuff. But nothing seems to work.

I’d like to think my difficulties stem from the fact that I am actually trying to move legislation, whereas freshmen from the minority party are supposed to be reimbursed, but not heard. On the other hand it could be that my reputation just took a fatal hit when I drank too many Virgin Marys and tried to “neck” with the Secretary of Transportation.

In any event, I hope that if I ever move up the hierarchy chart (passing Otto, say), that I will be more open to the possibility that those below me may have a good idea. But by then, I’ll probably be completely cynical, and will join the long list of speakers who light their clothes on fire when freshmen try to say something.

Turtle Wax- (this dictionary stuff is fun!) An exterior car care product, usually given as a parting gift by Monty Hall to losers on “Lets Make a Deal.” Intended to provide some consolation to those who did not win the $55,000 Lexis. Always awarded in a “lifetime supply.” Any amount of Turtle Wax is a “lifetime supply.”

Dutch Larooo

Tomorrow: Why do birds suddenly appear every time I walk near?