Big Daddy

Ask Big Daddy

Dear Big Daddy,

I know we’re supposed to look forward to the end of session, but I feel, well, empty. All this rushing around, then it’s over. I find myself looking forward to January, and wishing I worked on water or health care. Have I been here too long? Is there something wrong with me?

–Lonely Lobbyist

Dear Masochist,

A wise man (me) once said (now) that there’s something wrong with everyone. The question isn’t whether something is wrong with you, but whether you can live with it. That’s actually two questions: 1. Will it kill me? 2. Will I wish it would kill me?

Now I’m not going to ask you to tell me about your mother (unless she’s a
stone-cold fox), but lie down on Big Daddy’s couch anyway–so I can make jokes about your problems. So what I’m hearing is that you love the game, you miss the game, you can’t wait until the ball goes back into play. To me, you’re sane and those folks who don’t miss the game–the ones who wish they were lobbying in France to turn their 27 weeks of annual vacation into 43–they’re the ones who are crazy.

Did I say I was going to play psychotherapist? No, I didn’t. I’m your enabler. Enablers can also have couches (a well-stocked bar and a black book filled with shady characters won’t hurt either, in case anyone out there was thinking of a career change).

And there’s no one more qualified to be your enabler than me. I gave you the fulltime legislature that is driving your more psychologically healthy, I mean lazy, colleagues crazy. Just think, you could be a lobbyist in Texas, where the legislature meets every fourteenth lunar eclipse, and then only if the armadillo sees it’s shadow. If they didn’t execute so many people, Texans might forget they even have a state government.

No, my friend, you live in California. We’re no mere Nanny State. We’re a Neurotic Overprotective Yuppie Mother Who Quit Her Job So She Could Have This Damn Baby and Now I’m Going to Put All That Energy I Was Putting Into My Career Into Making Sure This Kid Knows Spanish and String Theory Before They’re Three State.

From spanking to spaying (sounds like a party), there’s not much that escapes the notice of our legislators. And every wacky bill is a chance to take sides. Short of going to DC, you’re not going to find any place that fulfills you lobbying jones like this company town. Forget almonds and tomatoes–lobbying fees are the Central Valley’s premiere cash crop.

Of course, the sheer intensity of working in California politics is probably what landed you in this condition in the first place. You’re like a PTSD survivor who wants nothing more than to go back into a war zone (and the word “like” may not be necessary here). As family and non-political friends faded into the background while you essentially moved into the basement at Chops, you probably made a virtue of what many would see as a vice.

I know I did. When I look at my biography, I know I had a couple wives and

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