October 4th, 2013
A Tourist’s Guide to D.C. During the Shutdown

The following pamphlet, created by the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, will be given to all people traveling to D.C. through Union Station as well as through Dulles, National, and Baltimore-Washington Airports. It describes the current government shutdown and also gives viable tourist options now that all national museums and monuments are shut down.

Dear D.C. Tourist,

Welcome to our nation’s capital, home to the World’s Greatest Democracy! Unfortunately, our government, envied the world over for its ideals of freedom and justice, is having a minor shutdown due to Congress’s inability to pass a budget for the next fiscal year.

For you, this means your trip to D.C. will be a unique one! First, all non-essential services, like national museums, monuments, and Washington D.C. garbage pick-up, will be suspended for the entirety of the shutdown. Second, expect large crowds at all open businesses, as millions of non-essential government workers are enjoying a nice vacation as a result of the shutdown.

To enhance your stay, here are a few things to keep in mind as you enjoy our incredible city and democracy during a government shutdown.

  1. Come shutdown’s opening days! Once the garbage overtakes the streets, we can’t guarantee pedestrian safety. And no one from the Center for Disease control is around to help you identify which strain of rabies the raccoons gave you.
  2. Even open air monuments will be closed. Seriously, step away from Mr. Lincoln. The National Guard is still on the payroll and we’re not afraid to use them.
  3. We’re still happy to take your money! Free enterprise doesn’t buckle to government pressure! Feel free to enjoy our privately owned museums, like the Newseum and the National Geographic Museum while you’re here. Perhaps the Newseum will have an explanation for the Fox News bizarre reports that House Democrats are the ones refusing to negotiate the budget.
  4. Government shutdowns bring a certain electricity to the air, so maybe use all your free time away from the museums and monuments to meet that special someone With nothing really open, you’ll mostly be at hotels, and all that sexy political talk about elected officials shrinking responsibilities for crimes of passion should make for some rough and dirty hotel room loving. Remember, Bill Clinton met Monica Lewinsky during the last shutdown.
  5. Don’t worry, our Congress is still hard at work and getting paid throughout the shutdown, so they’ll probably figure out things soon! After all, passing a budget is literally their ONLY Constitutionally mandated annual duty.

We apologize for the smell and the loss of the Smithsonian panda cam, but you’ll learn so much about the inner workings of our great democracy, which has existed as the world’s leading example of compromise between opposing parties for the sake of representative governance. Our nation’s capital is still proud to serve as a beacon of hope for America’s constituents, who bask in freedom and liberty, knowing their best interests are always well-represented by Congress.

Please feel free to discuss any issues or concerns you have with your travel companion, as most other helpful resources are likely to be deemed nonessential and furloughed for the entirety of the shutdown.

We hope you enjoy your time here in our amazing capital!

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