Ask a Hill Staffer: Once Again, Help Wanted
To everything there is a season, dear readers. Turn, turn, etc. Yeah, continuing the great purge, we are sad to announce that our Anonymous Hill Staffer is a Hill Staffer no more. The whole tragic tale appears below. In the meantime, because he insisted that none of his coworkers was funny, we are on the market for a new one. If you work on the Hill and are good at answering questions, shoot us an email. Or if you have new and exciting ideas (Ask a Lobbyist? Ask Mitchell Wade?) for a regular column, let us know.
After the jump, a tearful, 99% true farewell, with implicit Green Day soundtrack and cherished memories montage.
First of all, you'll notice I used a comma in the salutation of this letter. That's because I consider you friends. I've really enjoyed these last months that you have let me write Ask a Hill Staffer for you. I never knew how little people knew about Congress, and I'm happy to have done my civic duty by educating people about the inner workings of Congress. The internet is an amazing tool of the information age -- to think, nary a decade ago it wasn't even on computers yet! I've even been thinking of starting my own blog! Thank you, Al Gore, for the internet. But fuck you for the global warming! We were fine without it! As my brother would say, it's an inconvenient truth.
Sadly, that's not the point of this letter, even though I would like to discuss Al Gore a little more. Al Gore with a beard that is, because his beard made him look like Grizzly Adams, and Grizzly Adams was a great American. I'm writing this letter because I must regretfully inform you that I will no longer be able to continue on as your anonymous Hill staffer every week. This is not because I don't want to -- oh no, far from it. If I could write this column for the rest of my life, I would be a happy man. No, I write this letter with a heavy heart.
I've been stalling for half a page now, so I'll just come clean: I lost my job on the Hill. It would just be unfair to continue answering questions like this, because it would be dishonest. The American people get enough dishonestly from their elected representation on Capitol Hill, so they don't need any more from me. The buck stops here, as FDR, my favorite President, used to say. I want to keep writing for you, but "Ask an Unemployed Asshole with a Drinking Problem" just doesn't seem like an interesting angle. Besides, you can go down K Street a few blocks from the White House and ask any number of people those same questions.
I'm sure you're asking yourself "WHAT HAPPENED!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!?!" by now. Well, I'm still asking myself that. What happened is that I'm a dumbass, which I'm sure you've gathered over the past few months. Well this time, it's for real. While writing my column at work the other week, I accidentally hit the print icon instead of the save icon in the Word toolbar. They're so goddamn close and my fingers are just too fat for the fucking mouse! I knew I should have learned those fucking keyboard shortcuts! Anyway, I lost the column because I didn't save it, and the Chief of Staff in my office found the printout of what was to be this week's column, surprisingly enough knew what it was, and as they say, the rest is history. Needless to say, I'm way too lazy to rewrite it, and my spare time is being spent in the unemployment line. At least Congress picks up two months worth of health insurance after separation. Wait, I should say that the American taxpayer picks up two months of my health insurance after I was fired. Thanks guys. Too bad for you, the buck doesn't stop here when it comes to health care. I'm not about to join the 40 million uninsured Americans.
What is to come of me, you ask? Well, by the time you read this, I'll hopefully have been through Guatemala City and past Belize. I'm going to live the dream and become an American expatriate. As the saying goes, I'll be hiding out in Honduras, the shit has hit the fan. Send lawyers, guns, and money. Maybe that's a song, not a saying. I'm not totally sure. Point being, I'll be in Honduras, and I'll keep heading south if need be. That lawyer still works you, right? I'll probably head to Costa Rica when my health insurance runs out, because health care is on the house down there. Or at least the government pays for it. Once I get there, I'm going to be an illegal immigrant in Costa Rica working on a coffee plantation for subsistence wages. That'll show them!
I'm on the run, my friends. From what? I don't know. Maybe I'm running from myself. Or maybe, just maybe, I'm running from the capitalist machine that has turned my cynicism a shade of light green that is so popular in the Far East. Hint: jade! Maybe I'm running from that little dog that keeps talking to me when I've been drinking too much. Maybe I'm running from the collection agency. I guess I'll know when I get there and when I'm not being followed anymore.
I'm sorry I've sprung this on you with such short notice. But I want the column to live on. Please post this letter, let it be a call to arms! May a poor, cynical soul on Capitol Hill heed the challenge and step up to fill my shoes. Trust me, they're really big. I've got a bag full of unanswered questions that I'm ready to pass on. May a worthy asshole pick up the torch before it lights the whole place on fire. And if anyone ever wants to ask an expatriate anything, well... I'd be obliged.
There's one more favor I would ask--please keep me anonymous. God knows getting fired is probably a blessing, but, god forbid I want to work on the Hill again some day... I think this column might be kind of a road block to getting back in politics. Maybe some time in the 3rd world will clear my cynicism up; maybe it will make it worse. I'll find out when I get there.
This is running on a little too long so I'll quit while I'm ahead. I feel really bad that this has probably ruined the afterglow of Independence Day for you, because if there's something I know we share in common, it's loving freedom. Remember: lawyers, guns, and money. I'll be waiting in la Mosquita. That's Spanish for something, but I'm not sure what. I think it means swampy hellhole. I'll find out soon enough!
your anonymous Hill staffer.