Washington -- Remember the glorious ‘90s? Uncle Sam sure does.
“My pockets were flush with cash back then,” says Sam in an interview with HalloweenCostumes.com. “Now they are filled with holes. I mean, who can afford moth balls these days?”
Sam paces around his Washington, D.C. flat on October 18 in the final hours of the government shutdown. With his quintessential hobo-sack packed, he polishes off some cold beans from a tin can before running his hands through his overgrown, out-of-work beard.
Uncle Sam Costume - Shop Red Bandana - Shop
Merlin Wig & Beard Set - Shop Stick - See Your Local Woods
Before we get a chance to ask him why he doesn’t invest in some normal luggage, he begins to rant:
“You know, I’ve heard there are plenty of fish in the sea. And I’m not speaking metaphorically here. I’m seriously considering becoming a King Crab Fisherman. Those guys make bank!”
Tilting the bunny ears on his small, black and white TV, Sam crinkles tinfoil around the tips of the antenna to find reception. Obama is about to address the nation. We try to tell him about converter boxes when he cuts us off.
“It’s hard to believe, isn’t it, that I might default on my loans? We considered other options, like stripping down the Statue of Liberty and hocking the copper. But in the end I said, let’s just see what we can do. Washington, Lincoln, Jackson – they never let me down."
Deluxe Barack Obama Mask - Shop Men's Black Suit Costume - Shop
Nurse Costume - Shop White Heels - Shop
As President Obama steps up to the White House podium, the mercury climbs in the room. The enormity of the situation isn’t lost on anyone as Sam taps his foot on the floor.
"There are no winners here," President Obama says addressing the nation.
Uncle Sam touches his finger on his nose, saying nothing more. Guiding me to the door and mumbling something about needing to call his buddy Smokey, Sam seems visibly relieved that the government reached a compromise – and that he wouldn’t need to join the cast of The Deadliest Catch after all.
Only You Can...
Brown Bear Mascot Costume - Shop Western Gunman Hat - Shop
Smokey the Bear fields a phone call with HalloweenCostumes.com a few days later, happy to be done with his part time job on Craig’s List. He keeps hitting random numbers – because bears aren’t good with phones.
“For once, <beep, beep> I didn’t want to be remembered as just the “don’t start fires” guy, you know <beep, bop, beep>?” Smokey said, “I mean, how does a <beep, beep> guy without opposable thumbs know the first thing about striking a match? That’s when I really dug my paws in.”
When he went on The Daily Show with John Stewart on October 4, Smokey really shook things up and brought attention to the nation's plight.
“Not to toot my own horn here, but after a month of tooting everyone else’s, I think the message really rang out loud and clear.”
When asked how he feels about the state of the nation with the government back in business, Smokey says, “Feels good to be doin’ Bear stuff again, you know? Drink from a stream, chase around some deer, scratch my back on a tree – I’m feeling pretty good. Heck, I’m even on that salmon-flavored Nicorette… And let me tell ya, after what I’ve been through, hibernation is soundin’ pretty sweet. But thanks to the boys on Capitol Hill, there is work to do.”
America, ___ Yeah!
Uncle Sam seems optimistic in a follow up call with HalloweenCostumes.com.
“I have a good gig now,” said Sam. “With my first paycheck back on the job, I’m totally buying the sock I lost back in 2008 at the start of the Recession.”
Four score and seven years from now, let’s hope it sticks.