epa-fundThe Republicans and their Tea Party overlords have shut down the government, and I’m sure there is a lot of wisdom behind that move, but there are a few consequences that even Michele Bachmann might have missed. Sure, active duty military personnel will still get paid, so we’ll still be able to fight the six or seven wars we’ve currently got going (take that, Christmas!), but can America survive without Giant Panda Cam? I mean seriously, we can’t even pay enough park police to taze the elderly as they “storm” the WWII memorial, and if we can’t taze the elderly, is this even America anymore?

While even the staunchest Tea Partier may find it a little bit of a bummer that the Statue of Liberty is closed, they’re probably OK with the rest of the shutdowns. I mean, you gotta do what you gotta do to keep poor people from getting healthcare. Sure, over 800,000 of their friends, neighbors, and countrymen are out of work, but they were government workers, so they probably weren’t working that hard anyway.

Granted, every once in a while, the government does something worthwhile — like the Environmental Protection Agency, which makes sure our air and water are clean. But what’s wrong with chewable air? Are you too big a pussy to drink flammable water?

Well, I hate to admit it, but I am too big a pussy to drink flammable water, and, thanks to years of waiting for Obamacare to kick in while I was too broke to pay for dental coverage, I’m afraid if I had to chew the air, my teeth would break. So, being a proud American, I am going to fall back on this great nations’ founding ideal: The Entrepreneurial Spirit. (Did you know that George Washington parlayed the money he made delivering Poor Richard’s Almanacs to open the first Bennigans franchise?)

That’s right, I’m starting a campaign to crowdfund the EPA — and you’re invited to join!

Let me explain this amazing, once in a lifetime (we can hope) opportunity. The EPA’s budget for 2012 was $8,449,385,000. Unfortunately, GoFundMe won’t let me set a financial goal in the billions, and, honestly, almost $9 billion might be a bit ambitious, so I’ve set the target at a nice, low $24,003,900 — enough to get the EPA up and running for a day. If this works out, we’ll press on and try to raise enough money to keep the agency running ’til the weekend!

Now ideally, I’d like to find one partner willing to cough up the full $24,003,900 (I’m looking at you, Sheldon Adelson), but I’ll take what I can get, so I’ve set up a couple of reward levels. For just $5 you can get in on our Black Lung Level. That $5 earns you a hearty thank you and, if your tap water ignites, I’ll help you put out the drapes. A $100 gift gets you to the Love Canal Level which comes with a wet rag to breathe through and a fabulously romantic gondola ride through the Superfund site. Pitch in $1,000, and you’re an instant member of the Cuyahoga Club, where you’ll earn a free trip to Cleveland. Finally, for the well-heeled investor, a $9,000 pledge gets you 30 seconds of breathable air and drinkable water!

Come on, Gristafarians, we can do this! If every one of the million-and-a-half people who visit this site each month pitch in $20, we can fund the EPA for a day AND have $5,996,100 left over to buy us all tote bags!

Now I hope you’ll forgive me, but I’ve got to go ready my defenses. The feds have shut down Fort McHenry, my hometown of Baltimore’s last line of defense, where the British Navy famously bombarded us just a few hundred years ago. The smart money says that with Washington, D.C., on the ropes, the Brits will take this opportunity for a second invasion. Those socialist bastards still have a working government — and national healthcare.