Government Shutdown Moves from Inconvenient/Damaging to Outright Ridiculous

Pete Kane
Because of the government shutdown, people aren't getting their food stamps, veterans can't visit the World War II Memorial, seismologists are no longer feeling the earth move under their feet, and even the Orange Julius in the National Mall is closed.

Actually, that last one's not true, although Cliff House -- the privately-owned 1909-era emporium of Dungeness crab cocktails which just so happens to sit atop a rocky outcropping in Golden Gate National Recreation Area -- has been put on hiatus. Their valiant attempted insurrection against the tyranny of non-government was a bust, and nearby Louis's, the place with the best floor ever, is also shuttered. Presidio Social Club remains open, because by some dint of bureaucratic illogic, the Presidio is federal enough that California's foie gras ban didn't seem to apply, but not so federal that it's covered by the furlough of democracy. Go figure.

Worse yet, we may be running out of beer. Or, at least new beer concepts, as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau must process applications from anyone looking to open a brewery, or even execute something as mundane as putting a beer found in 12-ounce bottles into 22-ounce bottles, as Lagunitas is currently unable to do with Hairy Eyeball. While none of this is spectacularly dire, it does harm a lot of people's livelihoods and, in the aggregate, reveals just how ridiculous our country can be.

One silver lining: if you're a federal employee, you can get free popcorn at any AMC Theatre. It's foggy with a chance of hunger out at Land's End, but it's "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" with a chance of satiation at 1000 Van Ness.

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