Big Daddy

Ask Big Daddy

Dear Big Daddy,

Those of us who work for elected officials often have to go above and beyond. But a friend of mine was recently called upon to brief their member while the member was, how to put this delicately, making a No. 2. They’re the same gender, but still.

–Never saw that on West Wing

Dear Missed the Deleted Scenes on the DVD,

Rule No. 1 of working on a legislative staff is “Always respect the member.” There are good reasons why this is rule No. 1. It’s all-purpose, easy to remember and rarely fails to garner a giggle.

So does rule No. 1 remain in effect even when the member is doing a No. 2? “Always” is a harsh modifier, and the answer is yes.

I assume they were speaking through a stall door, so this was limited to a sound and smell issue. In other words, your friend has been through far worse many times in committee. At least nothing the boss did at that moment got chaptered.

Your friend ought to be glad they didn’t work in the Capitol of yesteryear. It’s a little known fact that the title “legislative director” was originally created so members could hire someone to empty chamber pots. Prior to Hiram Johnson, every governor had a staffer called a “bidetier.” As bad as that sounds, trust me, it was a euphemism. Fifty bucks goes to the first person who can correctly locate the memorial to these brave men on the Capitol grounds.

If the past seems romantic, it’s because you can’t smell it. And when it comes to government, the past is never past. Despite recent improvements (you’re welcome), we’re still working with a COBAL version of democracy created during the “drunken shyster” portion of our young state’s history. If we were really all that advanced, my severed head would be ruling the world from a glass jar equipped with robotic tentacles

Want to see more stories like this? Sign up for The Roundup, the free daily newsletter about California politics from the editors of Capitol Weekly. Stay up to date on the news you need to know.

Sign up below, then look for a confirmation email in your inbox.

 

Support for Capitol Weekly is Provided by: