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Did You Hear The One About The Government Shutdown?


As we just heard, the government shutdown is affecting people inside and outside the Beltway. All over the country, there are workers going without pay and services grinding to a halt. But the government shutdown has also made for some great comedic fodder. Here's late night host Stephen Colbert earlier this week.


STEPHEN COLBERT: Because as of midnight last night the government of the United States officially closed for business. Finally, a chance to use our famous nation building skills right at home.

MARTIN: Jay Leno also weighed in.


JAY LENO: I am glad the government is shut down. Think about it. For the first time in years, it's safe to talk on the phone and send emails without anybody listening in.

MARTIN: But it's not just the professionals. Twitter is full of hashtags like government shutdown pickup lines. We apologize in advance.


TRAVIS BALLIE: Is that a rising debt limit or are you just happy to see me?

JENNIFER POZNER: Hey, girl. How 'bout you come back to my place and let me show you my debt ceiling.


JESSE BERNEY: Hey, boy. Don't furlough my love.

BALLIE: NASA is losing 97 percent of its funding, and I'm losing 97 percent of my inhibitions.

DELIA CABE: Hey, there park ranger. What are you doing tomorrow?

ERIK BURKHART: Do you work for the government? Because you shut it down.


GREG MOSBACHER: You must be a national monument, 'cause when I saw you, it was lights out.

MARTIN: Oh. Those were Twitter humorists Travis Ballie, Jennifer Pozner, Jesse Berney, Delia Cabe, Erik Burkhart, and Greg Mosbacher. And here's one of our personal favorites: The only thing nonessential about you are those pants.


MARTIN: The fun is not restricted to hashtag jokes. There are also drinks. Here in Washington, D.C., where thousands of people are on an extended hiatus from work, happy hour has come to mean any hour. Bars and restaurants are full all day, and, no, that is not how it is here all the time. And in other cities, bar and restaurant owners are extending a helping hand. Richard Warner, the owner of Bingo Burger in Pueblo, Colorado, is offering a free shake when you buy a burger if you're a furloughed employee.

RICHARD WARNER: But if any congressmen do come in, we'd like to be able to charge them double. And if I could get away with it, three or four times as much.

MARTIN: In Alaska, Jerzy Shedlock was among a group of reporters to make a list of sarcastic suggestions for the Alaska Dispatch about ways the community could help its currently unemployed employees. Among them: make some space, feed a Fed.

JERZY SHEDLOCK: People's freezers are chock full of fish and people also have moose, caribou, so why not donate some of that food to these out of work federal friends?

MARTIN: So, if all the political backbiting is getting you down, take heart in the generous Alaskans willing to share their frozen moose.


MARTIN: You're listening to NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Rachel Martin is a host of Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
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