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3 Movie Plots That Would Have Changed Due to a Government Shutdown

Jurassic Park

John Hammond, Ellie Satler, and Ian Malcolm rushed to the control room, searching for chief engineer Ray Arnold. “If we can find Ray, we can get him to reboot the whole system and get the electric fences working across the island,” said John, panting slightly as he ran. “Then everything will be just fine.” He wondered to himself if it would, though. What a horrible turn this adventure had taken! Who could have predicted that populating an island with cloned carnivorous dinosaurs would result in bloodshed, though?

The trio reached the control room, and Ian threw open the door. They all gasped when they saw that the room was empty. “Look,” Ellie said quietly. “There’s a sticky note on Ray’s computer.”

Ian picked up the note and read it aloud. “’Took the last helicopter home. I was told to leave because all national parks are being shut down and employees will not be paid. Love, Ray.’”

“Blast!” John said. “I forgot about the government shutdown. If only—“

“Wait,” Ellie interrupted. “Are you saying that Jurassic Park is a US national park?”

“Well, yes,” John said. “You see, first it was my property, then Disney bought it for awhile and it all got very complicated, then the US government bought this land from them.”

“So… does that mean no one’s coming to get us off this island?” Ian asked. As he spoke, the group heard the unmistakable sound of a pack of velociraptors throwing themselves fervently at the control room door. “I guess no one told the dinosaurs about the government shutdown,” Ian said. He’d meant it as a timely, Jon Stewart-style joke, but given the circumstances it fell rather flat.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Jefferson Smith returned to the nation’s capitol feeling rejuvenated after attending the grand opening of the Boy Rangers camp that he had made possible. After a weekend in the country, Mr. Smith was bursting with ideas of how to make the country a better place by conserving land, improving education, and maybe even tackling health care reform. Yessir, there may still be some corrupt politicians, he thought to himself as he walked towards the Senate, But it’s nothing that an honest man can’t lick, as long as he’s got a bit of gumption and a pocket full of hope-dreams.

Just then, a man jostled past Mr. Smith. “Oh, beg pardon,” said Mr. Smith. “That must have been my fault, sir.”

The man turned to face Mr. Smith. He was dressed in a crisp suit, but he wasn’t wearing a hat. Mr. Smith liked to think the best of most people, but there was something a little off to him about a gentleman who didn’t wear a good hat. This man also had an off-putting scowl, but he forced his face to smile when he saw who he had bumped into. “Oh, Mr. Jefferson Smith,” the man said, shaking hands. “Pleasure to meet you. I’m Ted Cruz, junior senator from Texas. I’m new in town.”

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Cruz,” said Mr. Smith. While shaking hands he noticed that Ted Cruz had a stack of children’s books under his arms. “Say, what are all those for?”

“Oh,” Ted Cruz chuckled. “Well, I got inspired by that filibuster you did a little while back, so I’m planning on doing my own little filibuster. I’m going to read these books aloud to stall for time while urging the Republicans to shut down the government. It’s exactly the type of theatrics that will show the Democrats who’s boss. Well, see you in the Senate!” Ted Cruz cuffed Mr. Smith’s shoulder and continued on his way.

Mr. Smith remained where he was, trying to figure out what the hell had just happened and how the government had managed to get even more corrupt in his brief time out of town. He wasn’t sure if any amount of staring earnestly at the Lincoln Memorial was going to make him feel better.

National Treasure

Benjamin Franklin Gates (okay, who are we kidding—Nicolas Cage) and his loyal sidekick Riley Poole marched towards the National Archives.

“Okay, I think I mostly understand,” said Riley, who’d never been that quick on the draw. “But just to be sure—explain to me one more time what we’re actually doing here.”

“It’s pretty basic,” Nicolas Cage growled. “We’re going to infiltrate the National Archives during a gala event tonight, disable the security cameras, create a distraction, maybe maneuver through some lasers, and steal the Declaration of Independence. But we need to visit the National Archives now in order to case the joint.” (Nic Cage had heard someone use the phrase “case the joint” in a movie once and thought it sounded badass.)

The two men rounded the corner to the National Archive and were just trotting up the steps when archivist Dr. Abigail Chase walked out of the building and placed a sign saying ‘Closed Until Further Notice’ over the door.

“I don’t understand,” Nic Cage said, willing the words on the sign to make sense. “The National Archives are ‘closed until further notice’?”

“Yeah, it’s part of the government shutdown,” Abigail said. “Apparently the National Archives are non-essential, so everyone’s got to be out of the building, even the security officers and laser operators. Guess I’ll have time to catch up on ‘House of Cards’, at least.”

As Abigail walked away, Nic Cage and Riley turned slowly towards the darkened building. A single tear slid down Nic Cage’s cheek. “I can’t believe the employees that work in a building that houses the most patriotic, the most sacred document in our glorious nation, would be forced to go home during this government shutdown.” He brushed the tear away and turned to Riley. “On the bright side, this makes our job a lot easier,” he said, picking up a conveniently placed cinder block. “Let’s go loot the Declaration of Independence.”

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About Madeline Jacobson

Saturated in pop culture since 1990. Writing about it since 2012. If you want to talk to me about anything I blog about, please do! Comment on my blog, or find me on Twitter @mjacobsonwrites

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