T was the day before Christmas at the headquarters of the National Defilement Association in Washington, and everyone was in a real Yuletide spirit. The annual Christmas party was about to start, and the secretaries were gathered around, wrapping the presents that would be sent to all Senators and Congressmen. Appropriately, the NDA had decided to give everyone assorted liquors in throwaway bottles and cans. "What a terrific idea!" said Harvey Kinzel, the ebullient director of the NDA. "We not only get all our elected representatives in our debt, but we also actually are helping spread some of our litter in each and every one of the 50 states."
Bobby Wibblesman, head of the Division of Galloping Asphalt for the NDA, stuck his head in the door. "And don't forget to send a little something over to the boys in the Department of Transportation," he said. "Word just came through that they have given the go-ahead for that highway we suggested—the $782 million Interstate that will link Dover, Delaware directly with Owensboro, Kentucky, eliminating six bird sanctuaries, four historical sites—including the Gettysburg Battlefield—three public parks, 17 golf courses...."
"And a partridge in a pear tree," Harvey Kinzel interrupted.
"Oh, you kidder," Wibblesman replied, holding his sides and roaring along with everyone else.
"The terrific thing about that highway," said Margie Seltzer, director of promotion, "is that we have succeeded in getting it built despite the most organized opposition from the conservation lobby."
"Some people are just reflexively against progress," Harvey Kinzel said.
"It's the same as with the save-the redwoods cartel," Wibblesman said. "If God had meant for us to leave trees standing, He would have given us long tails to swing from the limbs with."
"Right you are," said Kinzel, stamping out his low-tar cigarette with one of his genuine alligator-hide shoes. "But we have succeeded in getting the road bill approved, and that is certainly a tremendous note on which to end the first glorious year of the National Defilement Association."
"I'll drink to that," said A. P. Brown Jr., the guiding genius of the NDA's Air Pollution department, throwing his glass out the window and onto Connecticut Avenue. There were loud cheers. More and more employees had begun to arrive for the festivities.
"All right, all right!" Kinzel called out jovially. "God forbid that I should be a party-pooper, but this has been an A-1 first-class inaugural year for the NDA, and I have an announcement that I know will make everybody's Christmas merrier. Are we all here?"