Some stories, no matter how serious, are just joke-prone. So it was this week with the proposed U.S. BULB act, which aimed to repeal light bulb efficiency standards that became law in 2007. Sponsored by Joe Barton, a Texas Republican congressman, the BULB bill failed to receive the two-thirds vote of those present in the House of Representatives that would have been needed to suspend House rules and pass the measure.

That was the signal for Washington politicians, interest groups and some headline writers to crank up the pun-producing machinery:

"Lights out for GOP Energy Agenda?" in Politico;

"Republican bill to ban energy-saving lightbulbs fades" in the Guardian;

"Dim BULB Act's Rejection Victory for Common Sense" in a statement from Republicans for Environmental Protection;

And a statement on the "Failure of Dimwitted BULB Act in U.S. House" from the League of Conservation Voters.

The spokesman for California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who was House speaker when a sweeping update of U.S. energy policy was signed into law by Republican President George W. Bush, outdid himself: