From Punch Bowl sophomore, Hamza Qasier.
This morning, in a rare show of bipartisanship, Congressional appointees in Washington passed a law shutting down broadcasting network TLC, with an impressive majority of 534 to 1.
The bill, a single-page document titled “The OH GOD SHUT IT DOWN, SEAL THE GATES SPEWING FILTH FROM SATAN’S SHIT-MAW Act”, colloquially referred to as the “Ban on Poor Taste”, was introduced in the midst of deadlocked financial negotiations. The short yet comprehensive bill is unique in that it is short and comprehensive, comprising a single sentence:
“The network known as TLC must cease and desist all operations effective immediately, all its past, present and potential future employees are no longer permitted to work in television and must all crawl back into the filthy crevices of human existence from whence they emerged as pus oozing from the boils of a severely diseased society.”
Initial reaction to the bill was mixed, as some objected to the government interfering in the private sector so heavy handedly. Others pointed to the First Amendment in confusion. In response, Congressman Art T. Watts of Pennsylvania, the tabler, chair and floorer of the bill, played a series of short clips from TLC shows. Reports indicate that five minutes of “Toddlers in Tiaras” caused the elderly members of congress (so, let’s say, half) to suffer minor strokes. A switch to “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” forced one congressman to attempt suicide by attempting to stab himself in the eye with a pen. He was only prevented from doing so by the rush of congressmen around him struggling to achieve the same swift, sweet end.
An hour later, after order was restored, many congressmen chose to voice their opinions in stressful but harmonious debate.
“KILL IT NOW, BEFORE IT BREEDS!” screamed one enthusiastic supporter of the bill.
“It isn’t capable of breeding. It can only infect and kill. We’ve already lost History and Discovery. What next? WHAT NEXT?!”
“A pox! A pox upon the mangled, wheezing corpse of man! Sent by a terrible and vengeful god!”
“Jesus was a lie! Jesus was a LIE!”
In a different debate, cooler heads used more subtle language.
“The producers at TLC are Wreaking Havoc On Reason and Ethical Standards (WHORES).”
“What does TLC even stand for?” wailed one Congresswoman W. Hinyb Itch.
Discovering it stood for “The Learning Channel”, led to perhaps the most astonishing and historic consequence of the debate: every congressman and woman in the house suddenly understood irony. Gay republicans stood up in unison and resigned, conservative libertarians collapsed, frothing at the mouth, and pro-war democrats slumped in their seats, struggling with sudden existential crises.
After members of the house had finally regained composure long enough to vote on the bill, it was passed with a resounding yay, a pun as intentional as it is painful. Only congressman Dick of Florida voted against the bill because he’s from Florida. He’s also a dick.