WASHINGTON—According to reports from distressed Capitol Hill sources, members of both houses of Congress were eerily cooperative and agreeable throughout today's legislative session, prompting widespread confusion, fear, and suspicion among political observers across the Beltway.
"Today began just like any other legislative day, with the normal morning proceedings and opening speeches, but then, out of nowhere, lawmakers suddenly began talking to each other and listening to what their colleagues had to say," said visibly shaken House staffer Scott Harrington, who called the collegial atmosphere that has settled over Washington "disconcerting." "I saw representatives have an open, constructive dialogue on the issues and actually acknowledge opinions other than the ones they personally held. That's when I knew that something was definitely wrong."
"Overall, the feeling around here is cordial," a concerned Harrington continued. "A little too cordial, if you know what I mean."
Beltway sources confirmed they began to feel like something was up when congressmen from both sides of the aisle "oddly" refrained from talking down to each other or reflexively belittling their opponents' viewpoints as out-of-touch, dangerous, or anti-American.
Moreover, the passage of a jobs training bill without a single congressman invoking bureaucratic stalling tactics put beltway observers on edge, and instilled a deep-seated fear that lawmakers might possibly be hiding dark intentions of some kind.
Onlookers said they felt a chill down their collective spines upon seeing an image of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) shaking hands.
"I don't know what's going on here, but I know I don't like it," said Time political columnist Joe Klein, who watched C-SPAN in disturbed shock as the Senate proceeded quickly and smoothly on a federal judicial confirmation. "Something's off. Something is definitely off. It's almost as if lawmakers are putting the well-being of the country above their own self interest and hard-line party ideology."
"This can't be good for America," he added.
While a small handful of citizens have suggested that Congress' newfound willingness to find common ground might actually prove beneficial to the country, these views have largely been drowned out by the vast majority of Americans who believe there is a sinister scheme at work.
According to paranoid sources, much of the populace believes elected officials are angling to slip in a terrifying, power grabbing law through Congress that drastically reduces Americans' individual freedoms. Others say that Republicans and Democrats are trying to lull each other into a false sense of security before orchestrating a bloody coup on one another.
Some reportedly even believe that the restoration of comity has to do with Washington receiving word of nuclear missiles headed towards the United States, and, as a result, lawmakers feel as if the 112th Congress should properly govern the country at least once before America is annihilated.
"It feels like this is the calm before the storm," Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall told reporters. "John Boehner is working with the White House on a long term deficit reduction plan? Nancy Pelosi and Eric Cantor have agreed to go to lunch and talk about making college more affordable? Something is going to happen. Something bad."
Overall, Congress's mature and professional behavior has sent the country into a frightened tailspin. By evening, reports indicated that supermarket shelves had been picked clean across much of the country, many had withdrawn all their savings in cash, and retailers were reporting a nationwide run on ammunition. Additionally, many frantic, desperate citizens have called on the president to restore bitter acrimony to Congress immediately.
"I'm frightened for my life," said distraught Lubbock, TX resident Chris Lefebvre, who claimed to have packed up all his essential belongings and was prepared to flee with his family across the Mexican border if the legislative branch began making headway on long-intractable issues such as immigration or entitlement reform. "People are having nervous breakdowns in the streets, newscasters clearly have no idea what's happening, and my children are terrified—they keep asking me what's going on, but I have no explanation."
"Where is all the partisan rancor and legislative gridlock?" he added. "It's the only thing we know."
Though many Washington insiders urged Americans to remain calm, all agreed that if both sides willingly come together in earnest to raise the debt-ceiling before the deadline, then "God help us all."