Monday, December 03, 2007

Secrets to testifying before your state senate

If you're like me, you often find yourself presenting to or testifying before some state senate committee or another. Often it's a bother, a nuisance, or an attempt to delay the inevitable fraud and contempt charges that your arch nemesis, Senator Richard "Stonepiles" Schucker swore in college to use someday to destroy you. (You shouldn't have slept with his homecoming date.)

Though not as high profile as testifying before the U.S. Senate, your state senate can still be rather nerve wracking. I've compiled the following short list of tips you can follow to make the experience as stress-free as possible.

Tips for Addressing Your State Senate

  1. Choose your words carefully. State senators, like their distant cousins the U.S. senators, are almost all lawyers. And although this means they are soulless, shameless, and salacious, it also means they're really really good at parsing words and twisting the meaning of what you're saying into a lightning rod they can use for a sound byte that will get them face time in the local newspaper.
  2. Don't be nervous. State senators put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you. Albeit, they're usually already roaringly drunk when they finally drag themselves, pantless, into their state capital offices around 10:30 AM.
  3. Don't be intimidated. They work for you, the taxpayer. If they get snide or heavy-handed with you, stay calm by remembering that you've never debased yourself by blowing a campaign donor, the way they undoubtedly have.
  4. Mentally disarm them. Picture the senator in his underwear. Or, more accurately, picture the senator in his underwear with a senate page, in his underwear, sitting on the senator's lap.
  5. Never let them see you sweat. State senators drink the sweat of civilians, the way dung beetles suck moisture from balls of manure, and will pounce at the first sign of perspiration. Before giving a senate presentation, cover your entire body with anti-perspirant, head to toe. Ban roll-on sport strength is a favorite among lobbyists. I recommend unscented.
  6. Nail your nemesis. Do a little research and put him or her in a personally compromising position. For example, more than once I've found myself pounding the podium with my shoe and barking, "Yeah, I may be losing my hair now, Senator Schucker, but at least I wasn't bald at twenty-three LIKE YOU! You're not fooling anyone with that comb-over!"


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