Shutdown showdown causes cerebral gridlock

Gripped in an epic showdown between right and left!

This just in: Congressional Republicans have closed the United States government — throwing a couple million workers off the job and freezing programs that help veterans and keep children fed.

But that’s not the only collateral damage wreaked by the GOP’s decision to stick it to America by boarding up the government and threatening to default on the nation’s debts.

Leading experts say the shutdown may put millions of innocent Americans at risk of suffering from confusion, bewilderment, revulsion, gloom and third-degree scorn.

Also: bitterness, indignation, alienation, exasperation and moderate to severe umbrage.

But what happened to me came completely without warning.

After weeks of watching TV news coverage about the Republicans’ swell plan to use their power to abuse America, my right brain and left brain were at complete loggerheads and I appeared to be careening toward a complete physical, mental and emotional shutdown.

brain-artTotal cognitive gridlock.

You see, my right brain believes that my left brain lacks financial discipline. So to try to force myself to spend less cash, my right brain threatened to shut down my body’s digestive system to save money on food.

My left brain argued that such an action could severely harm both sides of the brain and perhaps even destroy the host organism (i.e., me).

As talks continued, my left brain was unable to convince its esteemed colleague from across the cerebral aisle that its next move — shutting down my circulatory system — would halt the flow of blood and thus oxygen to the right brain as well the left.

Unmoved, my right brain ordered my hands and arms to brew up another cup of tea as it explained that — rather than pay all the bills I owed and debts I had accumulated — it would also be shutting down my central nervous system.

Yeah, that’ll show me.

Show me what? Well, much like the congressional Republicans, my right brain hasn’t really explained that yet. Something about Obamacare being the worst thing since Hitler.

My right brain got downright nasty, calling my left brain a “socialist.” Then it taunted my left brain — claiming that my left brain had actually planned and executed the shutdown, not the right.

(I think my right brain was picking up the TV soundbite in which countless Republicans spit on the intelligence of every human being in America by claiming that the Democrats actually caused the shutdown. Fox News pundit Sean Hannity helped people understand with graphics labeling the crisis “Obama’s shutdown.”)

The situation looked bleak and I was paralyzed with anxiety.

What would it all mean?

Well, first off, all of my non-essential functions would be temporarily suspended so, of course, I probably won’t be going to work this week.

Hardest hit by this unfortunate situation would definitely be my longtime cat, Elwood, who will likely be without food or hygiene services for the duration of my shutdown.

Other innocent bystanders caught in this unnecessary, disgraceful, man-made crisis include members of my family, who will no doubt wonder why I am withered, pale and acting as if I have undergone a frontal lobotomy.

There will, of course, be no physical intimacy during my shutdown. Fortunately, this represents a plus-or-minus zero percent decrease from pre-shutdown levels.

And investors around the globe will no longer consider me a good risk.

I don’t know what to do. I considered calling my congresswoman. But all indications are that, in situations like this, they are powerless.

Meanwhile, the shutdown — the national one, not my personal right-brain insurrection — continues with no end in sight, partly because the Republicans can’t figure out what to say in the ransom note.

(An Indiana Republican said it was all about not being “disrespected,” continuing, “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”)

America held hostage by the politics of extortion. What a cool country.

This just in: I’m hearing that Obama has just rejected a new Republican proposal that we pass out a whole bunch of guns and start shooting America in the foot.

Fixing the crisis would actually be quite easy. Simply let all the Republicans and Democrats in the House vote on a clean bill funding the government — instead of a bill littered with amendments demanding that Obamacare be scrapped so poor people can’t have health care.

But House Speaker John Boehner is too busy taking orders from Earl Grey and his Tea Party minions.

So is the right wrong and the left right? Or is the left right and the right simply confused? Or is the right right to hold America hostage while the left is left whining?

Or perhaps right is right and wrong is wrong. And perhaps holding America hostage and threatening to default on our debts is just wrong.

Soap opera? Nope. Try dope opera. Whatever you do, be sure to stay tuned as the drama continues to unfold this week in a very special episode of “As Washington Turns.”

— John Breneman

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