Shut it all down!

I apologize for missing the entire first part of the week, but things have been a little busy and while being a completely obscure internet blogger is awesome, it doesn’t exactly pay the bills and other things have to take priority from time to time.

Next week I’ve decided that I’m going to label myself as a federal employee so that I can take advantage of the government shutdown. I’ve been working hard here at the Monument to the Moribund and I could really use the break. I was briefly worried that even if I declared myself a federal employee I might be considered “essential” personnel and forced to work anyway, but then I remembered that I’m a teacher and they haven’t been considered “essential” since 1915.

Consider for a moment the sheer awesomeness of being in the Congress. If you and your colleagues can’t come to an agreement about how to spend other people’s money, you get to say “Screw it, let’s quit” and go play golf or something while still getting paid. In what other place can people do that? For myself I imagine having a conversation with another teacher and disagreeing about the best way to educate children. If our views are mutually exclusive (I recommend electroshock therapy and they are gung-ho for hugs) then we get to declare “no deal” and take a week off or so to visit with family and maybe take a trip while we cool down and sort things out. Meanwhile the students are still sitting in the classroom wondering when they’re going to become 21st century learners.

 For those of you not paying attention to what’s been going on in Congress these last few days, allow me to sum it up really quickly. This particular negotiation for the budget is even more full of epic awesomeness than the usual pathetic whining we’ve become accustomed to from our elected officials. Apparently the Red Tie Guys (RTGs) insisted on something like 30 billion dollars in spending cuts and the Blue Tie Guys (BTGs) debated amongst themselves for 15 seconds before agreeing to it. (Apparently this is how the BTGs always negotiate.) Normally this would be the end of it, but the RTGs now insist on even more spending cuts and some other perks like free car washes, a lifetime supply of bronzer… you know, the usual stuff.

I suppose that the BTGs think the bronzer thing is a bridge too far and they’ve dug their heels in and are insisting the RTGs get everything they asked for the first time. (If the BTGs were parents, they would be those frazzled looking ones in Wal-Mart being hassled by their 3-year-old who is screaming about a new water gun immediately after having gotten the new shoes they were screaming about 10 seconds ago.)

I don’t pretend to know how this is going to play out and no one would really care what I thought anyway. I’m just playing with the idea that perhaps I should try reaching a stalemate with my colleagues and declaring “shutdown” when my ridiculous demands aren’t met fast enough to suit me. I’ll claim that I’m doing my patriotic duty by sticking up for The Man and that if giving myself some time off and drinking margaritas on the beach in my tube socks and sandals is the only way for people to take me seriously, then that’s what I’m going to do.

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