Most people are aware that our elected officials often find it necessary to make visits to other locations in order to better do their job of representing the people. Typically these visits are to places where the weather is more favorable and the nightlife allows opportunities for our representatives to decompress after an arduous day of working on our behalf. Frequently this is near a beach and a bar with two-dollar shots. These junkets are often referred to under the generic title of a “fact-finding trip” but the voters are never informed of any results. This has been due to the unfortunate truth that there were no results to report. Until today when for the first time our elected officials have announced that they believe they are in possession of their first fact. What follows is an excerpt from the prepared statement from today’s press conference led by Senator R. Langdon. He was the individual directly credited with finding the fact.
“We have been searching with the help of several dedicated lobbyists and company representatives for facts for years. All the evidence pointed to there being a fact somewhere in the Caribbean although we did not know precisely where it was hiding. This map shows the search area that became the focus of our investigations.
Given the geography of the islands within our search area, our best guess was that a fact may have washed ashore somewhere. This prompted our strategy of focusing on the beach areas and businesses that were in close proximity to the beach. Given the number of islands my colleagues and were forced to come here and check out the islands one by one. This has required us to give every weekend to the search as well as sacrifice some of those other days [Ed – the reference here is to Monday through Friday. These days are labelled “work days” everywhere but within the beltway] .
While we were unsuccessful for years we kept at it because we were sure that is what our constituents expected of us. [ As an aside here, the senator chuckled and asked rhetorically, “Why else would they keep reelecting us?”]
I am pleased to report that this year our search proved successful and we found a fact. [pause for applause]
It would be premature to try to speculate more on the exact nature of the fact, but we are fairly certain that it is, in fact, a fact.
While those of us in government admittedly have little experience with facts, we do know that they can often prove embarrassing and possibly be used as evidence in a criminal case. To make sure that this fact is handled properly we have formed a bi-partisan working group to examine the fact and determine exactly what inaction is necessary.”
At this point in the press conference, the assembled senators and representatives gathered at the microphones to appear to respond to direct questions from the assembled members of the media. In spite of this, we were able to learn more details on this particular fact-finding trip.
When asked about the exact location where the fact was found, Senator Langdon provided the picture shown at the top of this article. Apparently he had been working late at night with a staff member from one of the lobbyist organizations. They did not share the exact business or union represented by the lobbyist. We did learn that the staff member is an intern with their company when she is not working her regular job as an NFL cheerleader.
The actual finding of the fact was first announced through a tweet. The author of the tweet wished to remain anonymous, but apparently did not realize that they should not have used the twitter account linked to their real name. Their tweet read, “OMG! Buffy/Mandy/idk-y was on beach w old dude n he did face-plant on beach!!!!”
The pointer super-imposed on the picture shows where the senator’s face was allegedly planted. As his prominent nose buried itself in the sand it allegedly struck the alleged fact. Apparently the fact was partially concealed by the sand and a large, broken seashell. In subsequent retellings of this story, Senator Langdon was careful to explain to the environmental lobbyists that no sea creature was harmed in any way and the broken seashell has been returned to its original location by a representative of the US Army Corps of Engineers.
When the legislators were asked why they had to constantly visit these islands, Senator Joseph Paine gave this response,
“The answer is simple. Facts have been in short supply in Washington for years so we have to go overseas to look for them.”
That led to a followup question on the importance of facts in the legislative process. Senator Paine demonstrated his well known skill at backpedaling while appearing to move forward with this answer:
“Facts are not all that everyone thinks they are. We have proven time and time again that we are capable of making decisions without any reference to facts. Most of my esteemed colleagues from both parties make it a point of pride.”
At the close of the press conference, a spokesman for the White House arrived and noted that in the spirit of openness they would love to share the fact with the American people. However, to his knowledge this was the first fact where the congress and the executive branch might reach a common understanding and they were unsure how to proceed without any established precedent. Furthermore, the fact itself could not be shared due to national security concerns. It was in transit to the continental United States and would be stored at an undisclosed location for its as well as our protection.
[After this story was originally published there have been new developments in other governmental bodies.]
Several states have started the process of budgeting for their own fact-finding visits to remote beaches. Governor Hubert “Happy” Hooper issued a statement on behalf of all governors. In part, it stated,
”We do not want to have to rely on ‘fact handouts’ from the federal government. Each state in this great nation has always preferred to have their own supply of facts. We do not intend to relinquish those facts or our constitutional right to bear facts to any administration in Washington.”
In another related story, the United Nations [sic] Security Council has announced that it will review the implications of this find. The diplomats from Russia, China and a number of other countries walked out of the assembly in keeping with their nations’ policies of refusing to face facts.