What kind of a name is Steny, anyway? I suppose I could ask him. Or Google it. For some reason, I experience it as a diminution of something Greek.

I don’t know him very well, but I see him as Joe Biden’s tougher brother, the guy who beat up the kids who didn’t fall for the smile. Not that he’s mean, though, just tough. Sometimes, it looks as if he and Jim Clyburn are really working as Nancy Pelosi’s bodyguards. I guess he learned to be that way all those years ago in the rough and tumble sandlot, protecting Joe. That’s the scenario I’ve whipped up, anyhow. I’ve come to think of him as “Uncle Steny.”

He has this tradition of giving each new member of the Democratic caucus a root beer in each of the member’s first thirty days. Since I’m the only guy in his first thirty days, all of Uncle Steny’s ice cold root beer, complete with properly bent straws, comes to me, in great, longneck, Mexican-style bottles, made, I’ll bet, with real sugar. I don’t even know if they have root beer in Mexico, but if they do, Uncle Steny probably got several cases as a thank you gift back when NAFTA kicked in and has carefully doled them out to new members ever since. This would be unimaginable if the recipient were, say, Utah Senator Mike Lee. who’d hole up in his quarters and plow, alone, through every bottle in every case. They’d find him several days later, dead in his rooming house, lying in a pool of his own carbonation.

Nah. Probably he’d save one bottle for his besty, Rafael Cruz, which would serve as the wafer thin mint he never had, preventing his expulsive demise. Oh, to have such a pal as Rafael, just down from Canada, who can sit at the uncool table with you, pretending better than you ever could that the cool kids’ table was full of losers and your table was the place to eat mayonnaise-laden peanut butter sandwiches just like real Americans do.


I refocused on the Louisiana senator’s breasts.


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