5 Unexpected Side Effects of the Government Shutdown

Now that America is officially beyond Thunderdome, it's time for every major news network to make a tally of just how fucked we actually are. CNN, for example, has given us a very handy list of what's closed and what's open across the country like it's some kind of national snow day.

While their list gives a look at just how many lives will be affected, it still doesn't encapsulate just how many random things depend on the government. At least not until those things suddenly go away overnight ...

#5. Intercollegiate Sporting Events Will Be Canceled

In what is bad news for both small-time bookies and public gropers, college sports arenas soon might find themselves at a standstill as events across the country are being dropped one after another -- specifically the games between military academies. As you're probably guessing, that's thanks to the Department of Defense somehow believing that Navy cross-country is somehow a non-essential expense.

facebook.com/navyathletics
Our country's 134th line of defense behind Air Force badminton and Army dodgeball.

Everything across the board is in jeopardy, from an Air Force football game to an Army tennis tournament to the Navy's presumably off-the-chain water polo team, which is scheduled for a event this very month unless Congress continues to deny these death otters a chance to do whatever the fuck happens in water polo.

#4. Senators Are Going to Start Looking Shaggy

Deep in the guts of the Russell Senate Office Building is the barbershop known as the Senate Hair Care Services. While the cuts, perms, manicures, wax jobs, and Brazilian blowouts aren't free to senators, the facility itself is subsidized by taxpayers, which means it has closed shop during the shutdown.

Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images
"I wish I'd have thought about how this would affect my mankini waxings ... things are getting a little dicey down there."

We're hoping the lack of easy haircut access will manifest itself in the form of senators attempting the 2009 Justin Bieber shag. After all this shutdown bullshit, we at least deserve a few pictures of senators bumping into walls thanks to bang-induced blindness.

#3. A Town's Water Is Being Shut Off

It might certainly be an aesthetic shame that scores of ornamental fountains are being shut off thanks to the shutdown. But unless your life is going especially downhill, that's not going to affect your daily water supply, right? (If it did, you should sell whatever you're reading this on.)

The area around the Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas is seeing a similar problem, only applied to the public drinking fountains linked to the park. While that sounds innocuous at first, that's because you're imaging the wrong kind of drinking fountain.

thv11.com

It just so happens that rural people on the outskirts of the park actually depend on the springs for their consumable water. We don't know who's suffering more with the shutdown of the springs' fountains: the people who don't have another source of fresh clean water, or Arkansas' reputation as a backward hillbilly land. Either way, the whole thing sucks.

#2. The Smithsonian's Panda Cam Has Been Shut Off

Hey, animal voyeurs, no more free rides online. The Smithsonian's National Zoo is among the many federally funded institutions on the shutdown list. No zoo means no panda cam showing Mei Xiang and Tian Tian frolicking adorably just when we as a nation need them the most.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Presenting the shocking cliffhanger viewers were left on.

The webcam blackout also includes their entire fetish library of captive animals the public used to gawk at while blankly eating their desk sandwiches. That includes the jungle cats, gorillas, and octopuses, and a microscope cam (which we're guessing no one will actually miss).

The media frenzy on this is so insane that the journalistic pioneers over at TIME created their own "panda cam" of a stuffed animal on a chair, no doubt prompting furries everywhere to discover a new low in desperate masturbation.

Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images
It's the real victims that always get lost in the political shuffle.

#1. The Mars Rover Won't Be Tweeting Anymore

Discovering water on Mars is great, but it pales compared to our ability to live out our WALL-E fantasy at the same time. But now, thanks to the shutdown, the little Mars rover that could is no longer able to tweet every single little thing it does and finds. In fact, thanks to nearly 90 percent of NASA being hit, they are forced to shut down all social media accounts for budgetary reasons.

twitter.com/MarsCuriosity
Wall-Zzzzzz.

So thanks a lot, Congress. Space just got a little more lonely because of you.

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