Sean Morrow
October 20, 2013 1:00 pm

We – Americans that is – just came out of a two-week long government shutdown, where we were on the brink of financial default and potential global economic collapse. It kinda sucked.

The government shutdown was the result of congressional pettiness, childishness, and the general refusal to get along and compromise. We–again, Americans that is–were forced to feel like little children trying to quietly do their homework while our democratically-elected parents drunkenly bickered in the living room. So what did the American people do to offset the disgustingness of their government? Here are some stories:

Some dude mowed the grass at the Lincoln Memorial:

This guy knew Abe wouldn’t tolerate a messy lawn, so he took it upon himself to tend to the grass.

Vibrators.com offered temporarily jobless government workers free… stress-relief

The fine folks at the aptly named Vibrators.com offered furloughed government workers their namesake product for free, Hey, they had to do something with all that free time.

Now this was obviously a publicity grab, but the end begets the means or whatever, right?

A restaurant helped a lady celebrate her 100th birthday.

Carrot Tree Kitchens is a restaurant located inside of a national park. Every year, Antoinette “Mama” Betourne celebrated her birthday at Carrot Tree.

This year she theoretically couldn’t because the restaurant is technically closed, it’s in a national park. It looked like Mama wouldn’t be able to celebrate her birthday at Carrot Tree this year, and that was a bummer, because it was her 100th.

But, the owner of Carrot Tree is no Tim Cruz, he cares about other human beings. He opened.

“I owed my customer a meal on her 100th birthday. I have employees. I don’t have any regrets. She wiped the bowl clean.”

 Adding a twist to the ‘free stuff for government workers’ thing

Many Washington DC restaurants offered free food to furloughed government workers, for a limited time at least, but some went the extra mile: charging extra to congresspeople. A fair deal, considering the furloughed workers receive no pay during this time, and will only receive their backpay if congress approves.

Eater.com reported that a handful of DC restaurants were charging as much as double to members of Congress, a fun slap in the face considering some, like Renee Ellmers refused to give up their paychecks during the shutdown because she “need[s] [her] paycheck. That’s the bottom line.” Ellmers makes six-figures a year, and is married to a surgeon. Most of the government workers she put out of work are not in that situation.

Hopefully these stories will serve as a reminder of the goodness of people in the middle of a story of the pettiness of people. Do you have any shutdown stories?

Images via Washington Post

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