Sen. Susan Collins used a 'talking stick' during shutdown negotiations

If Sen. Susan Collins ever leaves politics, maybe she should work as a mediator.

The Maine Republican's office was called a "little Switzerland" for bipartisan talks about passing legislation to fund the federal government for a few weeks.

And Collins herself was responsible for the use of a "talking stick" during those negotiations, according to her office.

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It's a simple idea: If you're the one holding the stick, you're the only one allowed to talk.

A la the conch from Lord of the Flies.

While an unnamed senator told CNN that the talking stick was successful in preventing crosstalk, the lawmaker said there was an incident in which one person "forcefully delivered" the stick across the room, leading to the chipping of a glass elephant.

But all is well. Negotiations didn't devolve the way Lord of the Flies did, since the Senate managed to pass a bill that will reopen the government and fund it through Feb. 8.

Collins apparently isn't the first lawmaker to use the decorative stick. According to CNN, she received it from another member who was involved in previous tough negotiations.

What we now want to know: How long has the Senate equivalent of Bring It On's Spirit Stick existed?

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