It was October 1, 2013. A government shut down had begun. I was temporarily staying with my parents, waiting for an apartment to become available. I had lost my house that previous April.
I had gone to bed that previous night knowing that the shut down would likely happen.
That morning I had woke up and turned on the television. Talk about the shut down was on virtually every news channel.
The first thing I did after hearing confirmation that the government was indeed shut down was turn on my weather radio.
I was relieved to hear that the government funded weather broadcasts were still being transmitted.
Then I prepared for my day. I had bills to pay and errands to run.
Because of the shutdown, I was in a bad mood that neither Obama nor the members of Congress could get their act together.
This probably was also a catalyst moment in me wanting to create The Ethical Party, at least on my subconscious level.
I will stand by my belief that the two main parties have failed us for long enough.
I was angry for that period of time, though I kept it concealed very well.
The way I managed my anger in that whole situation, and quite successfully was cracking controversial jokes throughout the days of the shutdown.
I took to Facebook and those around me in the businesses I had to visit with my jokes, getting reactions of shock and laughter.
One of the places I went was the AT&T store to keep my Go Phone service on. There were few workers, so I said something along the lines of how the place is short staffed like the U. S. Government is going to be.
Afterward, I was driving with my wife, soon to be ex-wife now, and there was a radio station out of Baton Rouge that played a lot of Gordon Lightfoot’s songs. We both frequently listened to that station. I was parking my car at a grocery store in Houma as “Sundown” by Gordon Lightfoot was ending on my car radio. I remember telling my now soon to be ex-wife that I thought I looked like a younger, shorter and chubbier version of Gordon Lightfoot. The main reason is the curly blonde hair and certain facial features. We stepped out of my car and walked through the parking lot. At the exact same time, there was a ship passing through Houma on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway or the Houma Navigation Canal and for whatever reason, the ship sounded its horn. I immediately thought about the song about the Edmund Fitzgerald, sung by Gordon Lightfoot, because I had just mentioned him. That’s how my mind works many times. I even posted about that to Facebook, but then felt paranoid and guilty about my controversial humor and even went as far as to worry about the crew of that ship that was going through Houma at the time. I think I might have even prayed for the crew of that ship and that they have a safe voyage wherever they may go. If I prayed, my prayers were answered because I don’t think there were any maritime accidents in Louisiana during that time, even though Tropical Storm Karen was threatening the Gulf Coast. Praise God. I also felt terrible about what was going through my mind, because of what happened to the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald back in 1975.
My anger about government incompetence had put me in a bitter mood and the only way I could deal with it in a healthy way was to crack controversial, distasteful and borderline sick jokes.
It was probably wrong of me to do that, but I was younger than I am now and therefore probably more foolish than I am now.
Later that day I had cracked a joke in a Facebook post, questioning the accuracy of my then wife’s Atomic clock receiver. That was much more tasteful than the previous jokes, I guess.
Two days later, I had posted to Facebook how my Weather Radio alerted me of a Tropical Storm Watch, then later Warning, but the storm actually went elsewhere eventually. I was thankful that the weather broadcasts were still occurring.
Another two days later, the Tropical Storm Warnings were canceled.
Yet a week later I had posted a joke, questioning whether the Voice of America service was still being broadcast. Yes, they were, I tuned them in on shortwave moments after posting. Was that really necessary to keep the sovereign and secure status of the USA? I mean it is mostly a propaganda arm anyway.
I was on YouTube on October 16, 2013, and found a video that played the Jeopardy Think Music for an hour straight. I shared that video to Facebook and included, “Now if only someone could hook this up to loudspeakers and play it on Capitol Hill!!” in the post.
Sometime later that day, the shut down ended.
In January of 2018, there was another government shut down, but I was in the process of leaving my wife and moving out that I didn’t have the time nor the mental energy to be so opinionated nor was I in a joke-cracking mood. Also, I was almost five years older and wiser, so I had learned to still my tongue or my fingers more frequently.
I hope this piece has been informative and enlightening.
Forgive me for the politically charged content.