When Billy asked his dad, Richard Whiteman, the House representative for Alabama’s famously conservative 6th district and a Tea Party sweetheart, to pass the beans on a recent Tuesday night, it quickly became clear that his father had once again failed to leave his work at the office.

Rich, as he’s known, patted down his tie, fixed his toupee, and looked sternly at his son. “Billy,” he said, “do you think you can just ask for free plates of beans in this country? Are those the values that your mother and I raised you with? I know that the lame-stream lefty media, with those shows you like like ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and ‘Kourtney and Khloe take Miami,’ are making you think we live in some damn commie welfare state. But I’ll have you know that your great-great-grandparents didn’t kill fight against the Nazis and the Reds so you could be some free-wheeling hippy, and I won’t have it either. Besides, I’ve heard those beans are from Kenya; I mean, they haven’t given us a certificate of production origin, so how can we even know?”

Frustrated at the sight of her divided family, Rich’s wife, Anita, struggled to open a jar of pickles. “Here, lemmie get that” Rich said, taking the jar, placing it on the table, pulling out his Beretta ARX 160 22LR semiautomatic rifle, and proceeding to blow the entire jar to bits. “That should do it,” he said, and he sat back down to eat.

The family’s struggle to divide Rich’s home and work life has become even more dire than usual in the wake of the government shutdown. The Congressman recently banned all apples, ketchup, and twizzlers from the house in an effort to make sure that “nobody could mistake us for being Reds,” he has gotten in the habit of tying an American flag to his back as a cape, and he is often found in the basement making watercolor portraits of Ronald Reagan.

“I just can’t wait for the shutdown to be over,” Anita said, “I want my family back. And we really can’t afford to keep having these red, white, and blue fireworks shows every night. It’s just madness.”

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