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The Oct 17, 2013 Washington Post reported that skeleton staff in EPA’s Chicago branch, cleaning out the office kitchen during the shutdown, discovered a 16-year-old can of soup.  Would this have happened without the shutdown? Doesn’t it just make you proud to be an American?

And there are thousands more heart-warming shutdown stories where this came from.  Here are a few:

imagesHead-Lice Infestations Drop:  With Head Start attendance down and kids confined to home, the incidence of head-lice plummeted, according to parents who filled in for furloughed Centers for Disease Control experts.  One parent commented, At least the outside of my kid’s head is as clean as the inside.

Elk Mating Success:  Rutting elk in Rocky Mountain National Park were able to consummate their relationships without the interruption of drooling gawkers, at least until Colorado Governor Hickenlooper partially reopened the Park.  The only sour note came from a spokes-elk, who asked, Will Congress let us watch while they do it to the country? 

Stupid Tax Questions Go Unasked:  Furloughed IRS staffers were spared inanities like,  Last year, I rounded everything up.  This year, can I round everything down?  and, Do I have to put postage on my return?  After all, it’s Official Government Business?

Lake Ontario Beaches Reopen:  Mysterious warming of Lake Ontario waters around the Nine Mile Nuclear Plant near Oswego NY has given beach-goers an autumn bonus and, with the water literally glowing, has encouraged nighttime skinny-dipping.  Plant managers insist the situation has nothing to do with the virtual shutdown of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency.

Hubble Telescope Website Attracts Millions of New Viewers:  An accidental rotation, unnoticed by the NASA night-watchman, that, by pure coincidence, now focuses Hubble on beaches near Oswego NY, allows viewers to see aspects of their own planet, especially at night, that were never available in such vivid, close-up detail.

Bumper Cod Harvest:  Massachusetts cod fisherman celebrated the suspension of fisheries enforcement patrols by bringing in the largest catches in years.  This puts the lie to the unjustified limits the Government has imposed on us, said a New Bedford captain from the deck of his vessel, The Passenger Pigeon.

New Agency Discovered:  The shutdown has revealed the existence of a previously undiscovered government entity — the International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canada body charged with mediating boundary-water disputes.  According to a Tea Party spokesman, Without this exciting new discovery, permanent closure of the Commission, which we will pursue vigorously, would have been impossible.  The Canadian government responded by preemptively annexing the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

And a late development:

Texas Vanishes Without a Trace:  During the shutdown, rumors of Texas’s absence wereUnknown dismissed as Democratic wishful thinking, easily debunked once the shutdown was over.  But, with the Government reopened, NOAA satellites confirmed that Texas is indeed gone.  Pundits speculate that, around midnight October 17, the state, sensing growing anger from the other 49, slipped out quietly and snuck into Argentina, where it is living under an assumed name.