Currently, your friendly United States government is experiencing a ‘shut-down’. Various programs intended to promote public health, safety or sanity are calling it quits. You might have heard your parents or teachers discussing the situation. There is a lot of misinformation out there. At this time, wee ones, you may feel frightened.

Never fear. You have questions. We have answers. Raise your hands, please, ladies and gentlemen. One at a time. This isn’t Congress.

1.) Why isn’t Uncle Sam shutting my school down?

Your school hasn’t been voted off the island. At least not yet. Don’t lose hope, however…there’s always next week. Your math and science scores have, after all, been somewhat lackluster in recent years.

2.) Can I go to Yellowstone this weekend with my mom and dad?

If caught hiking in a national park, you will be asked to leave the premises by Smokey the Bear. Who needs the great outdoors anyway? Can’t you just play Grand Theft Auto?

3.) Who is Smokey the Bear?

He is a cartoon bear. He used to have his own show, in the era BRC (before remote control), when one had to physically get up to change the channel. It was a magical time, back before fire and the wheel. With any luck, our politicians can bring our political system back to Byzantine times.

4.) Who feeds the bears during the shut down?

Park rangers have been furloughed. Bears will, therefore, be given special dispensation to eat those who trespass in national parks. First, they will ask, politely, that you leave (so I hope you speak Bear). You have ten minutes to do so. Then, my friends, it is lights out. Pursuant to Special Government Dispensation 483203, Bearangers are given discretionary funding to eat children who don’t eat their vegetables.

5.) What is a fur-low?

A furlough is when everybody relaxes from doing important things. It’s like being on the down low, but only more complicated. It is also spelled in the Queen’s English, which makes it sound more complex than it actually is.

It reminds me of a song we used to sing in music class: “Home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play, where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day…”

6.) There is a chemical spill outside my house!

Tell your parents to drive around it. If all that global warming malarkey is true, there is a good chance it will evaporate before you even know it!

7.) Can my daddy still go to the doctor?

Who needs the doctor when you have pizza, breadsticks and ‘Breaking Bad’ reruns?

8.) Why are you having a Tea Party when the government doesn’t have enough money?

Fear not! You can help. Do you have any of last week’s allowance left? Send it on in. Every little bit helps. We do have a Pay Pal site.

9.) The meat in the cafeteria smells like my older brother’s soccer socks after a game!

It may be your brother’s soccer socks. We stopped inspecting that stuff days ago. Sorry. Come on. Lighten up!

Consequently, SEE NUMBER EIGHT. WE HAVE A PAY PAL SITE!

10.) When my sister and I fight, somebody always makes us share! Why can’t we end this thing?

Remember what your mother said: “Sharing is caring”. Or what wise King Solomon said during Sunday School? Well, that stuff only applies at home and at church. Remember to never give up. Remember to eat your broccoli. Remember to brush your teeth, so you don’t have to get dental care, because, Good Lord, it won’t be easy. Remember God is a Democrat. No. God is a Republican. Maybe he is a Libertarian, because I think he would want open borders. So, here’s a basket of candy and a bowl of chewing gum. It’s so great to have so many young minds gathered together!!

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