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Happy 33rd Anniversary, Curt

It's about time I lightened up. I mean, three columns in a row on education, health care and immigration.

So, today being my anniversary (Happy 33rd, Curt), it's time for some lighter stuff.

Like, marriage? In fact, I'm just a typical American adult, still married and living with a spouse. Like 56 percent of the adult population in the country. Median age for men to marry is 26.7; 25 for women. Median means, half were older, half younger. I was 24; Curt, 26.

Like enjoying my Jesse "The Body" Ventura coffee cup that my legislative assistant brought back to me from Minneapolis. Jesse promises, by the way, to veto any legislation dealing with lutefisk. And, if you don't know anything about lutefisk, go read my December columns.

At least Jesse has a sense of humor. Unlike a lot of us politicians. I mean, we got all gussied up (who invented that phrase, where does it come from?) for the Governor's ball...tuxedos, ball gowns. In Minneapolis, it was "come as you are," with bluejeans the choice of the night, I understand.

Now, Newsweek, in announcing that Elizabeth Dole is considering a presidential run, says she can also "get an early start on figuring out how husband Bob's role as a Viagra spokesman will play politically." What, I ask you, does that have to do with anything? Did they ever ponder, for example, what might happen if a male politician's wife was taking estrogen, or birth control pills.

Maybe New York's feisty mayor Rudy Guiliani was right when he simply said, "If people like my personality, thank you. If you don't, I don't really care."

Or, we could give politicians we don't like punishment suggested by Tom Mashberg, a writer for the Boston Herald. Tom, in one of the funniest newspaper articles I've read in a long time, suggested lesser penalties for politicians and presidents who do things we don't like.

Like "noogees", applying the knuckles of a clenched fist to the pate of the offender, administered by the Chief Celibate of the Supreme Court under the supervision of the Eunuch of the House. Tom pointed out that only two presidents have been "noogied"--James Polk for "unnaturelle consorting with ye sheep agraze'd upon thee White House Lawne" and Millard Fillmore, for taking out the White House garbage "clad immodestlee in his Nightshyrt."

Or, Tom continued, a "wedgee", "in the event that the President shall insist even one tyme that the locution's 'sexual relations' includeth not any and all carnal acts reasonably inferred by adolescent menfolk from the phrases firste base, seconde base, thirde basse and fifthe base, wherebye the Undergarmenture of the President shall be tugged from without his Pantaloons, using a firm yanking motion applied from the reare....for one fulle hour."

Or, better yet, a "sand wedgee," using granules of sand in the undegarmenture. Or an "atomick wedgee," looping the waisteband of the undergarmenture to the ears for a "fulle daye's tyme."

Finally, the president could simply appear in the Well of the Senate and be subjected to one "swirlee," pushed into a commode with rinsing water for an hour. Pauses allowed for breathing.

Thank you, Tom Mashberg, for your sense of humor.

Other news stories you might have missed include the church in Spain that has installed a debit card machine, so parishioners can just swipe their card and make a donation on the spot. And they don't have to worry about being robbed on the way to church.

Or about the London supermarket that is thinking about "naked shopping nights" to increase business. They're serious. People would go to the store, after the regular closing time, take off their clothes, shop, then get dressed again. I don't think Big Y or Food Mart or Stop 'n Shop will follow, do you? And how about the run down the ice cream and frozen food aisle.

Or about the $154 million dollars that counterfeiters produced last year. Just a drop in the bucket compared to the $480 billion in real U. S. money available.

Did you know that, in Massachusetts, no women serve in the U. S. Senate, and none ever have. No Massachusetts women serve in the U. S. House of Representatives, and only three ever have. That 23 percent of our legislative seats are held by women. And only 19 percent of municipal seats, above the school committee level, are held by women.

And, did you know that the list of the top ten states that are child-friendly includes Massachusetts. Others are Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Maine, Utah, Vermont, Minnesota and New Hampshire. Topping the list, the state of my birth--Iowa. The Children's Rights Council analyzed things like infant mortality rates, teen pregnancies, high school drop out rates, unwed births, divorce rates, crime rates, drug and alcohol deaths.

Hey, we recycle in the State House. In fact, we recycled 18.5 tons of paper in October. I wonder who weighed it.

Best calendar of the year? From the Cape Cod Cranberry growers. Twelve months of beautiful pictures. And, we're still the national leader in cranberry production, with 180 million pounds harvested last fall.

Next week...back to more serious stuff.


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