After the last person to leave Congress turns out the lights, the government will be shut down. Pretty sure that’s how it works. If you’re a typical American, you are asking the question you ask when anything happens, ever: what does this mean for ME? We consulted real news sources and are ready to answer your questions:
Can I go to space during the government shutdown?
No, you can’t go to space. But you can go to space camp! Or up in a really high airplane! 80% of NASA is furloughed, so Space is closed. Perhaps you’d like to watch Space Jam instead?
Oh, awesome. I liked the part where you said I could go up in a really high airplane instead. So, I could do that?
Sure! But not if you’re into safety. 3,000 safety inspectors might be furloughed, and when your really high airplane inevitably fails and crashes, the accident investigators will also be furloughed. But if you are willing to take a risk that your plane would have passed a safety inspection, or want your heirs and survivors to have a fun mystery to solve after the crash, then you can still go up in an airplane. It’ll be like the Bobsey Twins! Or Nancy Drew! Those books are at libraries. Libraries were these things you could go to to get books for free, before the government shutdown. They might be closed now.
Flying sounds kind of risky. Can I go to the zoo during the government shutdown instead?
Well…. maybe. Park services will close, so if your zoo is not in the national park system, you’re in the clear. If your nearest zoo is a national park, you want to know a way more fun activity? Load your kids into the SUV, head to the closed zoo, and take a picture of your kids crying in front of it. Then, mail, text, or tweet that photo to the government officials who made this all possible.
What about national parks?
Many of them will close to traffic. But it’s 2013, and you can always look at pictures of nature on the Internet, instead! Also, with guards and staff furloughed at many national parks, you can do one better than touring a national park on the up-and-up. It’s sneakin’ in season! Sneak into Yellowstone! Sneak into the Grand Canyon! Sneak into Yosemite! Fall is in the air, leaves are changing, and it’s the perfect October to have a Huck Finn-esque adventure sneaking onto state land and enjoying the grandeur of nature’s bounty.
Cool. Where else can I sneak into?
Well, the Liberty Bell is closed, so why not sneak in and ring it? You might be able to sneak into the Statue of Liberty, or Ellis Island (just like your ancestors did!).
This government shutdown thing is rough. At least I could eat my feelings?
In America, you can always eat your feelings! But if you get your feelings through WIC (The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program For Women, Infants And Children), that could shut down. So, people with money and adult men, you may continue to eat your feelings. You’ve been getting by without WIC already.
Oooh. But the FDA may suspend inspections, except of meat. You may eat your feelings if you are not on WIC and have a strong intestinal constitution.
I should watch my weight anyway, because I have really bad cancer. It’s the pits. I should really try to get into one of those clinical trials.
Not at the National Institutes of Health, buckaroo! 255 trials for cancer patients will not be taking new patients.
No offense, but this sounds like a big pile of garbage.
No. Washington, DC is a big pile of garbage. Or it will be in a few weeks, because there is only so much money reserved for trash collection. Once it runs out your hardworking Congress members will be suffocated under a growing mountain of waste.
Maybe I should just die. Bury me at a national cemetery when I go.
Not so fast, buddy! The Board of Veterans Affairs is no longer issuing rulings, so there might not be anyone to approve your dignified state burial. However: Getting buried on government land under the cover of darkness is just as illegal as before, but there might not be any guards to catch you!
It’s government shutdown season. At least if you die, the government might not find out that your loved ones secretly buried you on Mount Rushmore.