- The Gospel of Wealth: Towards a New Generation of American Consumership By Jim Chaffee
- Rick Perry leads Baal worshippers in prayer meeting By Pig Bodine M.Sc., Ph.D., BM2, BEM, MAD, MDMA
- A Film Too Far: The Battle of the Strait of Hormuz By Jim Chaffee
- Maurice Stoker quasireviews The Vicious Circulation of Dr. Catastrophe: A Polemical Ensemble by Kane X. Faucher By Maurice Stoker
- Boozer Allan Hamilton Justifies the Tea Party By Boozer Allan Hamilton
- Keith Olbermann Freaks Out Pig Bodine By Pig Bodine
- Saving California: Secession and the Reagan Scheme By Pig Bodine
- Maurice Stoker on Tom Bradley's Even the Dog Won't Touch Me By Maurice Stoker
- Two Glad Tidings from The Marshall By Marshall Smith
- Sarah Palin's Party of God By Maurice Stoker
- Double-Ended Dildos Manufactured at Cosmodrome By Kane X. Faucher
- At the Airport By Tom Bradley
- Building the Perfect Weapon By Thomas Sullivan
- CNBC Wins Pequod Institute Award for Excellence in High School Journalism By Pig Bodine, M.Sc., Ph.D., BM2, BEM, MAD, MDMA
- Pig Bodine's Funky Financial Cooze Network Topological Finance for Aging Bald Dudes By Pig Bodine, M.Sc., Ph.D., BM2, BEM, MAD, MDMA
- Un Mensaje Navideño del Director General Por Sandra Ramos Rossi
- Christmas Parades are a Deadly Derangement of Culture and other Seasonal Asides by Kane X. Faucher
- Euphotan, Protoplasmic Flash, and their Properties by Nail, with commentary by Chevy the Scientist
- Suggested reading, Universitatis Merdalina Literature 734.5, Advanced Topics in Mathematical Literature: Pseudo-British/American/Pidgin English Literature, Tensor Products of Novels and Poetry for Quasi-Conformal Plagiarism in Modern Genre and its Relationship to Sexual Identity and Morphisms by Maurice Stoker
- The Unexamined Life in Hell: Peregrinations Across The Diagnosis by Alan Lightman by Maurice Stoker
- Presidential Politics in the Year of the Toad by Boozer Allan Hamilton Ph.D.
- An Eleventh Tonkin Scenario by Donald Dickerson
- The Second Annual Howard Littlefield Boosterism Award for Economic Forecasting Awarded to Boozer Allan Hamilton by Pig Bodine, M.Sc., Ph.D., BM2, BEM, MAD, MDMA
- Maurice Stoker On Writing a Prize Winning Best Seller by Maurice Stoker
- ¿Study says lack of talent? by Pig Bodine M.S., Ph.D., BM2, BEM, MAD, MDMA
- US Cracks International Terrorist Ring by Maurice Stoker
- Pig Bodine Solves the US Immigration and Education Dilemmas in One Blow by Pig Bodine M.S., Ph.D., BM2, BEM, MAD, MDMA
- Maurice Stoker Anent Two Errors in Thomas Pynchon’s Mason and Dixon by Maurice Stoker
- Full PAM Archive
Buildinig the Perfect Weapon
by Thomas Sullivan
Assume for a moment that, instead of spending money on health care for the millions of uninsured, you wanted to build a revolutionary new weapon – the Transatlantic Underwater Refuse Deployer. The TURD bomb would combine scientific innovation, recycling, and advances in manufacturing to produce the world's first free-range organic weapon. Why you would want to do this will become clear later, but I'll provide a small hint now – helping out in the war on terrorism.
The first step — overcoming potential obstacles to your plan — wouldn't be much of a hassle. The Pentagon would oppose your new weapon as something they don't want or need, but Congress regularly funds weapons the Pentagon doesn't want. Weapons, after all, aren't built primarily to provide national defense, they're made to generate business (if you don't make TV's anymore you still have to build something to keep people in your state employed). The second obstacle, which is money, could be easily overcome as well. Just drag out the credit card. The Chinese still have cash to lend, and a few billion wouldn't be too hard to come by.
With these impediments out of the way, the real work can begin. You hire a team of crackpot lobbyists in Washington to present the TURD to congressmen. Among the lobbying group are former senators and ex-military men, guys who still have a web of connections to congress and favors to call in. Once retained, these salesmen hunker down in front their computers and generate a set of slick Powerpoint slides tailored to specific representatives. A week later they put on their sharpest suits and march over to The Hill. The day progresses something like this:
Lobbyists meet with a senator from Oklahoma. They show him a slide of a polluted river chock full of pig waste and weeds, followed by the image of a pristine river with happy Oklahomans picnicking on its banks. The senator learns that his state will gain five thousand new jobs, employing people to drive around in trucks and collect dung. In addition, pig and cattle farmers will be paid $100 per pound for their animal waste. An environmental problem will simply disappear. By 10:30 the senator is on board.
The lobbyists march down the hall and visit a senator from Michigan. They show him a few slides of rusted-out auto plants and boarded up towns. The senator learns that his state, which is still reeling from job losses, will be given the chance to manufacture 100 enormous metal tubes. Each container, which is expected to be ten football fields long and five high, will require thousands of tons of domestic steel. The tubes will be used to compress and cook dung into huge football-shaped bombs. Building these tubes will employ 30,000 workers. At noon the senator joins the effort.
The lobbyists head to lunch. Drinks and high-fives all around. Hitting on waitresses. Things are looking good.
The salesmen return to the Hill and meet a senator from California. Their presentation here, designed to celebrate innovation in chemistry, is weak, involving only a single slide showing a Post-It note. But no matter. Everyone knows that dung dissolves in water, so an advanced polymer coating will need to be developed to protect the TURD underwater. The benefit to the Golden State: $2 billion for university research and five thousand new private sector jobs to manufacture the glue. The senator jumps at the chance.
A series of meeting yield more good developments. The "people of Alabama" agree to build the solar panels to power the TURD; workers in Maine jump at the chance to develop the booster rockets which will launch it out of the water and into its intended, land-based target; Washington-based Boeing agrees to design and build special wings to keep the TURD airborne.
The lobbyists head to dinner. More drinks and high-fives, a new crop of waitresses to approach. The deal is as good as done. Another day of honest, hard work comes to a close.
Two weeks later the enabling legislation hits the floor in the Senate and the House. A few recalcitrant members of congress threaten to hold up the bill on account of its exorbitant cost, but are convinced to change their votes with promises of skateboard parks and indoor rainforests for their states. The bill quickly passes and is signed into law by the President.
Ten years later, after a series of delays and brutal cost overruns, the TURDs are finally ready. A company from Rhode Island drives around the country and puts the 100 dung-bombs onto specially designed flatbed trucks. The company transports the weapons across the country to Delaware, where they're gently lowered into the water at the new, billion-dollar port at Rehoboth Beach.
The TURDs set sail for the Middle East like a pack of killer whales. Eighty sink somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean and ten run aground off the coast of South Africa, but the remaining ten make it to the Gulf. Once in targeting range, they swim in place, waiting for further instructions.
The command to attack is sent from a secret base, newly constructed in the mountains of New Hampshire. The booster rockets ignite, roiling the waters overhead. The pack launches from the sea, sails perfectly over the desert, and smacks into Tehran.
So what was the official reason for this whole affair? Why did people go along with your idea? Well, the terrorists were going to be following us home, according to our leaders. If this indeed is true, we can now smell them when they start showing up.
© Thomas Sullivan 2008