Smokey the Bear Now Driving Uber to Get Through Shutdown

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As the longest government shutdown in US history continues, many government employees have been forced to look for other sources of income to pay the bills.  On Friday, hundreds of thousands of Government employees went without paychecks, in fact, paychecks are on hold for some 800,000 federal employees forced to go on unpaid leave or work without pay since Dec. 22.

Everyone from TSA agents, to FDA agents to Forest Service employees. have all been told they will not be paid ‘until further notice’.  As a result, many government employees have turned to side jobs to pay the bills.  Smokey the Bear was seen using a firetruck to drive for Uber & Lyft over the weekend.  When questioned by passengers, Smokey said, “most of the services in our National Parks have been suspended because of the Shutdown, and Smokey hasn’t been paid in weeks, and Smokey needs to pay his mortgage.”

Buddy Bison, a National Park Trust mascot that works with several New Mexico park sites.

Smokey continued, “Other federal employees are way worse than Smokey, take Buddy Bison for example, he’s in over his horns in online poker debt, they’re going to take his house if he doesn’t pay, so now he’s working for an exotic escort service in Nevada, he says it’s not pretty work, but at least they pay upfront, unlike his Forestry job.”

We asked Chad Pecker aged 21, one of Smokey’s Uber passengers, about their ride with Smokey, ” I don’t know, it was OK I guess, we got lost a couple times because Smokey kept trying to talk to us about fire safety, and his music was for like, for kids or something.”  Chad continued, “We were late to meet our friends, which sucked, but he did give a fire extinguisher and some pamphlets at the end of it.”

USDA mascots ‘Thermy’ and ‘BAC’

More Federal employees, like the USDA’s ‘Thermy’ and ‘BAC’ (short for Bacterium) whose job it is typically to teach kids about cooking meat to a safe temperature, have also been furloughed, (along with their fellow colleagues whose job it is to make sure our food is safe).  Since the shutdown, BAC has been spotted selling blood & plasma to pay the rent, and Thermy is reportedly working the carnival circuit guessing peoples temperatures.

If you’re planning to visit a National Park in the near future, make sure to check their website to see which services will be unavailable. Find all park closures here. You aslo may want to check your meat for bacteria yourself, because apparently the guys who normally do it, aren’t being paid.


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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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