Time Is Running Out For The Floppy Dems
ESEARCHERS specializing in degenerative diseases are at a loss to explain why a virulent form of spinal disintegration is targeting scores of Congressional Democrats.
Dr. Mason Jarvis, a leading researcher in the field, spoke by phone from his office in Cambridge, Massachusetts:
"Although we have documented cases of this debilitating condition in the occasional senator or representative, we've never seen the disease approach near-epidemic dimensions. We're literally racing against time to curb this rapid spinal deterioration, which threatens to render most Democrats little more than babbling, floppy ragdolls by year's end."
Specialists are working tirelessly to find a safe antidote to the progressive condition. Initial symptoms include motor disturbances, such as a grimace experts call the "bowery-drunk simper," and a compulsion to shake hands vigorously with lobbyists contributing vastly more to the opposing party.
Dr. Jarvis noted that many of the afflicted Democrats had already reached more advanced stages of the spinal disease. During examination, the lawmakers exhibited an inability to "stand tall," and a helpless descent into the speech pattern known in the literature as "two-way utterance."
Citing an example of the speaking disorder, Dr. Jarvis recalled examining one senator "who insisted we provide him with a podium. He then leaned heavily against it and repeated ad nauseum, 'It is with great reluctance that I extend the Patriot Act, for I abhor its every tenet.' I've seen many challenged patients over the years, but it never gets easier to watch a once-vital individual deteriorate in this manner."
Because researchers are working within a critical time frame, several potential therapies have been fast-tracked by the Food and Drug Administration.
"One treatment has given us a glimmer of hope," Dr. Jarvis said. "In an encouraging number of cases, our Democrats have responded fairly well to being slapped squarely in the face and told in a firm voice to 'snap out of it,' much as Cher did to Nicholas Cage in 'Moonstruck.'"
Added Dr. Jarvis, "The slapped Democrats were not yet able to stand tall, but at least some of them lost that pathetic grin."
© 2006 Kate Heidel