During President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, the members of the Senate must sit in the chambers as House Impeachment managers argue for conviction and a couple of low-level managers from The Bad Place feed talking points to Fox News. Cell phones must be stowed, senators can't speak, and the only foods they're allowed are water, milk, and candy from a drawer. And it's here that I draw the line, declaring, "No, I cannot stay silent on this. I must make my voice heard on the important subject of the Impeachment Candy Drawer and assorted beverage options."
If you think about it, the 100 members of the Senate are basically on jury duty, except in a real jury a good half of these people would have been kicked off before the trial started for clear biases and general incompetence. Also, it's kind of frowned upon for jurors to show up on cable news while a trial is on-going. But whatever. It's just the corruption of the highest office in the land that's on trial here; it's not like we're dealing with real issues like air rights over a burlesque club. Most importantly, real jurors do not get a snack drawer or drawers of any sort. You ever see a courtroom with drawers?! It's against the law.
The thing is, regular jurors get an hour lunch break so they can scoot across the street and buy a $17 salad with their $15 daily stipend and then stop by the courthouse vending machine to get a Tastykake before continuing with the trial. For U.S. Senators, once they're in, they're in. I find this outrageous. Especially the "no coffee" rule. Who decided this, Mitt Romney? You tell me I have to sit still, not tweet, and listen to eight or more hours of testimony and I can't get my flat white fix and I'll personally push the second hand on the Doomsday Clock to directly to midnight.
I'm at the age where I need a cup of coffee to get through a standard Avengers movie and that stars very hot people blowing things up. No shade to Adam Schiff, who is doing a very good job, but he's not exactly Chris Evans throwing a shield or wearing a tattered sweater. I guess I could understand the coffee ban if water was the only beverage allowed but they also allow milk in the Senate chambers and I'm fully vexed. What in the after school snack is going on in this place? You're telling me that Lindsey Graham is just sitting up there, listening to evidence that he is going to blatantly ignore, sipping on a tall glass of ice-cold milk like he's a skinny kid trying to build muscles in an 80s commercial? This is wild.
Where is this milk coming from? Is there a Senate Milk Man? Little white hat, white shoes, flirtatious relationship with your mom? Are all kinds of milk allowed or they just straight chugging whole milk to own the libs? Can I get some oat milk representation in the Senate or what? I'm voting for my juicy grains in 2020!
If the Senators have to bring their own milk, are they sitting there with cartons of milk beading sweat and slowly warming under their seats? Like a second grader who has made the ill-fated decision to save a drink for later. What's the cooling situation here?
Not to make this impeachment trial in the U.S. Congress political but... y'all got chocolate milk in there or...?
Speaking of chocolate: let's get into this candy drawer. Now, on one hand I live for the chaotic beauty of a candy drawer, which can bring such highs as an unvarnished full size Snickers or such lows as an unwrapped grape Jolly Rancher. The best stuff in a candy drawer is rarely just sitting there for the taking, but the art of the thing is rooting judiciously so that you get what you want without people around you judging you for being a weird candy connoisseur. The Senate candy drawer has been in operation since 1968 and, according to the laws of candy drawers everywhere there's still some of the original selection in there somewhere.
But, like all candy drawers, this one giveth and taketh away. Currently, the Senate candy drawer (or "candy desk" as the Senate calls it, a term I capriciously refuse to acknowledge) is assigned to Republican Senator Pat Toomey. As a former Pennsylvania resident, Toomey used to be my senator; he replied to zero percent of my voicemails and emails and liked to hold his infrequent "virtual town halls" in the middle of the day with no notice. So, if track record is any indication, nobody's going to be breaking off a piece of a Kit Kat bar under his watch.
Toomey's staff told the New York Times that they're stocking the drawer with candy from Pennsylvania-based companies like "Hershey’s chocolate bars, Rolos, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way bars, peanut butter cups made by Reading, Pa.-based R.M. Palmer Co. and Peanut Chews." This is a shrewd move on the part of the Senate: assign the desk to the guy whose state includes the amusement park dedicated to chocolate. Can you imagine if the candy desk was assigned to a Senator whose state didn't have any candy makers? They'd be like "Well, to support the fine industries of my state, I've stocked the candy drawer with... well, mustard packets, packing peanuts, and raw bratwurst. Bone apple teeth!"
Personally, I hold the incorrect opinion that Milky Ways are the best candy bar so I'm pleased with the selection. However, as someone who just happy-cried through Becoming by Michelle Obama, I must express concern about the lack of healthy food options for our Senators in general. Can you imagine going to a party where they were serving water, milk, and candy you got out of Pat Toomey's desk? Sounds like a cult and I want no parts in it. So, unfortunately, as a food critic trained at the Julia Roberts in My Best Friends Wedding School of Culinary Writing I must give the impeachment trial of Donald Trump a poor Yelp review. I am open to revisiting if they maybe set up a juice bar in a Vitamix at Cory Booker's desk or a little bakery at Martha McSally's desk called Hack Snacks. Just something to chew on.
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