WASHINGTONā€”Admitting that his competitive spirit got the best of him, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry apologized Friday for trying to outdo his fellow cabinet members by spending $72 million of taxpayer money on a lampshade. ā€œI deeply and sincerely regret becoming swept up in the office-decorating fervor of my colleagues and subsequently allocating over $70 million of my departmentā€™s budget for this lampshade,ā€ said Perry, who admitted he ordered the shade from an antiques agent in Parisā€™ Porte de Clignancourt district to impress other cabinet members after seeing Ryan Zinkeā€™s cocobolo-and-stingray-leather office door and the lavish Moroccan tapestries hung throughout the waiting area of Ben Carsonā€™s ā€œDesert Caravanā€-themed office. ā€œAmerican citizens should not have to shoulder the cost of paying for a lampshade woven from vucana silk, hand-stitched with contrasting saffron-spider thread, and crowned by the worldā€™s seventh-largest ruby, so I will be returning the lampshade in its lacquered presentation box as soon as a Learjet can be chartered to convey it.ā€ Despite parting with the lampshade, Perry will keep the the lamp itself, which his grandfather fashioned from a football-shaped Jim Beam decanter commemorating the 1964 Cotton Bowl.

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