In this January, local landlords are anxiously soliciting leases from new members of Congress. However, it may be that they should pause a moment, to read this cautionary tale of the 1936 escapades of the ill-fated Marion Zioncheck, a two-term Democratic congressman from Seattle. Little is known today of the fate of his turtle who tap-danced to "I Can't Give You Anything but Love Baby." And the ultimate disposition of his 12-cylinder roadster -- his accomplice in many a race against speed limits and traffic police, down posh Connecticut Avenue and through historic Alexandria's cobblestone streets -- has been lost in the crumbling of newspaper clippings. But what happened to Zioncheck, after his January through August 1936 of fiery fun and terrible tragedy is, alas, known too well. The news and the nuances were extensively reported in the daily newspapers of the period, now mostly to be read in fuzzy microfiches. The story was revived by James Goode in his new book, "Best Addresses" (Smithsonian Press). Up until 1936, little but good is known of Zioncheck, Polish-born immigrant, lumberjack, student who worked his way through law school, and champion of the oppressed. Zioncheck was part of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Revolution of 1932. FDR went to the White House and Zioncheck to the Congress. Both were counted to have acquitted themselves well in the early days of the New Deal. From this distance, it is difficult to say what catastrophic event happened to Zioncheck as 1935 became 1936. Whatever it was, it turned an upstanding, hard-working, promise-filled young man into a maniac -- what the newspapers of the day called a clown, a playboy, a "bad boy" -- and a figure of scorn, hilarity and eventually pity. On Christmas Day 1935, he rented the Harvard Hall apartment of magazine freelancer Pamela Schuyler Young as she left on assignment to South America. At 3 a.m. on New Year's Eve, celebrating the holiday, he danced his way to a nearby Connecticut Avenue apartment building, tied up the telephone operator and called every apartment to wish the reluctant residents Happy 1936. On April 28, Zioncheck, 35, and 20-year-old secretary Rubye Louise Nix eloped to Annapolis. A member of the wedding clerk's office lent him the two dollars for his license fee. A few days later, he was arrested in Alexandria for speeding. With that, he and his wife absconded to Florida, leaving behind a note for The Washington Post, saying: "The Congressman, attired in a natty brown suit, and his bride in white spring ensemble left the fashionable Harvard Hall apartment in secret. "Zioncheck's famous black roadster, heavily loaded with baggage, was the only clew, and that was kept in the apartment garage until their quick flight." The note also said a friend was left the care of their three terrapins. The next day Zioncheck was arrested for speeding in North Carolina. The deputy sheriff, wife of the arresting officer, said, "From a social standpoint, I guess he was the biggest prisoner my husband or I ever caught." May 13, the newspapers reported that while honeymooning in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he invented a drink called the Zioncheck Zipper, ran into a truck, was challenged to a duel, informed Roosevelt that he could clean up the situation in Puerto Rico in a week, and was given a Marine guard to protect him until he and his bride left for the Virgin Islands. While Zioncheck was on his honeymoon his landlady was summoned from the southern continent by the irate building manager, who took exception to Zioncheck's habit of pitching dishes through his apartment window (closed). Aware of the influence of the press, freelance writer Young called a press conference on May 20 "prior to dispossessing him" to show how Zioncheck had vandalized her apartment and its furnishings. In the "pig sty" filth (as Young put it), the dining table, its top ringed and scratched, bore the remains of a breakfast several weeks past, as well as an Indian suit, complete with feathered headdress. Bows and arrows and a life-size but toy rabbit, its neck broken, were stuck in trash cans nearby. Returning from his Virgin Island escapades, Zioncheck repossessed the apartment, claiming that the door was open, though the lock seemed to have been broken. After a brief cease-fire in which Zioncheck, his wife and Young all stayed in the apartment together, the unruly representative tossed Young bodily out of the apartment. In the ensuing riot, Zioncheck threw a cocktail glass and hit his attorney's neck, a reporter was stabbed in the arm, and 100 people gathered in the hall to see the fun. The next day, he visited "his baboon friend, Wahoo" at the zoo, who executed a somersault on Zioncheck's command and payment of a can of sardines. Back at the apartment, Zioncheck threw rum bottles, a borrowed typewriter and a suitcase full of his bride's trousseau out the window. Mrs. Zioncheck left unassisted. On June 1, Zioncheck was finally committed to a mental ward in a hospital after trying to get Vice President John Nance Garner arrested and leaving a bag of empty beer bottles for FDR. The capricious congressman escaped, took refuge in his House of Representatives office, and was eventually escorted to Union Station by the Capitol Police. His end came when, on Aug. 8, he climaxed his penchant for throwing things out windows by throwing himself out a fifth-floor window of a building in Seattle. He had a wonderful funeral, with a large congressional delegation in attendance.