Last weekend, the federal government shut down for the second time in three weeks. The previous time, Republicans had promised Democrats to bring immigration issues like DACA and President Donald Trump’s border wall to the floor. After hammering out a two-week spending agreement, Congress continued to do nothing until the next budget deadline. The fiasco might have a few people asking, "Can we count on Congress to do anything?"
Let this list of things you can depend on more than lawmakers serve as a “no” to that question.
1. The ice cream machine at McDonald's
If you’ve ever been inside a McDonald’s, you know that their ice cream machine is never working. There’s nothing worse than going to a fast-food chain craving a milkshake and not being able to get one; nothing worse, that is, besides planning a trip to the Grand Canyon only to get there and find out the National Park Service doesn’t have funding for a few days.
2. The weather in Columbia
South Carolina’s temperature is notoriously fickle, especially in spring and fall. Walking around campus, you’re bound to get screwed, either by the freezing cold against your bare arms or because you're wearing pants in eighty-degree weather. At least there are no tornadoes here. Not that we’d know for sure; the National Weather Service is on furlough.
3. Teams playing against the Patriots
We’re all pretty tired of Tom Brady winning. His forty-year-old face is plastered over the television whenever football is on, even if the Patriots aren't playing. But for each Super Bowl ring he has, there’s a branch of the United States military that’s not being funded. That's money that could help veterans ease into retirement, not that Tom Brady knows what that is.
Oh, wait, the Patriots did lose a game recently. Forgot about that.
4. Paul from Sprint
No one likes a person with no loyalty. Paul, the former Verizon spokesman, is no exception. These days, he frequents your television set and tells you he’s with Sprint now because something about a one-percent difference. The worst thing about Paul from Sprint is that smug look on his face; almost as smug as House Speaker Paul Ryan, who allows millions of low-income Americans’ healthcare to be briefly taken away whenever Medicaid gets shut down.
5. Brad from Sickly Apple Pi
Walking around campus, you can count on hearing some sorority girl talking about how she was talking to this guy and he totally screwed her over. And you don’t really care, but you still listen in so you can accurately make fun of her later. You know who also listens to people? Career diplomats, who sometimes have to work for free.
6. Tortilla chips not breaking
You’re bound to have at least one of your chips break off into your queso or salsa so that you have to stage a hostage rescue operation with at least one other chip to get it out. Fortunately, you can call the S.W.A.T. team whenever you want; they are local agencies, so they don’t rely on Congress having its act together.