In my life, I’ve had a great many truly memorable experiences. I’ve spent time with Muhammad Ali, a man who was – for probably 20 years of his life – the most famous man in the world. I watched my favorite band, R.E.M., play the last song they ever played together on a public stage – and that stage happened to be Carnegie Hall. I saw Wayne Gretzky have a five point game and John Elway throw four touchdowns. I’ve seen a platypus in the wild.
Nothing I’ve ever seen has stayed with me like watching from the gallery as the House of Representatives voted to expel Rep. Jim Traficant (D-OH) in July of 2002 (for bribery, racketeering and tax evasion). It wasn’t the somber mood or gravity of the occasion that I recall. It’s one portion of Traficant’s farewell speech that stuck with me – a story he tells. It was the single funniest thing I’ve ever heard. I’ve probably thought about it at least once a week since I heard it a decade ago.
The best part was watching members of Congress slowly get it and then put their heads down trying not to laugh while Traficant pauses for comedic timing and, to a dead silent room, said “think about it.”
Beam me up…