The White House is looking for tales of tragedy from the four-day-long government shutdown. The avalanche of media attention given to Obamacare poster boy “Lying” Chad Henderson would suggest that, yes, works of fiction are acceptable, and perhaps even preferred. In any case, bring the pain. Here are your instructions as they appear on the White House website.

sob stories

Ironically, a banner on the same webpage notes that, due to the shutdown, “some submissions may not be processed.” There’s your first sob story right there!

The lapdog media isn’t affected by the shutdown and is hard at work digging up its own stories. One woman was driven to tears after three days without Head Start.

As Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner observed, “while hundreds of thousands of Americans are furloughed for being ‘non-essential,’ the White House has found asking for their stories to be ‘essential.'” Fortunately, a #ShutdownSobStories hashtag has popped up to make these tragic tales easy to find. Check them out, if your heart can take it.

It has been a rough week.