The Index of Leaving Indicators

by Rep. Mel Hancock (R-Missouri; retired)

[sent out to fax machines throughout the Washington area]

A few days ago, I set down and made a list of 13 indicators that it is time to leave the United States Congress.

  1. When the news media slants a story making you look good.
  2. When you start attending more funerals than weddings.
  3. When campaign contributors start asking you for money for their favorite charity.
  4. When Washington cab drivers seem to be speaking English.
  5. When airport attendants start offering you a wheelchair.
  6. When the debate on the House floor starts making sense.
  7. When handling a bill means something other than paying it.
  8. When you cannot remember whether it costs millions or billions.
  9. When your next-door neighbor back home asks your wife what you do for a living.
  10. When you start believing you can balance a budget by spending 6 percent more of your income instead of 10 percent more.
  11. When the National Rifle Association notifies you it is time to renew your lifetime membership.
  12. When you ask your wife for unanimous consent to revise and extend your remarks and she objects.
  13. When your grandchildren start calling you Congressman instead of Grandpa.

I am going to go home and be grandpa to my nine grandchildren.


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December 4, 1998 Lawrence I. Charters