All rise for the honorable Chairman.
Oh, hello! Didn’t see you there. You see, I’ve been busy lately. Swamped, in fact.
What have I been up to? Well, instead of writing columns to placate the masses I’ve been writing history to inspire posterity.
Hm. I rather like that. Note to self: write that one down.
Yes it’s true- I have not been writing. I’ve been far too busy watching awkward white businessman porn and doing other things. Loads of other things. Loads of other really important things.
I would like to be writing, sure. I would like to be skydiving in the Ural Mountains with Barbara Bach. But you can’t always get what you want. Plus, how can I focus on getting what I want when I’m too busy trying sometimes to get what I need?
After my first entry on this fine site almost two months ago, I told myself I was going to write once a week. Once every two weeks at least. But… well… how do I say this… I mean… basically… simply put… at the core of the issue… when you get right down to it… honestly……….
There’s just not much time to wax philosophical when you’re orchestrating the shutdown of the largest federal government in the world.
Surprised? No, you can’t possibly be surprised. You couldn’t have believed I wasn’t writing out of laziness. Why, that would be downright French. No, no, no… I was instead, in the grand American tradition, finding the best possible way to make the government work for me.
I saw this shutdown coming from a mile away. What with everybody in Congress sleeping with each other I felt like it had to reach a breaking point sometime. So I simply took the last few weeks to gently nudge both legislative houses in that direction. It went a little something like this:
The Chairman: Hey, John… Nancy says screw you.
John Boehner: Yeah. What else is new?
The Chairman: …
John Boehner: And who are you anyway?
The Chairman: Shut down the government.
John Boehner: Capital idea!
Perfect, no? It’s a modern day Philadelphia Story. I feel like Ernst Stavro Blofeld. But why, you ask? To what end would I furlough millions of Americans and threaten at least two college football games? For pleasure? Out of spite? For England, James?
Clearly, you haven’t been paying attention.
Outfit your home with an energy-efficient dishwasher from PC Richard & Son® today.
Whoops! How did that get in there? I don’t know, but I sure am glad it did! Now where were we…
Oh yes. “The Shutdown.” Before I get into boring motives, allow me to titillatingly tangentialize on the State of our Union. As you’ve no doubt seen, there lately seems to be no shortage of Great American Crises. First Kendrick, then Miley, now Syria… and all in the past six months. It almost harkens back to a simpler time…
Let me paint a picture for you. It is a crisp fall day in Wyoming. You’ve just dropped the kids off at school and, despite your splitting headache from arguing with your wife until 3 AM while downing a bottle of Frangelico, you intrepidly drive your Dodge Intrepid up to the gates of Yellowstone to try to catch a glimpse of some cute little black bears before another morning of selling insurance to rodeo clowns. As you drive up to the gates you see a sign. It starts small, and gradually becomes slightly bigger, until you see that it says what many around the country are saying on this fateful day in America:
Heartbroken, you turn around. This must be some mistake, you think. Am I dreaming? Did I really finish that whole bottle of Frangelico? Did my wife mean it when she said I should pack up my things and leave? But slowly, surely, like a ton of yellow bricks, it hits you:
The federal government has been shut down.
It is November, 1995.
Oh, the horror! The madness! The intrigue! The suspense! Do you feel them? They were all around in those weeks leading up to the dual shutdowns of ’95 and ’95-96. It wasn’t such a different time, either. The United States was racked by scandals then as well. Remember that picture I painted for you? The one with your wife? Sure the crises were different (and moderately less GIFable) back then but they were still crises. The government shutdown simply followed logically after the chaos that had been OJ and the Unabomber, among other things.
Which brings us back to now. With all the nutso politics and pop culture some 18 years on from the last great governmental siesta it’s clear that not much has changed. And I bet you’re still wondering where I come in.
That’s where I come in.
The trick is to keep the craziness going.
That’s right, my little chickadees… I have taken it upon myself to keep the great filibuster of common sense humming in our nation’s capital. Wherefore? Well, wherefore do I do anything?
FOR THE MONEY. DUH.
I mean C’MON.
You see, back in ‘95, while America’s mind was on Lincoln, Montana and Cochran rhyming slang, yours truly was making a killing off the so-called “dot-com ‘bubble’” (or, as I like to call it, “temporary market correction”). Remember Kozmo.com? “Chief Consultant.” EToys.com? “Head of Accounts.” And who could forget that old war horse Pets.com? All me.
No. Literally. That entire company was me. I ran the entire operation out of the backseat a gently used 1985 Chevy Caprice and hired my cousin Ted to voice the commercials. And I made millions. MILLIONS.
Sure, those millions were shortlived (especially in the case of Pets.com). But, like any good corporate prizefighter, I went on the offensive, investing the money (while I had it) in more profitable enterprises. Like Starbucks.
Which has led me to where I am today.
So, my fellow Americans, I am writing to encourage you, as employees of this fine corporation (or one of its myriad wholly owned subsidiaries) to do your duty during this congressional quagmire and INVEST. Get out there and SPEND. You need a DISHWASHER.
Do not forget the lessons of our 1994fathers. Figure out what a computer is and use it. Explore new ways for people to shop for their pets. Start a new company that I can buy and then immediately sell at a large profit. After all, one of my best calls before the last shutdown involved founding a little search engine called “David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web“…
And we all know how that turned out.
The Chairman would like to congratulate Speaker Boehner on the pun. Hill-arious.