Monday, June 24, 2024 -
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Recess

Best I can remember, recess in elementary school was 45 minutes, not 45 days. But what did I know? I wasn’t a United States Congressman. I’m still not, which means I don’t understand “recess.”

I flipped on the radio earlier this week and learned that the United States Senate Majority Leader ruined the Senators’ current recess by calling them back for an important vote this Sunday.

Funny, I didn’t know there was a congressional recess just now. I thought that Congress recessed “only” in late summer — oh, for a whole month or so — and again at the end of the year — oh, for three weeks or so. I guess I was wrong. It seems there is also a lengthy spring (?) Memorial Day (?) recess, too. How unkind of Majority Leader McConnell to ruin the current recess by actually expecting our US Senators to work; you know, as in voting.

I got to thinking, what if the rest of us had recess like the US Congress?

The IJN, for starters, would arrive in your mailbox about 42 times a year, instead of 52. Your preferred movie theater would shut down for weeks at a time. Get ready to make do without your favorite library, concert hall and swimming pool. If Congress can take all that recess, why not everyone else?

All those closures, that’s the bad news. The good news is if you got sick; actually you wouldn’t be allowed to get sick for about 10 weeks every year. The doctors would all be on recess. Some services we could just do without.

More good news:

You wouldn’t have to stomach all those Rockies’ losses, since they’d be playing far fewer games. You wouldn’t have to tolerate all those traffic jams on I-25, since the gasoline refineries would be shut down a couple of months a year.

On the other hand, you’d probably have to stock up on nose plugs, since the garbage collectors would recess for a good stretch every spring, summer and winter. Stock up on food, too. The grocery workers would surely demand the same recess as everyone else.

More bad news:

The cost of essential services would skyrocket. For example, a ticket to the zoo. The animals have to be fed. Big time overtime for the zoo feeders. Another example: the fire and police. Instead of getting paid for a couple of weeks of vacation, they’d get paid for a couple of months, and other firemen and police officers would have to step in to make up the difference. The expense! Ditto for those other essential services: the meter maids and the IRS.

The truth is, Congresspeople have to work during recess back in their home districts — if they want to. Nobody’s checking up on them. They don’t have to punch a clock or even show up at the office.

And all those high styled, martini-laden, gourmet, upscale political fundraisers — bummer. But everybody needs recess, you know, to refresh yourself. I used to love playing four square and elimination during recess (anyone still play these games?) and they really were refreshing — for 45 minutes.

I shouldn’t complain. I wouldn’t take all that Congresslike recess myself even if I had it. I’d get bored, month after month not showing up at the office. The problem is, if I did show up and no one else was there, I couldn’t get anything done anyway. So, personally, I’m really anti-excess recess.

But that’s just an ordinary, non-political, needing-to-be-productive type speaking. Surely not the opinion of somebody of high stature, fit for the exalted atmosphere of the sacred precincts in Washington, DC.

So add this to the list of reasons why I’m not running for Congress just now . . . whether or not Mitch McConnell summons me back to Washington this Sunday to tell me I need to move to Kentucky because I’d do a better job than Rand Paul. Sorry, Mitch, I need to be motivated by more than that . . . one of those round robin martini cycles, maybe?

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