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WASHINGTON, DC--In what Washington insiders are calling "one of the most impressive displays of congressional virility in US history," seven people were trampled Monday in the 83rd annual Running of the Congressmen.
Injuries ranged from minor tie-clip abrasions to full-body impact trauma.
"It was frightening," said Jonathan Davis, 22, of Alexandria, VA, who is in critical but stable condition after being gored and tossed repeatedly by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX). "I underestimated the unbridled ferocity of these magnificent animals."
At 1 p.m., thousands of spectators lined the streets as the enraged herd of senators and representatives descended Capitol Hill in a cloud of dust. Joint C-SPAN-ESPN2 coverage of the event showed a double-breasted, wing-tipped mass of elected officials bearing down on a fleeing crowd of lobbyists, congressional pages and countless other thrill-seekers who braved the danger to prove their manhood.
"I ran before the congressmen to prove my love for my fiancee Susan, to show her that I was the kind of man who would risk it all for her," said a half-conscious Brent Klarman, 28, who was nearly crushed to death by a 1,200-pound Senate subcommittee. "You wouldn't think the senators are that strong, but when you've got that much testosterone moving at such great speed, there's not much they're not going to pulverize."
This year's event began in the traditional manner, with the penned Congressmen worked into a frenzy by being made to wallow in troughs of Scotch and prodded with sharp sticks. The legislators were further worked into a lather by exposure to photographs of provocative young pages and aides, and calls from spectators for independent ethics investigations.
The senators were then herded out of their pens through a narrow wooden fence, their wails heard across the Potomac. Once unleashed, the sweaty, heaving mass of legislators erupted from their leather chairs with uncommon fury, tearing through a narrow police blockade. The screams of the thousands of spectators only egged on the legislative body, which stampeded down Capitol Hill toward the Washington Monument.
"I could tell they were highly spirited beasts this year. They rolled their eyes like mad things and hurled themselves against the gate without feeling any pain," said Christopher Lemberger, a Bethesda, MD, graphic designer who was glad to participate despite being dragged several hundred feet down Constitution Avenue when he became entangled in the tie and suspenders of a rampaging Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
"That one truly had the Devil himself in him," Lemberger said. "Now the Ladies of Washington will say of me, 'He has ridden the Devil himself and lived.'"
After running the length of the course through the city, DC fire-department personnel hosed down the unruly legislators with water pumped from the Potomac while trained handlers struggled to maneuver them into a holding pen where they could be safely sedated before being returned to their wives and families.
According to Robert Hannah of the DC Metro Zoo, despite their often feeble, aged appearance, federal legislators can be extremely dangerous.
"We tend to think of Congressmen as dull, ponderous, slow-witted beasts, and much of the time they are," Hannah said. "But you must remember: These are very, very powerful men. And if threatened, they will be sure to remind you of that fact."
The annual Running Of The Congressmen has become one of Washington's greatest traditions, a rite of passage each year for hundreds of young men looking to prove their masculinity and bravery.
Ernest Hemingway immortalized the event in his 1937 short story 'The Legislators' "It was good to sit and drink in the cafe that night, to drink and remember the dust as it rose from the pounding of hard black shoes and the late light on the supple hides of the briefcases, and to know that a man could face down such a force of Nature and live yet more strongly as a man."
While most of the event's participants were in their 20s or younger, some have been doing it for years.
"I first ran before the 80th Congress back in 1947, before they used to scotch them up as a safety measure," said Jack Willoughby, 71, the oldest person to run in this year's event." In those days, you had guys like Joe McCarthy and Alben Barkley chasing you. Now, those were senators - they make today's elected officials look like aldermen."
Despite the ever-growing popularity of the Running Of The Congressmen, some activist groups are calling for the event's termination.
"We see these lawmakers portrayed on the evening news as savage animals, interested only in kowtowing to special-interest groups and deep-pocketed boosters," said People for the Ethical Treatment of Legislators director Eileen Wiggins. "But left alone, without being provoked by sexual-misconduct charges or calls for campaign finance reform, they are gentle, sweet creatures, worrying over their young and striving for reelection with almost human compassion."
MAN CAUGHT BY HIS CAT-FLAP
"In retrospect, I admit it was unwise to try to gain access to my house via the cat-flap," Gunter Burpus admitted to reporters in Bremen, Germany. "I suppose that is the reason they're called cat flaps, rather than human flaps, is because they're too small for people, and I should have realized that." Burpus (41), a gardener from Breman, was relating how he had become trapped in his own front door for two days, after losing his house keys.
"I got my head and shoulders through the flap but became trapped fast around the waist. At first, it all seemed rather amusing, I sang songs and told myself jokes. But then I wanted to go to the lavatory. I began shouting for help, but my head was in the hallway so my screams were muffled. After a few hours, a group of students approached me but, instead of helping, they removed my trousers and pants, painted my buttocks bright blue and stuck a daffodil between my cheeks. Then they placed a sign next to me which said 'Germany resurgent, an essay in street art. Please give generously' and left me there.
"People were passing by and, when I asked for help, they just said 'Very good! Very clever!' and threw coins into my trousers. No one tried to free me. In fact, I only got free after two days because a dog started licking my private parts and an old woman complained to the police. The rescue services came and cut me out, but the police arrested me as soon as I was free. Luckily, they've now dropped the charges, and I collected over DM 3,000 in my underpants, so the time wasn't entirely wasted."
From "Fire - Rescue" magazine...
Three mice are at a bar, having drinks, talking about how tough they are.
The first mouse slams down a shot of booze, says, "Let me tell you how tough I am. I spot a trap and go for the cheese. When it snaps, I snatch the bar and bench press it 20 or so times and before it can close I'm outta there!" and he tosses down another shot.
The second mouse slams down a shot and says, "You think that's tough? When I find a pile of d-con, I crush it and snort it like it's cocaine." With that he throws down another shot and slams his shot-glass on the bar.
The first two are staring at the third mouse, waiting to see what he has to say for himself. He fires down a shot of booze, throws down his glass and heads for the door. His buddies look at each other, then at him and say, "Hey, where are YOU going?"
The third mouse says, "I haven't got time for this shit, I need to get home to fuck the cat."
A couple of women were playing golf one sunny afternoon. The first of the twosome teed off and watched in horror as the ball headed directly toward a foursome of men playing the next hole. Sure enough, the ball hit one of the guys, and he immediately clasped his hands together at his crotch, fell to the ground, and proceeded to roll around in agony. The woman rushed over and immediately began to apologize. She then explained that she was a physical therapist and offered to help ease his pain. "Ummph, ooh, nnooo, I'll be all right... I'll be fine in a few minutes", he replied as he remained in the fetal position still clasping his hands together at his crotch. But she persisted, and he finally allowed her to help him. She gently took his hands away and laid them to the side loosened his pants and put her hands inside, beginning to massage him.
"Does that feel better?", she asked.
"Ohhh, Yeah....It feels 'really' great," he replied, "But my thumb still hurts like hell!"
Bill and Hillary are at the first baseball game of the season. Suddenly Clinton grabs Hillary by the collar and throws her over the side and onto the field. The stunned umpire shouts, "No! No, Mr. President! I said, 'Throw the first PITCH'".
Q: Bill and Hillary are on a sinking boat. Who gets saved?
A: The nation.
Q: What do you get when you cross a crooked politician with a dishonest
Q: What does Bill say to Hillary after having sex?
A: "Honey, I'll be home in twenty minutes."
Clinton returns from a vacation in Arkansas and walks down the steps of Air Force One with two pigs under his arms. At the bottom of the steps, the Honor Guardsman steps forward and remarks, "Nice pigs, Mr. President."
Clinton replies, "I'll have you know that these are genuine Arkansas Razorback Hogs. I got this one for Chelsea and this one for Hillary. So, now what do you think?"
The Honor Guardsman replies, "Nice trade, Sir!"
One day Clinton called the White House interior decorator into the Oval Office. He was very furious and said, "Chelsea is very upset because she thinks she has the ugliest room in the entire White House. I want something done about it immediately!"
"Yes, Sir, Mr. President," the interior decorator replied. "I'll have those wall-to-wall mirrors taken out right away."
To: All Teachers
From: Progress Report/Report Card Committee
Subject: Revised comments for Progress Reports/Report Cards
The Progress Report/Report Card Committee has met and revised the traditional comments sections. The following is the new revised list. Remember - Only three (3) comments per student
As usual, truth is stranger than fiction!!!!! Read on.....
SOME PEOPLE MAKE IT SO COMPLICATED! - 1994'S MOST BIZARRE SUICIDE
At the 1994 annual awards dinner given by the American Association for Forensic Science, AAFS President Don Harper Mills astounded his audience in San Diego with the legal complications of a bizarre death. Here is the story.
"On March 23, l994, the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound of the head. The decedent had jumped from the top of a ten-story building intending to commit suicide (he left a note indicating his despondency). As he fell past the ninth floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast through a window, which killed him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the decedent was aware that a safety net had been erected at the eighth floor level to protect some window washers and that Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide anyway because of this."
"Ordinarily," Dr. Mills continued, "a person who sets out to commit suicide ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he intended. That Opus was shot on the way to certain death nine stories below probably would not have changed his mode of death from suicide to homicide. But the fact that his suicidal intent would not have been successful caused the medical examiner to feel that he had homicide on his hands.
"The room on the ninth floor whence the shotgun blast emanated was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing and he was threatening her with the shotgun. He was so upset that, when he pulled the trigger, he completely missed his wife and the pellets went through the window striking Opus.
"When one intends to kill subject A but kills subject B in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject B. When confronted with this charge, the old man and his wife were both adamant that neither knew the shotgun was loaded. The old man said it was his long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her--therefore, the killing of Opus appeared to be an accident. That is, the gun had been accidentally loaded.
"The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple's son loading the shotgun approximately six weeks prior to the fatal accident. It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son's financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.
There was another exquisite twist. "Further investigation revealed that the son had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother's murder. This led him to jump off the ten-story building on March 23d, only to be killed by a shotgun blast through a ninth story window.
"The medical examiner closed the case as a suicide."
The following were winners in a New York Magazine contest in which contestants were to take a well-known expression in a foreign language, change a single letter, and provide a definition for the new expression.
HARLEZ-VOUS FRANCAIS? -- Can you drive a French motorcycle?
EX POST FUCTO -- Lost in the mail
MAZEL TON -- tons of luck
IDIOS AMIGOS -- We're wild and crazy guys!
VENI, VIPI, VICI -- I came, I'm a very important person, I conquered.
COGITO EGGO SUM -- I think; therefore I am a waffle.
RIGOR MORRIS -- The cat is dead.
RESPONDEZ S'IL VOUS PLAID -- Honk if you're Scottish.
QUE SERA SERF -- Life is feudal.
LE ROI EST MORT. JIVE LE ROI -- The king is dead. No kidd ing.
POSH MORTEM -- Death styles of the rich and famous
PRO BOZO PUBLICO -- Support your local clown.
FELIX NAVIDAD -- Our cat has a boat.
HASTE CUISINE -- Fast French food
VENI, VIDI, VICE -- I came, I saw, I partied.
QUIP PRO QUO -- A fast retort
APRES MOE LE DELUGE -- Larry and Curly got wet.
ICH LIEBE RICH -- I'm really crazy about having dough.
VISA LA FRANCE -- Don't leave your chateau without it.
COGITO, ERGO SPUD -- I think, therefore I Yam
Cover me. I'm changing lanes.
Sometimes I wake up grumpy; Other times I let her sleep.
I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car
If reading and math were so important, they'd teach 'em in school.
You may find these helpful and descriptive phrases for use in preparing performance reports
Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn't watching.
A room temperature IQ.
Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold them together.
A gross ignoramus -- 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.
A photographic memory, but the lens cover is glued on.
A prime candidate for natural deselection.
Bright as Alaska in December.
Fell out of the family tree.
Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming.
Has two brains; one is lost and the other is out looking for it.
One neuron short of a synapse.
Overdue for reincarnation.
Was left on the Tilt-A-Whirl a bit too long as a baby.
Wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.
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