THE STRENGTH OF THE U.S. Constitution lies in the fact that it is a living, growing thing, one that takes up less space than most pets or children. To keep this document vital and bring it into line with a modern age that could stand a little bringing into line itself, we present these amendments, the Bill of Improvements.

The ratification is in the mail.

Freedom of Speech shall not be granted to the Dashboards of Automobiles. A M E N D M E N T X X V I I I

The right of the People peaceably to Assemble shall not be abridged, but neither shall the People be Compelled or Constrained to Assemble, especially with respect to large Swing Sets and other items of Apparatus whose Instructions shall have been written in Taiwan. A M E N D M E N T X X I X SECTION 1. The public Debt of the United States, authorized by Law, shall not be questioned. Lately, it shall not even be believed. Congress shall seek to remedy this Debt through the collection of all Revenues that may be owed to the government.

SECTION 2. In particular, Congress shall have Power to enforce all Copyrights and Rights of Authorship, including those of Government. The words "United States of America" shall, each and severally, be construed to be the Property of Government.

SECTION 3. Therefore, Congress shall have Power to levy massive Royalties for all commercialcial Uses of the Government's Copyrights, such as "C'mon over to Wienie-in-a-Taco, America!," "Let's get rid of that unsightly body and facial hair, America!," and "Hey, America -- say 'Hi!' to a new laxative that'll have you singing 'Yankee Doodle' on mornings when you used to feel like calling preemptive air strikes against Arab countries!" A M E N D M E N T X X X In their Prosecution of Grave and Sordid Crimes by Citizens, States shall have Power to reduce the Penalties for any Offenses that are not made into mini-series starring Richard Chamberlain, Elizabeth Montgomery or Both. A M E N D M E N T X X X I The Right of the People to be Secure in their Persons and Houses, against unreasonable Search and Seizure, shall not be violated. Unreasonable Search shall be construed to include phone calls from mechanical devices conducting Market Research Surveys on the Cheese-Eating Habits of the Tri-State Area. Unreasonable Seizures shall be construed to include sudden chest pains brought on by fake-court-petition mailings from the ACLU that are supposed to make you think Someone is Suing you, and by nearby Leaf Blowers doing their impression of a nuclear attack. A M E N D M E N T X X X I I SECTION 1. No Person shall, on the third or fourth date, casually let drop that he or she is Into such things as Trance Channeling, Herbalife, Free-Solo Ascents of K-4, the Mucousless Diet, Holly Near or Amassing Conclusive Evidence that will Blow Away the Warren Commission Report Once and for All.

SECTION 2. Looking like Something straight out of Stephen King in the Morning is out, too. A M E N D M E N T X X X I I I SECTION 1. Congress shall have Power to reclaim such Resources of the United States as shall have been Loaned to Nations that miss their Payments, notwithstanding all Assurances made by such Nations that their Payments are in the Mail.

SECTION 2. An Agent of the United States shall, with the Consent of Congress, repossess the National Product of a derelict Nation, in a timely and furtive fashion, such as through Hot Wiring, when the derelict Nation is asleep or at Work.

SECTION 3. The National Product of the derelict Nation shall be distributed fairly to the Citizens of the United States.

SECTION 4. In the event that the derelict Nation is, for the sake of Argument, Brazil, Citizens who shall have served the morale of the United States by their Authorship of droll and amusing magazine Articles shall have first crack at Coffee Beans, stylish Beachwear, loud Samba instruments, naked sail-boarding Lessons, and all Butters which shall pertain to Tanning.

SECTION 5. Citizens who shall have written Articles of grave Seriousness concerning, for Instance, "The Ecumenical Movement at the Crossroads in a Changing World," shall each and severally get Bauxite. A M E N D M E N T X X X I V SECTION 1. States shall have the Power to regulate Establishments purveying strong and ardent caffeinated Beverages, such as Cappuccino, with respect to the Frequency with which "The Four Seasons" by Antonio Vivaldi may be played on their premises.

SECTION 2. Or, for that Matter, The Four Seasons featuring Frankie Valli. A M E N D M E N T X X X V It was a lovely summer day, but Denise (not her real name) felt only emptiness as she stood in the kitchen of her suburban home and thought of the Supreme Court's original Jurisdiction in all cases affecting Ambassadors, other Public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, and its appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and to Fact, in all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations, as the Congress shall make. For Denise, a "compulsive constructionist" who devoted as many as 60 hours a week to Constitutional scholarship, the very words "habeas corpus" could touch off a 12-hour binge of research. Fortunately for Denise, and millions of women like her, there is now hope. (This Article, first submitted for inclusion with the nine original Articles of the Constitution, eventually was published in Ladies' Home Journal. Reprinted by permission.) A M E N D M E N T X X X V I SECTION 1. States shall have Power to provide, in their public Schools, a daily occasion of Prayer to God Almighty.

SECTION 2. In States that provide an occasion of Prayer in their public schools, all services offered in Churches, Synagogues and other Places of Worship shall include 20 minutes of Algebra, 15 minutes of Dodgeball and a Pop Quiz on Silas Marner. ::