Members of the U.S. House of Representatives will once again be seeing "french fries" on their cafeteria menus while the term "freedom fries" is quietly being phased out. The move also caused the country's Insane Level to drop from "Incomprehensible" to "Confused."
Conservative Republicans have found the change alarming, accusing their cohorts of 'cutting and running' in a clear victory for France and a blow to freedom everywhere.
On March 11, 2003 Republican representative Robert Ney declared that all references to French fries and French toast on the menus associated with the House of Representatives be re-named Freedom Fries and Freedom toast. In a move of decisive leadership Ney used his leverage as Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, which oversees restaurant operations in the house, to enact his "freedom" ordinance.
Somewhere a dog barked.
The short-lived "freedom fries movement" was an expression of displeasure towards France which openly questioned the United State's reasoning for invading Iraq. After the nomenclature boycott the French embassy made no comment except to note that French fries come from Belgium.
"We are at a very serious moment dealing with very serious issues and we are not focusing on the name you give to potatoes," said embassy spokeswoman Nathalie Loisau.
Later, high on his own power, Ney made an attempt to rename actor French Stewart, but was blocked.
Some on the far right are claiming the menu reversion represents a clear victory in the war on France.
"We stayed the course, and sent a clear message to the French and those who harbor them," a House Administration official statement said. "The American people have never been prouder. We are ready to stand down."
But critics are quick to point out that the boycott had no relevant effect abroad and at home most people simply call them "fries." At worst it represents an insult to the American intelligence and was a trite political move. They point out the same minds that thought an invasion of Iraq would promote regional democracy also thought renaming fries might send some kind of signal. Both shared similiar results.
Regardless, The "freeom fries movement" will serve as both an example of America's patriotic fervor and its insanity after 9/11.
America has a rich history of politically motivated food euphemisms. During World War II sauerkraut was renamed liberty cabbage, and hamburgers, liberty steaks. German measles were even called liberty measles. The term "hot dog" replaced frankfurter. This burst of gastrointestional patriotism had its effects. Any depressing war-time thoughts that might occur to Americans were eased as they sat down to a warm plate of liberty cabbage.
But sadly it looks like "freedom fries" will not share this glorius track record. It never really caught on, probably due to the simple fact that it's insane.
Representatives now have more time to not do the things they should be doing. And, despite the move from Congress, talk show host Bill O'Reilly says he plans to continue his boycott of France, remaining as vigilant as ever.