After much tossing and turning Monday night, it was with great trepidation that I removed the covers to face the stark world of a federal government shutdown.
To my right, I saw that one of my children had crept into the bed at some point in the early morning. Perhaps she sought solace from the certain anarchy that awaited her in preschool knowing that the Education Department would be short on manpower Tuesday.
Would this mean four tater tots at lunch instead of five? Maybe she should smuggle in a Pop-Tart, just in case.
Would the LEGOs have lost some of their luster? And just how does the federal government decide which Crayola colors were “essential?” Would Republicans confiscate the blue crayons or Democrats insist Republicans were hiding them behind the doll cribs? There was really no way of knowing.
The boy was still asleep, likely dreaming happily of a fantasy world where the federal government hummed along providing a live feed from a panda cage at the National Zoo that he could access easily from his iPod Touch. Once awakened, would he ever know that comfort again, or must we resort to watching “Kung Fu Panda” for the 12th time?
And if baseball was still America’s game, what did that mean for Little League on Friday night?
The wife was already busily hammering away on the laptop, looking no more stressed than usual – a brave soldier. There was no shutdown in the global business world. Despite Washington, Paris and London are still hopping – for now.
Anyway, at least her typing was evidence that Al Gore hadn’t unplugged the Internet. If global temperatures go up another degree in the next five years, we might not be so fortunate.
Sunlight was already coming in through the blinds, but I hadn’t dared look out the window just yet. Although it was only Oct. 1, I envisioned the steel gray skies of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.”
So far so good. Nothing too ominous. The iPhone seemed to be functioning, but that’s in the hands of the Chinese anyway. Aren’t we all?
The dog whined for breakfast as usual. I’m told that animals often sense catastrophe before it strikes. All I know about my dog is that he senses food and would let you know it was mealtime even if the house was engulfed in flames.
The coffee maker and shower worked just fine. Probably safe enough to commute with the expectation that the asphalt should sustain itself at least early into this shutdown.
Even in McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic nightmare, I doubted anyone would have resorted to cannibalism this soon. Best to pack a lunch, though. Worst-case scenario, I could barter a turkey sandwich to save my own flesh.
We’re on Day Three of the federal government shutdown, and I’m grateful for each reader who possessed the survival skills required to make it through this column. You’ve got a fighting chance.
And if we make it to Day Five, I’d like to remind them that columnists do not – repeat, DO NOT – taste like chicken.
• Kevin Lyons is news editor of the Northwest Herald. Reach him at 815-526-4505 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @KevinLyonsNWH.