Congress passed emergency legislation today to force eight-year-old Ethan Deters to be in bed by 9PM every night. Ethan has been struggling over his bedtime schedule with his parents, Sondra and Wally Deters of Lafayette, Indiana. With Ethan consistently staying up until after 10PM, congressional leaders felt they had to take the extraordinary action.
President Bush signed the bill immediately, commenting that "in complex matters such as this, I prefer to err on the side of going to bed early. I always go to be early, and I find it to be very beneficial."
Wally Deters announced he was "ecstatic" over the legislation. "I'm glad Congress can take a break from fighting terrorism and budgetary matters to take on issues that directly affect Americans," he said. Sondra Deters stated she was confident that "The power and prestige of the greatest legislative body in the world will have a profound impact on Ethan."
The bedtime controversy has been a power struggle between Ethan and his parents for over 3 years. The issue was first raised in 2002 when Ethan stated he would henceforth abide only by "grownup rules". Several local, state, and federal court rulings have failed to resolve the matter. A series of temper tantrums early this year drove Ethan's parents to seek assistance from Congress.
Ethan refused to speak to the throngs of reporters camped outside his home, but he could be overheard forcefully telling his parents that the congressional action was "not fair". A spokesman for Ethan told reporters that a major concern was monsters under the bed that may harm the youngster once he fell asleep. Wally Deters dismisses the monster claim and contends that numerous inspections have failed to reveal any evidence of monsters.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay took a break from complaining about allegations of ethical misconduct to support the congressional action. "Thank God we live in a country where the government can step into any family's bedroom and make things right," he said.
Sondra Deters said she admired her husband's persistence in the bedtime struggle. "I told him not to make a federal case of it, but thank goodness he ignored me as usual."