Terrorism, Win Great Prizes!
by Mad Dog
The winner will
receive a government contract so they can develop their idea. The losers
will get brand new FBI files.
||The United States
government is looking for a few good ideas. So far all their methods of
fighting the War On Terrorism have been the same old tried and true:
bombing, freezing bank accounts, intercepting coded messages, scaring
the hell out of the American public, and more bombing. Sure they’ve
added a few new twists, like dropping food packets out of airplanes so
the Afghans can learn what peanut butter and jelly tastes like, and
encouraging Americans to get out of the house and spend what’s left of
their tax rebate, but once the novelty of wearing a “Shopper Against
Terrorism” button wears off, what do we do next?
That’s where you come in. The Department of Defense is looking for
fresh ideas. That’s right, they’re holding a contest, succinctly
called “Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and
Logistics (USD (AT&L)) and Combating Terrorism Technology Support
Office Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) Broad Agency Announcement
02-Q-4655.” They really should have held another contest first to find
a catchier name.
What they’re looking for is ideas to help in “combating terrorism,
location and defeat of hard or difficult targets, protracted operations
in remote areas, and countermeasures to weapons of mass destruction.”
In other words, “What do we do now?”
The deadline for entries is December 23rd, by which date you have to
submit a one-page summary of your hare-brained idea. If you make it to
the semifinals they’ll expect a 12-page paper expanding on the
concept, accompanied by three proofs of purchase from any American-made
product and a receipt showing you purchased it since September 11th. If
you’re chosen as a finalist you’ll have to write a full proposal of
up to 50 pages. Don’t worry, it won’t have to make any more sense
than the name of the contest. And will actually be shorter.
shouldn’t even bother entering the Department of Defense’s contest
since I have the winning answer: music.
The winner will receive a government contract so they can develop
their idea. The losers will get brand new FBI files because
“outfitting all citizens with aluminum foil helmets to stop the
terrorists from tracking our brainwaves”, “planting a homing device
in bin Laden’s beard”, and “projecting holograms of Ann Robinson
saying, ‘You are the weakest link. Goodbye.’ into terrorist cell
meetings” fall outside the realm of the X-Files and right into the
Crackpot Files. To enter the contest, go to www.bids.tswg.gov.
They’re not the first government agency to sponsor a contest. In fact
NASA is holding one too. Since they couldn’t top the Department of
Defense’s ability to name it, they’re just calling theirs “Name A
NASA Observatory.” The observatory in question is one they’re
planning to send up next July which, if it doesn’t accidentally land
in Kabul (whoops!), will make its way to the far reaches of the
universe searching for Pauly Shore’s career. Just kidding. Even NASA
doesn’t believe we’ll ever see that again. Actually the space
observatory will be looking for distant planets.
Until now they’ve been calling it the Space Infrared Telescope
Facility, or SIRTF, but they want something catchier and easier to
pronounce. While you’re thinking about it, keep in mind that Apollo,
Hubble, Voyager, and Russian Death Trap—I mean, Mir—have been used.
There’s no prize money or government grant if you win, though you will
get to see the launch. On TV. Just kidding. I hope.
The deadline is December 20th and you’ll need to submit an essay of
250 words or less. Extra points (and half the work) if your idea also
works for the Pentagon’s Bye-Bye Bad Guys Contest. You can get details
We need to surround the terrorists with trumpets. Herb
Alpert and the Tijuana Brass playing “A Taste of Honey” comes to
mind as being particularly torturous.
Actually, you shouldn’t even bother entering
the Department of Defense’s contest since I have the winning answer:
music. Think about it—the Taliban outlawed all music after it took
power in 1996, so it would drive them crazy. And it’s been proven to
The Israelites, under God’s direction, used trumpets to smash the
walled city of Jericho. The Scots scared the hell out of their enemies
by using bleating bagpipes, a sound which to this day sends otherwise
stable people screaming for Xanax prescriptions. During the 1989
invasion of Panama, U.S. troops surrounded the Vatican Embassy and
blasted AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix, Linda Ronstadt, and the Marvelettes 24
hours a day trying to drive General Manuel Noriega out. And more
recently, the FBI serenaded David Koresh and the Branch Davidians in
Waco, Texas with endless loops of Nancy Sinatra's “These Boots Are
Made for Walkin’” mixed with Tibetan monks chanting and the soothing
sounds of bunnies being slaughtered.
It’s true that the two times the U.S. government was involved it
didn’t work, but that’s because they didn’t use the right music.
They had it all backwards. You can’t expect AC/DC and bunnies
screaming for mercy to do anything to deranged, evil people other than
make them smile. That’s why when some convenience stores took to
playing music in their parking lots to keep the riff-raff from hanging
out they played Beethoven and Mozart, not Snoop Doggy Dog and Metallica.
We need to surround the terrorists with trumpets. Herb Alpert and the
Tijuana Brass playing “A Taste of Honey” comes to mind as being
particularly torturous. Throw in a few bagpipers. Get Mel Gibson to go
in full blue face make-up for added effect. Send Kenny G, John Tesh, and
Yanni over there, telling them it’s a USO show. And while we’re at
it, let’s send the whole “80's Wave Club Tour 2001” along.
The result would be much more like what Noriega meant when he referred
to “scorching, diabolical noise” and the “roaring, mind-bending
din.” It’s a cinch to work. And I can’t wait for the first
Department of Defense grant check to arrive. I think I’ll spend it on
American-made products to help boost the economy.
©2001 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country.
Read them while you're supposed to be working on that government