The Specious Incident of the Rule in the Rewrite-Time

Chapter One

It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a Tweet rang out.

It had all begun the night before, in a closed room where House Republicans decided to pass a new rule on Tuesday that would weaken ethical oversight of the House. A clamor arose from somewhere outside the House. Was it…people? Angry about the secret meeting?

Suddenly, everyone’s phones began to rang. It was more people. And reporters. It seemed everyone was angry.

The next morning, on Tuesday, the president elect himself Tweeted about the upcoming vote. He had barely finished when the lights went out. A scream split the darkness.

When the lights came back on, the new rule lay on the floor…dead.

Chapter Two

The suspects stood in the lineup, looking haunted under the unforgiving lights of the underfunded police station. The media—had they killed the new ethics rule with their pointed barbs? Voters—did they do it with their brutal phone calls? Or was it the president-elect himself, the Tweet still smoking in his tiny-fingered hands?

Everyone knew the man had a history of wielding Tweets to murder his rivals. Not to mention his history of sexual violence.

Suddenly, a gasp rose from the room as Republican Congressman Mike Simpson burst in, all the way from Idaho. “It was none of them, I tells ya,” he kinda said. “The rule was never gonna see the light of day no matter what!”

“What are you blathering about, Simpson?” said a character we couldn’t be bothered to map onto yesterday’s news.

Simpson locked the room in his gaze. “The ethics rule never had the votes,” he said. “It was suicide!

Chapter Three

Suicide. After all the mystery, the big investigation into who and how the rule had died—and now it turned out the rule never had the votes to make it in the first place.

The police station emptied out—suspects and investigators alike. Everyone felt unsatisfied somehow, but, what else was there to do?

At last, the House held just Kevin McCarthy, its majority leader. McCarthy flipped up his collar against the climate-changed but still chilly night air and looked around once, then twice. Then, assured that no one was watching, he signaled the all-clear. Then, out of the shadows, very much alive, stepped the substance of the new rule.

The proposal to put members of Congress in charge if any sign of criminality emerges was alive and healthy, after all. Not a scratch on it.

“Thanks, McCarthy,” the rule said. “I never woulda made it if all those joiks hadn’t spent the day chasing their tails over who rubbed me out.”

“Ah, get outta here, ya big lug,” McCarthy said. “And don’t let anyone see you.”

The rule walked off into the night: “Thanks, McCarthy. I owe you one.”

McCarthy watched it go. “Damn right, new ethics rule,” he said to no one. “You’re damned right.”

The End