WASHINGTON, DC (API*) Reports are circulating at this hour that the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is preparing a disruptive, game-changing rider to fiscal year 2018 budget legislation. Known as the Bridge Bottom Rail Amendment, sources say that it provides for the construction of Poohsticks Bridge-style bottom rails on all bridges over rivers in the USA. Scientists in government employ would be commanded to stand on the rails, watch the river water pass beneath them, and report on what they learned. Since those reports would encompass all possible human knowledge, the scientists would then be released to seek gainful employ in the private sector.
A House staffer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, revealed that a senior Republican member of the committee got the idea while overhearing a Mexican nanny reading to his grandchildren.
“It’s brilliant!“, he reportedly gushed. “We improve the nation’s infrastructure, garner critical R&D information quickly and cheaply, and then get all these expensive and mostly useless scientists off the tax rolls once and for all. This Milne character is a genius! We need to get Donald to award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom!”
When it was pointed out to the Congressman that Mr Milne was a children’s author, in addition to being both British and long dead and thus a poor candidate for a medal, the Representative retorted, “Look. We don’t have any problem with a Playboy Bunny making policy in this country, now do we? If this Milne, or McCarthy, or anyone else has the attention of the public and agrees with me, that is all that matters.”
Additional anonymous sources report mixed reactions to the proposed amendment.
“I gotta tell you”, said a junior Republican member of the committee, “all I’ve learned from standing on bridges is which ones are over bass rivers, which ones are over catfish rivers, and which ones are over rivers that ain’t no use for fishin’ nohow. But if the chairman’s happy, I’m happy.”
An official with the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawai‘i snapped, “A bottom bridge rail and $20 million will get you a year’s worth of star data.”
“The idea’s lolo“, retorted a representative of Protect Mauna Kea. “Does it get the telescopes off our sacred land? That’s all we care about.”
No Democratic member of the committee could be reached for comment. None had been seen in the House chambers for the last several days, and a few had been spotted traveling in the general direction of Reagan National Airport in the company of black-suited men.
* API: Amoeba Press International #FakeNewsPathToRiches