Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Crash 5 - U.S. House of Representatives: "Annual Taco Bell Congressional Reception"

After a pretty lame lunch panel at the Hudson Institute (I know, last post was kinda weak), I got a tip from my buddy on the Hill that the annual Taco Bell Congressional Reception was going down in the Longworth Cafeteria. I know it's not technically a panel, but whatever. "The Panel/Reception/Mixer/Event Crasher" didn't have much of a ring to it.
I remembered this event from my days as a staffer. It's basically an all-you-can-eat Taco Bell buffet with free beer and wine.  Never are so many free chalupas and beers together with so few stoned people. I hoped to snag a few beers and tacos while getting in some needed laughs after the Hudson snooze fest. Here's the scene:

There were at least five bars set up like this, with free beer and wine:

I couldn't get within 50 yards of a food stand unfortunately because the lines were so long. No biggie, because if I'm honest, I don't love Taco Bell. There, I said it. So instead of waiting, I sipped a couple beers by the bar and put out the vibe :

(Artists rendition)

That's when I saw this guy. He's taking no chances and making sure he gets his share by bringing a legit bankers box to stuff full of free tacos. He's either the office hero, or the annoying intern who was forced to hump Crunchwrap Supremes for staff:

One guy who was unquestionably an intern, was this guy:
Three things give this kid away. First, he's wearing a bow tie. Only interns and d-bags wear bow ties, so this guy is one or the other. Probably both:

Second, he's pulling the classic flipped badge maneuver to hide the fact that he has a red intern badge. I used to pull the same thing. I get it. No one wants to be seen wearing the DC scarlet letter. What most interns realize however, is that the backs of the intern and staff badges look exactly the same. If you adjust it to make it look like it just accidentally flipped over, it doesn't immediately signal that you're really unimportant. Except that it does, because the badges never just accidentally flip over. So this is only slightly less obvious than hanging your red badge out for all to see: 

That brings me to the third giveaway: his badge placement. Sorry kid, but no legitimate paid staffer, in the history of the United States Congress, has EVER warn his badge on his jacket pocket. It's just a 100% indicator that you're trying way to hard and are way too impressed with yourself. It goes on your belt or in your pocket. End of discussion. Now go grab me some bin candy from the deli.

On the other end of the spectrum was the lone Capitol Police officer getting in on the action. I always wondered why they didn't take advantage of stuff like this more often. There's probably some sort of unwritten rule about it, so I respect this guy for breaking through the blue wall and doing the right thing:

Similarly, I'd like to give a shout out to these Architect of the Capitol employees:

They were not holding back when it came to the free bar. Nope, just crushing beers in full uniform. Like their law enforcement counterparts, these folks work hard and behind the scenes to keep the things running safely in the Capitol, and they also dont always get the same perks available to staffers. So it was nice to see them get after it. What I respect even more though, and what this picture fails to fully capture, is that two of the guys are wearing matching headgear. One is in a Suns flat brim, the other in a Cavs flat brim, both of which are 100% color coordinated. THAT is how you accessorize on the Hill Bow Tie Boy. Take notes.
UPDATE!!!! Thanks to an anonymous tipster who apparently showed my AOTC friends this post at yesterday's Outback Steakhouse Reception, we have a better pic. First of all, back to back receptions! Word. Second, I'm told they dug the blog, which warms the cockles of my heart. The tipster also provided this far superior picture. They're in uniform and had name tags, so I blurred those out with their faces just in case they have any rules about using the logo or something. Now feast your eyes on their flat brim game. Fantastic:


  1. How could you go to a Taco Bell event and not eat any Taco Bell? You have no motivation, man!

  2. Hello Panel Crasher,

    I'm a producer at NPR... read about your blog through the City Paper. Would love to ask you a few questions. I'm cbenderev@npr.org.


  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Love your blog! Don't sell out to reporters though! Everyone will catch on and ruin your game!

  5. You should 100% sell out, and the fact that you didn't bring home Taco Bell is killing me inside.

  6. you should go to the ag committee room, receptions almost daily.

  7. Duuuuude, when is your next post coming up?? I'm suffering from panel food spread description abstinence over here.

  8. Anyway keep up the world of warcraft gold excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a gold wow buy great blog like this one today.

  9. How could you go to a Taco Bell event and not eat any Taco Bell?Some how it is a good post with some typical images.We follow the rules mentioned in
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