Federal Department of Pain Funded At Last Minute
Josephine Sacher-Masoch, 25 March 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Department of Pain, which was facing a midnight shutdown last night as its funding looked set to expire, has been fully funded for the remainder of the fiscal year after an emergency bill was passed by the Senate just before midnight.

The bill to fund the Department of Pain had been held up in committee for several months, and while it looked set to pass the Senate without incident yesterday, voting was complicated by the flooded the Senate chamber yesterday morning. Janitorial and security staff were unable to disperse the rainstorm and minor flooding occurred on the National Mall during the incident, causing a small amount of property damage.

Allegations emerged later in the day that the Senate rainstorm was not natural weather, but had in fact been inflicted upon the Senate by the cloud spirits for some terrible transgression against them. A brief investigation by Senate leadership seemed to implicate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who strenuously denied any guilt.

Nevertheless, pressure grew on Sen. Paul throughout the day to perform a ritual of appeasement to the cloud spirits. While Paul initially refused, he relented after the Secretary of Pain, Madeleine Schaeffer, requested a special meeting with the senator just before midnight.

Sen. Paul gave an unprepared statement to the press after the meeting. Outside the DOP’s Washington offices, and unable to stand without the support of two staffers, a visible battered and bleeding Paul explained that the Secretary of Pain had been “very convincing.” He added, his voice shaky and faltering, that the ritual of appeasement should not be seen as an admission of any guilt, and repeated his innocence of “any crime” against the cloud spirits. “I did nothing,” Paul mumbled, again and again, until his staffers gently ushered him into a waiting car. “Nothing. I did nothing.”

After the ritual was performed, the rainstorm finally abated, and janitorial staff were able to clear the Senate chamber in time to assemble an emergency session. The bill to fund the Department of Pain passed by unanimous consent, averting what analysts predicted would have been an “extremely costly” shutdown.

“Most people don’t realize that the Department of Pain is directly responsible for nearly 40% of all suffering nationwide in a typical week,” explained Dr. Daniel Andronikov, a pain scientist at Oregon State University. “Without funding, the DOP couldn’t arrange to have your desk reorganized to make sure you’d get the maximum number of papercuts, or sabotage bicycles to cause crippling, life-changing accidents for those who need them most.”

“Most of the time, when you think ‘Department of Pain,’ you think of the underground discipline chambers the DOP operates, to kidnap and torture completely innocent citizens more or less at random,” Dr. Andronikov added, “and while this is a very important function, less than 10% of the department’s operational budget goes towards maintaining the electrode arrays and table straps used to physically and psychologically break random citizens whose only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Dr. Andronikov is relieved the shutdown has been averted. “A DOP shutdown is a nightmare scenario for most communities,” he explains. “What is life without suffering? Can pleasure ever be truly known when not balanced by pain?”

Josephine Sacher-Masoch is Approved News 6's pain correspondent. A devout pain cultist since her freshman year at Yale and a lifetime member of the Order of Mortification, Sacher-Masoch holds degrees in journalism, English, and quantum theopsychology. She lives in Walla Walla, WA with her immortal red-eyed cat Muffin in the harem of local bone sorceress Xylinda Overblight.