WASHINGTON D.C. - An Arab sheik and a popular singer had a bidding war ongoing at a federal government auction Monday. Set to close down its government, the United States of America began its "Going Out of Business Sale" at the nation's capitol and every highbrow, whale, billionaire, and even some ostentatiously spending millionaires were in attendance.
The Saudi sheik and the popular crooner (who insisted on staying nameless, but who recorded a slew of hits that were dubbed 'ear candy jingles' during the 80's) went head to head as the auctioneer's calls intensified. After nearly three-quarters of an hour of bids, the winner spent $1.4 billion on a pair of Benjamin Franklin's ovaled tiny trifocals, a Washingtonian heirloom long kept in a hidden wall safe inside the Oval Office. The winner was the sheik, who waved the tarnished old glasses high over his head, yelling, "Allah Bless America!"
Outside on the lawn, a costumed Donald Duck waddled around with a sign: "I'm the Donald Duck that Flies Around Ohio. Quack quack. John Boehner's territory. Quack. And I Want the House Speaker's Job." Still another cartoon mascot, Family Guy, walked around with a sign that read: "Family Guy for President of the Cash Strapped United States of Wherever".
Stuck in gridlock over Obamacare and a lot of pent-up angst dealing with high-level politicos' personalities, Democrats and Republicans have come to a very real possibility of a total government shutdown - with hours, not days, ticking away - in which only the most basic of necessities will be provided to American citizens.
The White House Lawn looked like a scene out of Storage Wars or American Pickers. Seemingly endless rows of tables holding rare antiques, memorabilia (some dating back to Revolutionary War times), along with the dull, drab, weathered portraits that just yesterday, hung around the White House walls, were on display. The cheapest was a portrait of Richard M. Nixon, which had a modest price tag of $16.75.
"We came to get a few of these goodies. We feel terrible about the United States government going under, but hey, to the victors go the spoils," said Thurwood Steelwell, 87, a diamond mining tycoon who was walking around the Capitol Lawn with his wife, Maddy, 48 years his junior.
"I'd love to have one of Dolley Madison's or Pat Nixon's dresses," Maddy said. "I'd also like to have a few of those Watergate tapes. I hear there's a batch of them on one of those tables over yonder."
"Yes, my dear, you'd look lovely in either Dolley's or Pat's dress," Thurwood said. "I met Maddy when the circus went through Coyote Hide, Montana. She was the fat lady for that troupe back then. But she's lost a walloping 384 pounds in the last few years. I was overseeing the construction of a diamond mine when I met her. I used one of my own rocks for her wedding ring. A big one. Like a big chunk of glass.
"I'm a capitalist who knows how to cut costs. These lamebrained politicians ought to take a few lessons from my frugality. Even this tent sale is ridiculous. Look at this mess! It looks like it's being run by patients at a mental institution," the filthy rich gemstone magnate griped.
It's unsure what will happen with the money collected from the flea market and auction. A few government insiders say a portion of the proceeds will go to pay off the government debt. Some might go to pay off Barack Obama's football and baseball bets he's accrued with some of his sports celebrity cronies. A small portion might go to former Vice President Dick Cheney's big game hunting trips.
Meanwhile, the President, along with all members of the Senate and House, were inside Capitol buildings bickering over Obamacare and other things, with each party continuing to blame the other for all the nation's ills. Pragmatism, logic, and simple-minded sanity has all but disintegrated in the past few weeks and the White House Lawn today looks like Fat Joe's Flea Market, Lemonade Stand & Laundramat on the outskirts of Beast's Head, Nevada.
"It's a lot like Woodstock," said a young college student from Georgetown University who blew off his classes to witness this sale. "But everyone was stoned at Woodstock. Everyone here is stone cold sober and they look really, really weird. All these rich people looking for good deals on Abe Lincoln's longjohns or one of Bill Clinton's fabled boxer shorts found underneath one of the beds in one of the more obscure bedrooms. The White House has turned into little more than a commercial chicken coop. I wonder what Hunter S. Thompson would write about this mess if he was still alive. Hell, I wonder what Ben Franklin would say about that ridiculous price tag on those rickety old glasses he wore."
Just then, a cartoon figure of The Cookie Monster walked by with a sign that read: "O.J. Simpson for President of California". Another cartoon character, a nebulous anomaly that appeared to be a large dragonfly, walked by with a sign reading: "Free Charles Manson and Make Him the President of Arizona".
"Man, Woodstock was sane and sober compared to this. I wasn't there. But after today, you could say I was," the Georgetown student muttered as The Cookie Monster and the dragonfly proceeded down the lawn's perimeter.
After Benjamin Franklin's trifocals were sold, an old pint bottle of 'Doctor Swallop's Sure Fire Cure for Gout' was placed on the auction block. The magic elixer was also one of Franklin's possessions. After ten minutes of bidding, a Hollywood actor (who insisted on staying anonymous - but who acted in a number of horror slasher movies during the 1990's) won the winning bid with a call of $4.35 million.
"Now that young man doesn't have gout. He couldn't. He couldn't be more than 45. I have gout and I really could've used that stuff," griped a septuagenarian, mult-millionaire from Upstate New York.
"That stuff doesn't work, Grandpa. It's snake oil . . . . Ben Franklin didn't know what the hell he was buying. Your gout's too far gone. The best thing we can do for you is cut off both your feet," said the irritable millionaire's grandson, who had a firm grip on the old man's arm.
Just then, two more cartoon characters walked past. This time, Mickey and Minnie Mouse. They had a sign which read: "Vote for Mickey and Minnie as the President and First Lady of Rhode Island, Which After This Sale Will Extend From the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans".
Glenn Beck, carrying a microphone in his right hand while in the left he carried a peeled onion under his nose to facilitate another one of his crying jags, tried to interview Mickey and Minnie, but both said they were unavailable for comment.
Desperate to get some material for his live radio show, Beck cornered Family Guy, who laid out his political platform for becoming President of The Newly Established Defunct & Cash Strapped United States. Family Guy said the first thing he'd do would be to prohibit horses and chickens from getting married. Then he'd bomb the Amazon Rain Forest. Although Jimmy Carter was a the 2002 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Family Guy said he'd arrest Carter for war crimes. Lastly, he'd make armed robbery and murder legal.
Wolf Blitzer was also carrying a sign which read: "I'm Sick and Tired of Being a CNN Afternoon Anchor So Whatever Happens After This Flea Market, Tent Sale, and Auction, I Just Want the Powers-That-Be to Know That I'll Be More Than Willing To Talk To You About Myself Becoming Your New Press Secretary. Hey, It's Me, Wolf. I Can Do This. I Really, Really Can".
EXTRAS AT PRESS TIME: At 2 p.m., Lady Gaga took to a stage behind the tables and sang a moving and memorable rendition of "God Save the Queen". At 2:30 p.m., Green Day was to perform "American Idiot," along with "Basketcase," "When I Come Around," and a few other oldies but goodies. At 3 p.m., Ozzie Osbourne was slated to come out and sing some of his songs, too. But he and wife Sharon were seen around the tables arguing over some heirlooms and he might not be performing after all. And at 4 p.m., as a grand finishing treat, Michael Myers from John Carpenter's Halloween movies is to make an appearance and will be available to pose for photos with children and the elderly. At nightfall any remaining auction- and flea-market goers are strongly encouraged to take part in UFO sightings, then a treasure hunt to find glowing, radioactive, chupacabra eggs will take place on the lawn.