Thursday, May 03, 2007

Oh, The Joys of Gardening (and more...)

Wow. This gardening thing ain’t half bad. Look how much fun we were having! Boy, I’ll tell you, the ladies of the house never come out to dance like that with painters. Never. It must be something about the soil and the nature of it all.

Okay, okay, so it wasn’t all one big nude dance and a face full of bong hits. Hardly. It was fucking work. And the only lady who came out to visit with us was the madam of the house who dressed in the kind of cartoonish neck to toe gentry garb that one can regularly see on House Speaker Gaye Symington. Yeah, you know the style: The kind that screams, “I am really, really uptight and proper.” Quick, someone hand her a laxative.

But, with her lips held as tight as everything else in her body, the oh-so-proper lady of the house pointed demonstratively here and there as she rattled off the names of plants I’d never heard of. At that moment, my only task was to keep from being a smartass, keep my mouth shut and aid in the continuing charade that the foreman of this crew had assembled the most expert mulch movers in all of Vermont. Oh yeah, baby, we’re good.

Soon enough, the finger pointing and flower name-dropping would end and off she’d go, back into the mansion of leisure where – from time to time – we’d find her sneaking peeks at our progress. I’m guessing that she didn’t have any pants on at those moments. But it’s just a guess.

I’m going to give this the four or five days I promised and not a day more. Well, unless they ask me to leave before then, a not-so-unlikely scenario if I continue to confuse weeds with prized perennials. Oops. Or, more likely, if I decide to become a wise-ass with the lady of the house in an attempt to squeeze a moment of spontaneity out of her. It’s got to be in there somewhere. And why, oh why, do people like that make me want to find it?

The good news is that landscapers – like painters – enjoy an after work romp through the bars. And the better news is that the politicos seemed to be out in full force last night, all revved up about the quickening pace of the legislative session as the end nears. And the best news is that the liquor was doing its trick on these fellas and their lips were singing into the ears of Snarky Boy. Oh how they like to play, and here’s what was on their minds:

* On the issue of who in the hell the Dems will put up to run against Governor Douglas, one insider knowingly offered one name that I haven’t heard yet: Chuck Ross. Yep, the Chuck Ross who’s been attached to Senator Patrick Leahy for years and, before that, was a legislator and, even before that, was a farmer. Nice credentials for a Dem that will be largely sacrificial. Ross, according to this person in the know, won’t have much to lose since he can always climb back on the Leahy gravy train after taking one for the team in an effort to put some dents in the Douglas armor. It’s this lack of a fall-back plan that will stop the other rumored candidates from walking off the end of the political dock by taking on Douglas, especially Jeb Spaulding, Deb Markowitz and Bill Sorrell. But, remember, there are always what the insiders are calling the “retreads,” Parker and Dunne. Yawn.

* The biggest source of entertainment for the inside the Statehouse crowd yesterday came from the attempts by the right-to-life wingnuts to attach their parental notification bill onto the medical marijuana legislation. Hey, at least they can recognize winning legislation when they see it. Because that’s what this act of desperation was all about. It’s a cold and lonely time for the right-wingers at the Statehouse – unless you live in the Governor’s office – and they tried to jump on the moving pot train to pretend they’re getting somewhere. Good luck with that. And Speaker Symington did the stunningly obvious thing of declaring that the two pieces of legislation shouldn’t be mixed. Duh. But I guess if you’re a Statehouse rat these kinds of ironies make you giggle. Whatever.

* I asked a right-leaning lobbyist if there was anything the super-majority Dems have done this session to squeeze Douglas. His response? Hearty laughter and one big “hell no!” And then he made a reference to the Dems and their recent attempts to make an issue out of that the fact that the official vehicle that Douglas is driven around in was a day overdue on its registration. “If that’s all they’ve got, bring it on,” was his conclusion. He’s got a point. That vehicle thing was just stupid. And, as usual, Douglas made them look stupid for trying to make it an issue. His response? “It’s not my car.” Come on, Dems, you can do better than that.

* Finally, I asked an elected Dem why House-leader Symington was getting more flack than Senate-leader Shumlin. “Because,” he said with a grin, “Shumlin’s more fun.” And, I might add, he buys beers for the boys at McGillicuddy’s. I think Gaye needs to borrow that limitless credit card from her millionaire hubby, Chuck Lacy, and get to the bars if she wants to salvage the session – reputation wise, that is. Oh yeah, and it wouldn’t hurt if the Dems tried to really address and fight for an issue from time to time. Okay, maybe just once. Yeah, we’ll start there. Good luck with that.

Oh hell, I’ve got to get to work. And what a day to be outside. Enjoy.

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