It seems like everyone in Washington is on the fritz right now. In one week, the US will run out of money to pay its bills unless Congress raises the debt ceiling.
That deadline seems way too soon for the good of the country. But for those watching the ping-pong match between Republicans and Democrats in Congress and the White House, seven more days of this back-and-forth feels like six days longer than anyone should be forced to endure.
With that in mind, I posted on facebook and twitter this morning:
"When Washington is a debacle, how do you clear your brain? Food? Music? Meditation? Exercise? Booze? I'm sure lots of DC folks could use some ideas right now."
The ideas flowed. Here are a few of my favorites.
From Adam Waterson on facebook, a viral video to lighten the mood:
Charles Mitchem recommends a bar that's conveniently just a few blocks from the White House.
"I love having cocktails at the Jefferson Hotel bar," he says. "They have a wonderful pianist who doesn't mind if you know the words to a Cole Porter song or two."
On twitter, @shellaanne recommends "Panda therapy" at the National Zoo. Several people suggested the free Smithsonian museums. @magreen17 says:
"a visit to the Lincoln memorial to read the Gettysburg address always chills me out."
@ricnic911 advises getting out of town altogether.
"I take the Bolt Bus to New York!"
@krisojen suggests a different mode of transportation.
"Get on my bike and ride," she says. "The world looks better from two wheels."
And in the category of unhelpful suggestions, from @KANtext:
"I don't think my solution will work for you. I turn off the news."
Thanks to everyone for the ideas! If you want to weigh in, post your ideas in the comments here. Or go to twitter and tag your ideas with @Ari_Shapiro. On facebook, you can comment at www.facebook.com/NPRAriShapiro.