With all the partisan bickering about teacher pay, bathroom use and what the governor can and can’t do these days it’s fair to say there’s a lot of animosity in the General Assembly. But on Thursday, for a very brief moment, there was a bit of bi-partisan levity.
Each floor session of the North Carolina House starts the same way. Five electronic bells tell the representatives it’s time to take their seats.
Often, it seems these bells should be followed with a boxing announcer booming out who’s in the red corner and who’s in the blue.
But what really happens is there’s a prayer, the pledge, then the Clerk of the House reads out the titles of the bills being introduced that day. And House Speaker Tim Moore assigns those bills to a committee.
It’s a robotic affair, something both men have done now countless times.
But every once in a while, there’s a bill that catches them up. So when the Clerk read out "House Bill 96. Adopt state fried chicken festival," it took a moment for Speaker Moore to, shall we say, gather his thoughts. "State and local government one," he announced with a laugh.
Then the robo call-out continued. Until Moore couldn’t resist. "Actually serial referral to the committee on health." Yes, lawmakers laughed at this legislative joke about fried chicken which is delicious to eat but not so good for you.
And that was it. But given the tenor in Raleigh these days, a little joke can make news.