I can't help but fantasize that like many other scandals involving our pedigreed leaders, the government shutdown will lead to some sort of hearing. And that the wasted money, disrupted lives and other indirect costs of the budget standoff that accomplished nothing will force some sort of nonpartisan investigation that will waste even more money and disrupt even more lives because someone has to pay and that might as well be us. Twice.
In my fantasy inquiry involving sworn testimony given by subject matter experts who bill $400 an hour plus expenses (riverfront view suite, please), a question will be asked about the number of gyros that were lost due to the shutdown. It's not a pretty picture.
Stratos owner Nick Rizos knows the cost of the 16-day government shutdown all too well. In an effort to keep the economy moving, Rizos offered a free gyro to any federal employee who was furloughed during the shutdown, and the offer was to continue (one gyro per day) until the shutdown ended. It didn't end quickly.
In fact, 16 days later, Rizos had handed out 387 gyros, which the restaurateur values at more than $4,000. While he claims he was happy to do it, Rizos is still a businessman. He's glad the shutdown has come to an end.
Of course the deal signed on Capitol Hill is not a permanent solution to the spending disagreement between Democrats and Republicans, and there's a chance the government could shut down again early next year. If you're hoping another political calamity could fuel your love of free gyros, temper your enthusiasm. When asked if he'd offer the same deal, Rizos said he wasn't sure. "For everybody's sake, let's hope it doesn't happen," he said.