In my continuing effort to give you a tour of life as a new legislator (in all likelihood to be soon followed by my tour of life as an unemployed, unshaven, ex-legislator), I want to tell you a little about the wining and dining that goes on in Harrisburg. You see Pennsylvania has no laws prohibiting lobbyists from throwing big parties, taking us out to dinner, or having people we don’t like “whacked” (actually, that may be technically illegal, but is rarely enforced).

Freshmen in particular are invited to many things as we make what I like to call the “Who the Hell Elected You??” circuit. Last Tuesday was a typical day in Harrisburg, in that my social calendar was full, as opposed to a typical day for me in college, when my social commitments consisted mostly of yelling “People with dates suck!!” from my dorm window. Here is what last Tuesday looked like.

9:00 – Noon; Sleep

Noon – 5:00; Call the Democratic Whip to apologize profusely for missing votes on various issues relating to the Budget, Education, Crime, and other “matters of life and death” yada, yada yada. Leadership can be so melodramatic.

5:00 – 5:30 – PARTY TIME!! First, a reception sponsored by “The Pennsylvania Poverty Counsel.” Sad stories, but the lobster is fantastic!!

5:30 – 6:00 – I’m off to a “Fish Fry for Impotence” gala at the Hilton. Mostly men, and those purple pez made me feel strange.

6:00 – 8:00- Back to the capital for a reception in the rotunda with the “Texas Bar Mitzvah Society.” It seems with the middle east being so dangerous these days, this group is encouraging 13 year old Jewish kids who might otherwise go to the Wailing Wall, to “Torah in Texas” instead.

Being Jewish myself, I was skeptical at first. But after I spent some time speaking to Billy Bob Glickstein and Bobby Jo Rabinowitz myself, I was sold. Plus, I simply could not stop eating their delicious Kugel Nuevos Rancheros and Chicken-Fried Whitefish.

Just before I left, the big guy himself, Rabbi Harlan “Wild-Jackass” Goldberg stopped by in his Stetson-style yarmulke. I swore to him when my soon-to-be-born son turns 13, we’re packin’ up a “pork-free posse” and dovening in Amarillo.

8:00 – Midnight – Finally. Dinner. And I’m starving. Tonight, about 8 reps are being treated to sushi by a lobbyist for the truss industry. In between the unagi and the maguro, we are shown the latest in crotch-restraint wear. After a while, I’ve seen enough leather, and am ready to call it a night. But I am tempted to remain by the promise of cheesecake.

After a hard night like this, I’m ready for a light snack and a warm bed. Tomorrow morning I have a New Legislator Breakfast with the folks from Cottonelle. I want to be well rested, and of course, I want to be nice and hungry.