No, I’m actually not writing about Sen. Ted Cruz or any other Republican. I’m writing, on behalf of squirrels everywhere, to encourage you to take your entire family – and friends and relatives and neighbors – to a movie coming out next year. (More)

I know. With the government shut down, you’re not sure what you’ll be doing by next year. I don’t think the shutdown will last that long, but its impacts will soon ripple across the country. Most federal government workers are on unpaid furloughs, and many won’t be able to pay their bills until the government restarts and their paychecks resume. Many also won’t be able to shop, which means private businesses will feel the pinch. So will government contractors, and the businesses their employees patronize.

So it’s probably not the best time to ask you to plan to take your entire family – and your friends and relatives and neighbors and the guys who collect your trash and also the nice checkout ladies at the grocery – to a movie.

But this isn’t just any movie. It’s a movie about a squirrel, titled The Nut Job:

I’ll admit that I have issues with the premise. The setup is that Surly the Squirrel wants to stock up for the winter, so he decides to rob a nut store. But that’s not ‘robbing’ for squirrels. It’s ‘shopping.’ No, Surly doesn’t plan to pay for the nuts, but that’s only because humans refuse to hire squirrels for paying jobs. On this I quote Jacques Anatole François Thibault:

In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.

I’m quite sure Surly would happily pay for those nuts, if anyone would hire him. There are lots of jobs squirrels could do as well as or better than humans. I’m not just talking about my roving reporter gig either. Squirrels could teach financial planning. Like I said, Surly wants to get all of those nuts to build up his stash for the winter. In fact, if squirrels were running the government we wouldn’t be in this mess, because we wouldn’t have blown the federal budget surplus that President Clinton handed over to President Bush in 2001. But I digress.

Anyway, Surly is unemployed, which explains why he’s … well … surly. (Or maybe he spends too much time researching 21st Century Political Nuttitude.) Regardless, unemployment is why Surly and his friends have to do some unauthorized shopping at that nut store.

He even stars in a teaser short film titled Nuts and Robbers:

Surly is clearly on the side of the angels here, so you can feel good about cheering for him. Plus he’s a squirrel, and there are hardly any movies starring squirrels. Okay, there was the squirrel in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and Scrat in the Ice Age movies. But they were minor characters.

Surly may be the first squirrel to star in a major motion picture. So, on behalf of squirrels everywhere, I want you to take your entire family – and your friends and relatives and neighbors and the guys who collect your trash and the nice checkout ladies at the grocery and your hairdresser and the polite young man who makes your coffee at Starbucks and … okay, everyone you’ve ever met – to see this brilliant film. After that, let each of them take you.

Once Hollywood realizes that squirrels are box office boffo, maybe we’ll get hired to do more stuff. I think I’d look good on the big screen.

Good day and good nuts.