They're the scourge of question time in parliaments all around Australia.
But could Dorothy Dixers finally be eradicated from the ACT Legislative Assembly?
Speaker Joy Burch has indicated she would look at curtailing the practice in favour of encouraging backbenchers to ask constituency questions, after a $5040 trip to the Scottish parliament in June.
In a recently tabled report about her trip, Ms Burch appeared impressed with its version of question time - First Minister’s Questions - noting there did not appear to be any Dorothy Dixers asked and there was a category of questions specifically for advocating on behalf of constituents.
This stands in stark contrast to most Australian parliaments, where backbenchers from the ruling party ask stage-managed questions designed to promote the work of government and make the minister look good.
Those questions are referred to as Dorothy Dixers, a term that stems from American advice columnist Dorothy Dix's reputed practice of making up her own questions in order to publish more interesting answers.
There was a particularly excruciating example last sitting week, when Labor backbenchers used the last 10 minutes of question time to feed then city services minister Meegan Fitzharris pun-laden questions about the recent reversal of their decision to cull the feral peacock population in Narrabundah.
Ms Fitzharris assured the chamber "feathers have not been ruffled and there has been no fowl play" in the decision and even played a recording of a bird song.
Canberra Liberal Jeremy Hanson appealed in vain to Ms Burch to rule the questions out of order, given the use of props and ironical expressions was against standing orders. Ms Burch told him she would let the line of questioning "fly" as it was the last question of three sitting weeks.
The Canberra Times asked Ms Burch whether her suggestion to ditch the Dixers was serious, given she is a member of the Labor-Greens government.
Ms Burch was also asked whether the people of Canberra would be better served if backbenchers could ask questions on behalf of their constituents rather than questions that made their ministers look good. She did not respond.
Australian National University Emeritus Professor John Warhurst said question time would be much "sharper" without Dorothy Dixers.
"They don't serve much purpose other than giving the government a chance to bignote itself basically," Professor Warhurst said.
"They're not probing questions, they're questions the minister has wanted someone on their own side to ask. They don't fulfil the purpose of question time, which is to keep the government accountable. They're really an advertising exercise."
Professor Warhurst said scrapping Dorothy Dixers could be a "small but positive" step towards restoring Australians' trust in democracy.
"I can see some virtue in [constituency questions] as an alternative way of doing things. Anything that looks like playing games between the government and opposition is bad for trust in the system. On the other hand anything which could increase the connection with the public and parliamentary system has got to be good," Professor Warhurst said.
The Scottish parliament is a decade younger than the ACT Legislative Assembly, formed after the 1997 referendum in which the Scottish people voted for devolution.
Professor Warhurst said because their parliament was relatively new, they were more inclined to experiment.
"I think it's good we can learn from innovation around the world's parliament and not get stuck thinking because we've always done things a certain way, we have to do them that way," Professor Warhurst said.