They were brainwashed into it. That's my story that prevents me from exiling the lot. It may come as no surprise that my feelings for the governance of the State of Mississippi are less generous than my feelings toward barnacles. Barnacles, at least, have a useful ecological function, while our elected representatives are mere nuisances infesting our Ship of State. Given that the Ship of Mississippi is rotten, full of holes, and sinking, the barnacles ain't helping.
Yet, what they've been getting up to lately is beyond their usual assholery. I can think of no explanation for their behavior that does not end in them banished to one of those vanishing islands off the coast.
Save this one: They were under mind control. I've seen Jessica Jones, I know how the Purple Man works. That is the only rational explanation.
Therefore, I present, Mississippi Legislative Adventures: Starring Dick Billington!
Dick Billington strode his way across the gold-gilded red carpet of the Mississippi State Capitol the same way he made every footstep he’d ever taken - with the massive confidence of a golden-bronzed God, a pectoral colossus straddling the political globe in tasteful charcoal suit pants specially tailored to hide his shamefully massive bulges from the prying eyes of the curious public.
He hadn’t even been elected, but today’s polls showed him with an uncharacteristically poor 99.9% approval rate - a failure he personally blamed upon the four illiterate “readers” of a schlock website about the sort of food only ‘the poors’ would eat under threat of starvation.
No, Dick Billington had taken it upon himself to finally straighten out the worst body of governance in the United States. He’d personally cock-punched some boot-licking techbro representative and called him a “beta” before taking his office by force because it was headquartered in Madison, Mississippi. Madison was a town that Dick Billington liked because it covered every surface in bricks, and hard, red bricks made Dick Billington require even more spectacular acts of the tailor’s craft in order to keep his dress slacks slack and his shirt-threatening pectorals from sending his real ivory buttons flying across these august halls in a blinding display.
“What’s on the agenda today?” He asked Philip Gunn. The moment Dick Billington said that, Philip Gunn became the second most powerful man in the Mississippi State Legislature, and that position was only so prime because everyone else was jealous that Billington had spoken with him first. Until Dick Billington had walked in the room, Philip Gunn had the most masculine name in the chamber, and the best haircut, which was only because every Representative went to supercuts, while Dick Billington had willed his hair into Superman-esque jet black with the properly grey temples after once seeing Mitt Romney across a room at their favorite underground golf pro shop in the Maldives.
Dick snatched the agenda off the podium and glared at the press, forcing them to retreat from the chamber, up against the wall like Dick Billington wanted them, come the Revolution. He was a one man revolution, he knew, and they knew it, and they all wanted to die by his hand. The Clarion Ledger capitol beat reporter was wishing for the sweet embrace of oblivion so hard that Dick almost struck her down with his eyes, so cold and so blue that he’d never needed to use ice cubes, he just stared at his drink the way that he stared at the cowering members of the legislature and press. The scribe from WLBT threw himself onto a pen, and in his death, he knew happiness for the first time, relief from the weight of his lifetime of lies, transcendent bliss under the gaze of Dick Billington, a gaze harder than steel, a beam that could have withstood all the jet fuel in the world without melting.
“Education? Medicare? State Park funding? Prisons? Police? Roads? What is this shit?” Dick wasn’t shouting but everyone in the building knew they had to listen. Every last one of them was a toadying creature trained from birth to love the whip of fascism. Each and every empty skull was putty in the broad bronzed hand of Dick Billington. Putty he could shape. Mold. An amorphous gunk waiting to be turned into something beautiful, something more than the assembled biomass of slime mold and racism that had infested that glorious dome since time immemorial.
“This is all bullshit.” Dick Billington said, and every representative was ashamed that they had even considered this business. They flailed, gnashing teeth and sweating as each tried to outdo the other in eating their waiting bills, tearing lobbyist-written stacks of tax breaks and school rules into sweaty, bloody shreds, their flabby fingers working for the first times in their lives, the tiny reptilian basal ganglia all that could function in their atrophied brains, disused for decades. “Do you all know what the real problem is?”
Dan Eubanks, who, because of his exposure to superstardom in his blockbuster YouTube videos, had managed to maintain a modicum of awareness in the Dick Billington onslaught, screamed out the first thing that came to mind.
Dick Billington froze. With his improbable musculature, the effect of coming to such a full-body stop caused the air around him to heat up several degrees. The delegation began to mutter, to wonder, and as the steam wafted from Dick Billington, half of them were outraged that Eubanks had dared speak and half were bowing down in stunned religious fervor at anyone brave enough to assemble words in the presence of that awesome personage.
“Who are you?” Dick Billington asked. The words were like a tornado in a trailer park. Mississippi Representatives threw themselves on top of one another to try and answer, those who had been outraged were now genuflecting Eubanks, those who had bowed to him were now scrambling to be seen by Billington. Cries of ''witness me!” accompanied their petty acts of violence and cruelty, though Dick had eyes for none save Eubanks, a lone pillar of humanity in the writhing sea of genteel racists. It was like a Roman orgy rendered in salt pork, devoid of sex or pleasure.
"Just a humble servant of the Lord who has selflessly taken it upon himself to represent the people of Mississippi.” Eubanks said, pleading on his knees as Representative Bubba Carpenter (R-Burnsville) shrieked racist epithets at the crowd to try and raise his voice above the clammy clamor.
Dick Billington silenced the mewling with a glare that froze sweet tea into sugary syrup and one word so perfectly pronounced that every Representative shed a single tear, which was shattered by the perfect enunciation issuing from those unchappable lips. They all wished they had never inserted the state-issued buttery cornmeal plug that every Mississippi politician is required to keep in their mouth at all times.
“Mediocre.” Dick said, and they fell to the floor in horror.
Then. “Cocks?” Dick asked, pointing his sculpted finger at Dan Eubanks (R-Nesbit) “What have you done about cocks?”
“Meeee meee meee!” Philip Gunn (R-Clinton) sang like a schoolgirl, for he too had cock-related legislation that he would never have dared put forth had Dick Billington not disrupted the status quo so thoroughly.
“I didn’t ask YOU. I asked the man who yelled ‘cocks’ earlier.” Dick Billinton said. He felt as though the squabbling Representatives were becoming disorderly. He briefly considered making one of them stand in the corner for a punishment, though he knew the others would then become bloodthirsty, like Lord of the Flies on an island of piggies.
"I have a bill that would police people's genitals at the restroom door." Eubanks said. The others were agape at the pointless audacity of the proposal.
"And why didn't you bring it to the floor already?" Dick asked.
"I thought it was intrusive, offensive, and frankly, a bit absurd." Eubanks said. The others nodded mindlessly, and for a brief moment Dick Billington saw his spell fading, saw something approaching humanity enter the cold, dead eyes of the assembly.
“But cocks.” Dick said, and their attention was on him like a room full of dogs being shown a ball. All he had to do was throw it to Eubanks.
“Cocks.” Eubanks replied. “I want to make sure that if you’re using a restroom, only all natural 100% organic cocks are in that room with you, cocks that have been nurtured since birth. Cocks that understand the full joy of unchallenged manhood throughout their development, a cock that is a cock every day that it is behind God-given pants, a cock that rests, hopefully, nestled in comfortable, all cotton briefs, or, God forbid, boxers.”
“I understand.” Dick Billington said. His words bestowed a peace transcendent, and in that moment the Mississippi State House of Representatives knew truth, experienced justice, and was brought face-to-face with an unyielding avatar of the American Way. A thousand Captain Americas were born and died in the pause between “I” and “understand,” sacrificing their soul-eagles to the eternal fire of the Brotherhood of Men.
“I, Dick Billington, know but one pain.” Tears were wept in the open, and in a distant radio booth the state technicians struggled to unplug the microphones from SuperTalk Mississippi as both JT and Dave began masturbating to Dick’s words.
“And that pain is having some intersexed person come into the restroom with me while my penis is exposed. It’s dangerous. Any uterus in the room with me while my regal phallus is exposed to naked air will, without warning or delay, become pregnant.”
Tears were drawn down cheeks that had not felt them in decades. Every woman in the room became pregnant. A Clarion-Ledger reporter threw himself from the balcony as penance for his crimes.
“And what shall the punishment be for the misallocation of genitalia, Representative Eubanks?”
“I hadn’t thought to punish them, dare I? It seems so petty, so ruinous.” Eubanks said, quivering.
“Dare.” Dick demanded.
“One. No, two, no… three…” His eyes gleamed, this was the moment that he had been waiting for. The YouTube videos, the campaigns, the promises and hands on bibles, the handshakes and babies, the sacrifices on altars in the darkest woods, the endless hours on the pews of the church, when the only worship he now desired was that of Dick Billington….”
“FIVE YEARS!” He shouted. “HALLELUJAH!”
“AMEN!” Came the cries of the flagellants. “AMEN! HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST! They surely deserve the penitentiary for such flagrant destruction of life!”
“PARCHMAN FARM!” Cried Bubba Carpenter, hoping for one whit of attention from the Adorned One.
“Representative Eubanks, for your service to cocks, I will let you attach your name to this bill.” Dick said. “Now, let’s see, what else is on the ledger… schools? PAH! Crime lab, medicare, bridges? What kind of godless communist wants ‘clean water’ as a priority? If lead is good enough for bullets it’s good enough for our water systems.”
The crowd was frothing, ecstatic, like all southern men their fathers had never approved of their lives, and there was only one thing better than that approval. Dick. Billington. “Who else brings service to Dick?” Billington demanded from the whimpering crowd. The Mississippi State House of Representatives had proven easy enough to fix. He knew that Mississippi would be 40th in a few things before long.
Maybe even higher.
“I have something, I have something, I have something! Witness me! Witness ME!” Representative Gunn shrieked. He sounded like a wounded pig, he proudly wore his spittle like a bib of slime.
“GUNN.” Dick pronounced, and spontaneous ejaculations wracked the crowd as their new God said their favorite word. Randy P. Boyd (R-Itawamba) fell prostrate before the bronze form of Dick.
“Show him our dick bill, Gunn! Show him our dick bill!” Randy pleaded, face buried in the red and gold carpet.
“Silence!” Gunn hissed, but in that moment of assertion he knew the entire crowd had turned on him, for daring to steal one whit of attention from the Almighty. He withered. The baleful eye of Dick was upon him. Speaker Gunn wished for death, but knew he did not have permission to die. Not yet. Not until Dick gave it to him.
“What do you have, Gunn?” Dick asked. He drew himself up to full height, adding half a foot to his already towering frame. Ivory buttons flew from his chest in cruel trajectories, ivory disks that ricocheted from the marble walls. William “Dick” Tracy Arnold (R-Prentiss) lost one eye as the others scrambled around his blood-soaked feet to grab the rarefied pieces of dead elephant.
“I need legal protections for the pathetic shreds of my sex life. I want sex outside of marriage to be illegal. I want to make sure nobody’s hiding a penis from me. I want to make sure nobody’s getting… getting…” The assembly hung their heads as one, the floor becoming even more interesting than Dick Billington for the briefest of moments.
“Tell me.” Dick said, beckoning Gunn over with a single curling finger. The man practically skipped into the circle of invisible light, and began whispering into Dick’s broad bronzed ear, but not before becoming hypnotised by each whorl of cartilage, wondering at what secrets those ears had heard, what they had…
“They’re doing what?” Dick was taken aback, blue angel eyes soaring in rage.
“With their penises. And sometimes the penises go in unsanctioned, unreserved… places…” Gunn blushed a crimson hue, what was whispering to Dick Billington was something that he had seen himself, something that he once had wished only to tolerate, but now, he knew, in the presence of that golden god, he must betray.
“...sometimes without penises. Entirely.”
Dick Billington shook with anger. He, an unelected servant of the Greater Good, here in this shameful chamber, would right this wrong - true, it was a wrong only he felt, a wrong that nobody with a modicum of decency would be affronted by, and yes, their “dick bill” would create untold legal issues.
“No!” Dan Eubanks said, crying. “Not that!” The others knew what he spoke of, in darkened rooms they had seen “The Dick Bill” and they knew they could never pass it, that no one would dare vote for it. For, even without reading it - none of them read the laws that they passed - they knew that it was a horrible legislative nightmare, shackling lifetimes of misery to accidents of birth, denying entire swathes of the population rights, enshrining in tortured legalese the minor conveniences of a nonexistent population.
Such things they had only glimpsed in their darkest fevered imaginings. Now, thanks to Dick Billington’s growing influence, it could become the law of the land. But for Dick they would burn the constitution they claimed to hold sacred, they would ignore the Holy Teachings they once had meditated on in pristine temples, before their elections, the rites of which had stolen their souls.
“Make it so.” Dick Billington said. “But as much as I despise people who labor under the assumption that our government doesn’t enforce the beliefs of the Christian religion…”
The assembly laughed. It was an honest laugh, they all knew the truth.
“..still, I can’t stand the hypocritical language in the title. ‘Protecting Christians from Government Discrimination’ - gentlemen, you know as well as I do that there is nothing at all Christian about this bill. Not one bit. Sure, those viewpoints are the only ones it protects, but… let’s think, what do none of you have?”
“Souls!” Eubanks shouted, weeping.
“Religion!” Carpenter added.
“Consciences!” Boyd shouted.
“Freedom!” Shouted Gunn.
“Then it’s settled.” Dick Billington said. “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination.”
They wept at the meaningless majesty of the title.
“Well, gentlemen, I must be off. This has been informative, but I’ve decided I don’t like working in government.”
Dick Billington walked out, leaving a wake of desperate men, aghast at what they had done, what they had voted for. But it was too late.
While we have been informed that the preceding sequence of events is "unlikely," we at Pearl River Flow will take the following silence from our lawmakers as tacit acknowledgement that it is an accurate summation of what occurred. Should any of them deny that this was the case, the staff of Pearl River Flow will gladly apologize for our assumption and prepare the boats for exiling our legislators.