Chick Wit: Congress should take a papal lesson

Posted: March 17, 2013

You may have heard that the pope has stepped down because he no longer feels he can do the job.

Congress should take a lesson.

Consider that the pope got his job from God, and he just quit.

Congress members got their jobs from mere human beings, yet they would never dream of quitting, despite the fact they cannot perform the most basic function of government, like making a budget.

They don't have the decency to step down.

Or the grace.

Like His Grace.

Between the pope and Congress, only one is supposed to admit fallibility.

And the wrong one admitted it.

I'm trying to imagine the enormity of the ego that allows you to think you're entitled to your job, which has great pay and benefits, even though you don't do it. You must think you're handpicked by God, or at least a flock of cardinals.

But no.

The guy who was handpicked by God and the cardinals is the one who just packed up his desk.

The guys who failed to do their jobs just took a vacation. With pay. And benefits.

Because Congress' pay and benefits are always included in the budget.

That is Job 1 in Washington, and it's the only job that gets done.

I give the pope a lot of credit for stepping down, considering the great privileges that come with his position. He did the unselfish thing for the greater good. Also, he had to give up a gorgeous pair of red shoes.

Now we're talking sacrifice.

By the way, the pope is the only one on the planet allowed to wear those red shoes, which guarantees he'll never find himself on the losing end of a who-wore-it-better picture.

Don't you hate it when you go to a party and someone walks in wearing the same vestments?

But to stay on point, Congress seems unfamiliar with the concept of the greater good. This is unfortunate, given that it is in the greater-good business, but there's only so much you can ask of the American worker.


Congress members are the people who allegedly work for the American worker, but they're on vacation now, which they call recess.

Because they act like third graders.

Congress doesn't make clear how many recesses it takes a year. I know because I tried to figure it out online, and I'm sure this is completely inadvertent, or maybe for the greater good.

I did find a congressional recess schedule, but it was impossible to read. However, if you have so many recesses that you need a schedule for them, you have too many recesses.

I did read online that some members of Congress want to rename their recesses "district work periods."

I think this is a great idea. I'm thinking of renaming my cellulite and calling it muscle.

Congress has a lot of unusual names for things. For example, they call their inability to reach a budget the sequester.

This is a hard term to understand because it comes from the Latin word sequestrare, which means to remove or separate. Allow me to use the word in a sentence for you so you can understand it:

Congress is sequestered from reality.


It's interesting that in a time when the Catholic Church has decided to abandon the Latin Mass, Congress has decided to become a classics major.

I took four years of Latin, but I will never understand Congress.

Because I speak English.

By the way, Congress itself comes from the Latin word congressus, which means "meeting" or "intercourse."

I will leave it to you to decide which meaning is more relevant to Congress.

And I will remind you that Congress is on vacation, so it isn't meeting.

My guess is that it's having vacation intercourse, which we all know is the best kind.

Except that they're not the ones getting screwed.

Look for Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella's latest collection of humor essays, "Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim." Also, look for Scottoline's newest novel, "Don't Go," in stores April 9. Write to her at

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