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Shhhh, don't say a word: The Senate is meeting

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By HOWARD TROXLER

© St. Petersburg Times,
published October 29, 2001


A possible transcript of the first secret meeting of the Florida Senate.

* * *

PRESIDENT McKAY: All right. Are the doors locked? Is everyone gone from the galleries? Good. We now are officially holding our first secret meeting.

(Room erupts in joyous celebration for several minutes. Senate secretary plays Who Let the Dogs Out at high volume while senators high-five and belly-bump each other in the aisles.)

McKAY: Senator Lee, you are recognized.

LEE: Mr. President, as we all know, we have decided that we need to meet in secret because we, the Florida Senate, will need to talk about important top-secret matters. Therefore, I think we should talk about some of that stuff now.

McKAY: Senator King?

KING: Can I call up the National Guard?

McKAY: In a little bit. First, let's bring in our top-secret witnesses from the CIA, the Defense Department and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Gentlemen, please give us all of your secret documents.

FBI AGENT: Speaking on behalf of all of us, Mr. President, we are grateful to the Florida Senate for taking the bold step of deciding to hold secret meetings. Because we understand the absolute need for the Senate to know really good secrets, we now would like to turn over to you these several boxes of our best, high-grade records.

KING: I want some!

McKAY: In a minute, Senator King. Senator Sullivan, you have a question?

SULLIVAN: Yes, my question is to the NRC guy. Quickly scanning these records, I see here that on page 254 of the schematics, a thermocoupler valve is set at a ratio at least 15 percent above tolerance. Is that deliberate?

NRC GUY: (Slapping forehead) By gum, senator, that's amazing! We've been trying to figure out our problem in that area for years now -- this will help increase energy output fivefold! If the Senate could not meet in secret to see these secret documents, I shudder to think what would happen.

LEE: Mr. President, I make a secret motion that we congratulate ourselves secretly.

McKAY: We'll take a secret voice vote.

(Dead silence.)

McKAY: The motion passes. Now, for the next round of secrets, we'll be taking evidence on, let's see here . . . the Coca-Cola formula, the Big Mac special sauce, the identity of Deep Throat, who shot JFK, where Jimmy Hoffa is and where unmatched socks come from. Senator Silver, you are recognized.

SILVER: Mr. President, I propose that we now talk about what to do about those idiots over in the House. Let's redraw their districts and get them unelected in secret.

McKAY: I'm sorry. We're supposed to meet in secret only to talk about espionage, sabotage or terrorism.

SILVER: My point exactly. Those House guys are sabotaging our bills. We ought to do something about it. And by the way, you know those speed bumps in the road on the way to the Tallahassee airport, the ones that we abused our power to try to have removed? We can do that in secret now -- all we need to say is, it's necessary to deal with terrorism.

LEE: How is removing speed bumps on the road that we drive to the airport going to deal with terror?

SILVER: Because if something happens, I'm gonna be terrified and trying to get the heck out of town.

McKAY: Senator Brown-Waite?

BROWN-WAITE: With your permission, I would like to put out the following statement: "A press conference to discuss the Senate's actions today will be held at 3 p.m. at an undisclosed location."

LEE: Mr. President, I would suggest that the statement be released secretly.

McKAY: So ordered. Senator King?

KING: Can I call up the National Guard NOW?

McKAY: What say we drive over to the Armory and you can call up ONE guardsman?

KING: Will he have real bullets?

McKAY: We'll see. We stand adjourned. But don't tell anybody.

-- You can reach Howard Troxler at (727) 893-8505 or at troxler@sptimes.com.

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