When pressed if this meant he would not support a four week spending plan, Mr. Boehner replied: "If ands and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas."
-- The Wall Street Journal
House Speaker John Boehner recently held a special press conference for a group of very young reporters from various children's magazines. Coffee and doughnuts were replaced by cookies and milk, and a spirited Q&A ensued.
An 11-year old reporter from the educational classroom magazine Weekly Reader kicked things off with a hypothetical question regarding spending cuts for the rest of the fiscal year.
Mr. Boehner replied, "If ands and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas."
When the girl called that a very silly answer, the Ohio Republican responded, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Ironically, he was crying as he spoke.
A 9-year old boy representing Highlights asked a question about agricultural subsidy.
"Young man," said Mr. Boehner, his lower lip quivering, "let me put it in terms your readers can understand: Goofus takes the last apple. Gallant shares his orange."
"I don't get it," said the boy.
"You'll understand it when you're in 5th grade."
"You're a real Slippery Sam, Mr. Speaker."
The Representative bit his lip and took in a series of short breaths, convulsing slightly. "I'm rubber and you're glue," he said. " Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you."
When a girl from Junior Scholastic prefaced a question about the Middle East with a reference to the Secretary of State, the Speaker interrupted with, "I spy London, I spy France. I spy Hillary Clinton's underpants!"
"But what do you think about the chances for peace there?" pressed the young journalist.
"Israel and Palestine up in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!"
The political columnist from Humpty Dumpty magazine, a 6-year old, said that her mother had called the Republicans a bad name.
Mr. Boehner took on a soothing tone and advised the child that on her walk back to Humpty Dumpty's editorial offices she should be especially careful not to step on any cracks in the sidewalk, as this would cause her mother's spinal column to shatter into a million pieces, causing great pain and permanent paralysis. The little girl began crying hysterically and had to be escorted from the room.
"You're a bad man!" yelled a Boys' Life reporter from the back of the room.
"I know you are, but what am I?" asked Mr. Boehner rhetorically. A tear fell from his cheek onto his lectern, just missing his oatmeal cookie.
"Ew, this microphone has cooties!" he said to no one in particular. And indeed, the foam rubber wind screen on his mic appeared to be caked with a combination of milk, cookie crumbs and tears.
Tensions in the room were running pretty high, and the Speaker announced that the press conference was at an end. He thanked the youthful crowd and asked, "So, what do you think of Washington, kids?"
A boy from Jack and Jill shouted back, "I think it stinks!"
"If you smelt it, you dealt it!" Mr. Boehner replied, tearing up again.
"I'm leaving," he said finally, his voice quavering. "I hate you all!"
He was not the only person weeping as he ran out of the room, knocking over a few folding chairs. One by one the children collected themselves and their notes and went off to file their stories. A 12-year old from Fun for Kids magazine summed up her first taste of political reporting with a sigh. "I think I'll become an astronaut," she said.
This story originally appeared in Funny Times.