GK: Well, evidently the government has avoided a shutdown, as Republicans and Democrats reached an agreement just before midnight, and what we have learned from all this is: which federal employees are non-essential. Which raises doubts for each one of us. How essential are we? Is this show essential? I don't think so. Not compared to Air Traffic Control.

FN (ON RADIO, STATIC): Heading two-niner United 85 bearing Bravo Charlie cleared ATF approach four-thousand frequency four-niner Delta Delta two four two. Over.

TR (ON RADIO, STATIC): Tower, this is United 85. Repeat that.

FN (ON RADIO, STATIC): Repeat what?

TR (ON RADIO, STATIC): Repeat previous.

FN (ON RADIO, STATIC): What was this in reference to?

TR (ON RADIO, STATIC): I didn't read that, Tower.

FN (ON RADIO, STATIC): Who is this?

TR (ON RADIO, STATIC): This is Al.

FN (ON RADIO, STATIC): Hey. It's Bob.

TR (ON RADIO, STATIC): Thought it was you!

FN: How's it going?

TR: Not bad.

FN: Where are you?

TR: That's what I was asking you.

FN: Oh. Let me get back to you.

TR: Okay. Roger.

FN: It's Bob. Not Roger.

TR: Okay.

GK: That's probably the most essential federal job, that and border patrol which is defending our border with Canada border and and keeping thousands of hard-to-detect Canadians from slipping across (CANADIAN MOB-----"What's it all aboot?" "It's aboot a mile." "I'm aboot to give up." "Hey, I like your boots." "You want a boot?" "You're aboot two bricks shy of a load.") That's essential. And federal meat inspectors. You lay those people off and there'll be an epidemic of food poisoning (RETCHING). And of course the military. When the big earthquake hits (RUMBLING), and the earth's crust splits open (SFX)...

GK: ...causing dinosaur eggs trapped deep in the earth's crust to hatch (SFX) and we'll have (FLAPPING, SCREECH) pterodactyls flying over the countryside and eating people left and right. (SCREECH, CRUNCH & MUNCH, FLAP), we will have cruise missiles taking out those pterodactyls (PTERODACTYL SCREECH, MISSILE FIRING, PTERODACTYL TERROR, EXPLOSION) and when those humpback whales go berserk (SFX) from the earthquake tremors and they attack San Francisco (CABLE CAR DINGING, RUMBLE. HUMPBACK ATTACK) Navy submarines will be there to take those leviathans down (KLAXON, "FIRE TORPEDO" ---- FIRING, HIT HUMPBACK). And when demented dolphins escape (SFX) and take Rudolph Giuliani hostage (TR RUDY: Now wait just a New York minute.) (DOLPHINS) and take his golf clubs and hit green olives (DOLPHIN, SWING, FLIGHT OF OLIVE) into revolving doors (SFX) it'll be the U.S. Marines (CHOPPER) who will take those golfing dolphins on ----- and use rolfing techniques to mollify them (DOLPHINS BEING SHAKEN).

Is public radio essential? I don't know. Depends who you ask.

FN: This is Cory Flintoff.

TR: This is Robert Siegel.

FN: This is Ann Taylor.

SS: Terry Gross. Fresh Air.

GK: But in gratitude for Congress working out the budget late last night, we bring you a flyover by 16 F-16s (SFX) and the U.S.S. Missouri fires a broadside (BIG GUNS) as the U.S. Navy Seal chorus sings our national anthem (SEAL SINGING) as the fireworks go off and now, fired from a cannon, the lovely Nina Totenberg. (SS: At the Supreme Court today---- CANNON BLAST, LADY FLYING, LANDS WITH A SPLASH).