[We interrupt the best blog post in the universe…to make it better! A friend suggested that the blog could be made better by combining the audio cuts into one piece of audio that would be easy to download. So, Brent Martin narrates the remainder of this post…sort of an audio blog if you will. Now, Jessica claims she made that suggestion prior to us making the post, but we must have been so focused on producing the best blog post in the universe that we failed to heed her wise counsel. For the purists among you, you can continue reading and download the cuts individually.]
Sen. Charlie Shields, a Republican from St. Joseph, couldn’t resist poking a little fun of Pratt’s statement when reviewing what the House had done to his bill during a speech from the Senate floor.
Burnett made the comment with full knowledge that Speaker Pro Tem Pratt was presiding. Pratt took it in good humor, gaveled Burnett, laughed then asked him to continue.
It seemed the “universe” jokes would continue forever. Just listen to Sen. Shields explain to the full Senate how the Senate-House conference committee was able to find common ground and reach a consensus on ethics.
Even the governor couldn’t resist. Governor Nixon opened his post-session news conference with this statement.
The butt of the joke, Speaker Pro Tem Pratt, seemed to take it in stride, reconciling himself to a special place in legislative lore. On the last day of the session, when Pratt praised his staff, many in the House chamber believed his praise fell short. To chants of “universe, universe” Pratt amended his remarks.
Some comments pass like a cool, summer breeze. Some carry great weight. Perhaps the “universe” comment served a purpose no one could foresee when uttered. It became a joke, not a nasty, belittling, degrading joke, but a real source of fun that somehow defused a politically emotional issue that threatened to rip apart the session in its final week.