The Government Shut Down? Great Idea. Me, Too!

“A government shutdown starting Tuesday, Oct. 1, is now upon us. The House and Senate couldn’t agree on a bill to fund the government, and time has run out.”
Brandon Plumer, Washington Post

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Look, I understand the frustration my fellow Americans may feel about today’s federal government shut-down. Truly, I do. I mean, we pay well over 1/3 of our income to taxes, too, and, you know, we’d very much like to see that money used to Keep Doing Stuff, to use the technical, political term.

However, I’d like to take just a few minutes to stop all the doomsday talk and take a deep breath together and look on the bright side.

The bright side!

Because as I dashed around the house in my sexy threadbare university-logo nightshirt circa 1991 trying (and failing) to find the checkbook that represents our depleted account so I could pay for another school picture day, and trying (and failing) to find clean clothes for kids to wear in said pictures, and trying (and failing) to find my car keys, and trying (and failing) to find my pants, I realized the federal government is onto something.

I mean, let’s be honest; the signs have been around for a LONG time, right? Years and years and years of the federal government and I trying (and failing) to keep our crap together.

Which is why today, in celebration, I’ve decided to join my government and shut down.

I’m so excited! I didn’t even know we could do this!

But the governing bodies in our household can’t ever decide on a budget, either! And we practically invented operating on an increasing deficit with no end in sight. And, just like our government, we have no reasonable plan to fund things like higher education for our children.

So I’ve come to the obvious solution.

I’m shutting this hot mess down. HOORAY!

Like the federal government, I’ll be spending the day dividing services into essential and nonessential categories. And, like the federal government, I’ll retain all essential workers (read: children) but without pay. Allowances? FROZEN. Work? STILL REQUIRED.

Here’s where we’ll use (a grossly simplified) government list of what’s essential to inform our own. Essential services still provided during this shut down include:

  1. All personnel and services that provide for the the safety of life and property. Except, in our case, minus the safety of property because we haven’t been good at that for years. 
  2. Air traffic control; I’ll still totally holler at my kids to quit throwing stuff.
  3. Emergency medical care using our usual rule of thumb: real sympathy requires real blood.
  4. Federal prisons. Read: the Time-Out Chair, which is about as cushy a sitch as the Federal Pens in that there are all the books you can read, access to television, and people who can be bribed to smuggle in snacks.
  5. Law enforcement, as much as can be provided by your chief law enforcement officer who will be in the bathtub with a vampire novel and a glass of wine.
  6. Disaster assistance where “disaster” is defined as widespread flood damage, blood damage, or anything to do with smeared poop.
  7. Overseeing the banking system where “oversight” is limited mostly to sighing and shaking my head.
  8. Operating the power grid. As in, How many times do I have to tell you to turn off the lights when you leave the room?

So. What is non-essential?

Basically, everything else.

Laundry? Non-essential.

Making dinner? Non-essential.

Finding pants? Non-essential.

Wearing pants? Non-essential.

Homework help? Extra, extra non-essential.

Like the federal goverment, I expect our shutdown is going to be effective and nonchaotic for approximately 45 minutes. But that 45 minutes is going to be RAD.

……….

What about you? Are you in? If yes, what did I forget to include in the essential or non-essential lists?

……….

“Stop Label Signage” image credit boulemonademoon via freedigitalimages.net
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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
15 comments
  1. I. Hate. Pants.

  2. What a great idea! What would everyone do if Moms took the day (week?) off?
    Nonessential: giving a bath to my 3-yr-old.
    Essential: taking one myself, with the door locked.

  3. I love it! All of it. And, our household has officially joined in on the Shutdown!!
    However… I have to do laundry… I like laundry. (Why do I feel somewhat ashamed to admit that??!) And, I’m wearing pants. Well, leggings… if that even counts. Nothing worthy of the public eyes!
    This made me smile… so, I’ve added ‘Smiling and Belly Laughing’ to our essentials list. :o)

  4. I’m in. I’ve been practicing “oversight” of our banking for years now. As in, “WHAT? We’re overdrawn? I’m sorry; it must have been an oversight.”

    I’m going to divide the laundry into both categories. Essential is washing it. Non-essential is folding & putting away. Pretty much no big change, here. Cooking=non-essential. Eating, however, is essential. I’m thinking pizza & ice cream should pretty much cover this. Coffee is always essential.

    Oh what fun. And a big nanny-nanny-boo-boo to the government babies.

  5. I wonder what would happen if each politician’s house experienced a “shut-down” whenever the government shut down? Somehow I don’t think the government would be shut down for long. Maybe that is the only way to get Congress to get along and be productive, treat them like the 5 year olds they act like. No progress, no treats!

    Essentials in my house: anything fun. Non essential: everything else! Don’t feel like doing cleaning up…Don’t! Don’t feel like getting along with you sibling…Don’t! The government doesn’t either!

  6. i am in! i assume that since cooking is non-essential we can add ‘washing dishes’ to the non-essential column too?! paper goods make life much easier. of course, then we have garbage. is that essential or non-essential?

    1. I’m voting that dishes are a definite NON-essential!! And as far as garbage… only take it out if it starts to smell funky. :o) We’re on the paper-goods regiment, too!!

  7. OK, I’m in. Essential services will include cooking in my house because I like to do that. Nonessential services will include driving the kid to school; driving the kid anywhere else; banking; cleaning; laundry; and college schoolwork – because I’m supposed to graduate in December and I have a major case of short-timer’s syndrome and I. JUST. DON’T. WANT. TO. ANYMORE! I have to tell you that I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with our politicians though. I think it would be nice if God would just strike the house and senate with lightning while all of the politicians were inside and we could start from scratch. I’ve purposely avoided the news because all of this crap stresses me out, and I’m tired of being stressed out every single year lately! So I waiting until after midnight and then visited my local news website and the first link was live coverage of the government shutdown. So I clicked on it. Now, I’m probably going to disgrace myself with exactly how much I don’t know about what I’m going to describe, but take my descriptions with a grain of salt… The link was a politician speaking in what I’m thinking was probably the Senate. He was addressing whoever was in charge, and it was a woman. Anyway, he said something along these lines, “This is all the fault of the Republicans. I know under most circumstances, we would say that both parties are at fault. But really, it’s all their fault. They’re over there right now arguing with… themselves, I guess…” Seriously, that’s probably not ver batim, but it’s darn close! So how much do we pay those guys? Because I’m pretty sure I can go to Washington and act like I’m 4 YEARS OLD too – and they probably make a lot more money than I do! This makes me so mad! Please God! Send the lightning!

  8. I am so in! Although, I think I’ll switch my vampire book out for an “Outlander” series novel. I’m calling it quits on the laundry right now! And I believe anything that has to do with the kitchen (other than sneaking in to get snacks) needs to be added to the non-essential list.

  9. You are so dang cute! can I adopt you? My 99 year old mom-n-law fell last night (lives with us) Nothing broke but she hurts alot. So I’m keeping a close I on her. I needed a good laugh and you gave it to me …………again.
    You are loved,
    Aunt B

  10. So glad you called for a shut down…just in time, as my body decided for me.
    Started off today just like any Monday ( yes, I know it’s Tuesday) and even got
    A few things done before the hurricane made landfall aka the vertigo started. It is
    Like I imagine a migraine would be but instead of pain the room spins and nausea
    Happens. So, we are so shut down here while I lay on my left side with an ice pack
    on my head, typing with my thumb while the teens and senior citizen fend for themselves. Thank God for Beth to take my mind off my head – like an executioner putting me out of my misery.
    Laundry – half done and left to the teens to finish..,
    Budget – totally unbalanced as evidenced by the pile of crumpled receipts on top of last weeks bank statement on my desk.
    Services are all suspended until further notice and sanitation may be required in my room soon if I am too dizzy to make it to the bathroom…

  11. I have to give in and do laundry today, because if I don’t they will reactivate FEMA to clean up the damage done by the avalanche.

    Nonessential here will be wearing matching shoes tomorrow. And going to school with backpacks tomorrow. Because they will be hidden in the deep caverns in the sides of laundry mountain.

  12. I’m in! I’m shutting this ride down as of this moment. Off I go to change out of these jeans back into my yoga pants. Making the bed? Non-essential. Putting on makeup? Definitely non-essential. Brush my Teeth? No way. In fact, let’s just throw all hygiene-related things right onto that non-essential list, shall we? Mostly I’m advocating for this because the baby still has dried banana stuck in his hair from lunch and I’m not all that interested in cleaning it up. He needs a haircut anyway.

    Yay shutdown!

    1. Leave the banana. My mom always said that food left on faces and in hair adds character. Oh! It totally proves you feed your kids, too!!

  13. Brav-O! As a military wife, mother of three boys, and currently on near bed rest recovering from hip surgery – I like your approach. Total shutdown on the non-essentials! Love your blog – long-time listener, first time caller. 🙂

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