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At the end of last week, I was dismayed to find out that the official list of locations in the United States vulnerable to terrorist attack, which was supposed to have been completed by the Department of Homeland Security by the end of this month, is far behind schedule, and may take many more years to complete. If there's one thing I've learned since September 11, 2001, it's that we cannot hope to feel secure until we create a cabinet-level department in the federal government with a staff dedicated to listing all the many locations at which we might blown to pieces without a moment's warning.

So the Homeland Security guys haven't quite gotten their act together. Aw, shucks - who am I to criticize. I'll tell you one thing: I'm really glad that those guys are working on this list of locations in America vulnerable to terrorist attack. Oh, sure, it's a confidential list, so none of us are officially supposed to know if we're living or working close to a vulnerable location. Nonetheless, parts of the list were leaked out to the press this week, and the implications are pretty darned startling.

According to the top secret Homeland Security list, waterparks and miniature golf courses are especially vulnerable to terrorist attack. (Honest: This is true. We read it for ourselves in the colorful pages of USA Today on December 8, 2004) The implications of this discovery are profound. Why, do you realize that if terrorists were to attack America's unprotected waterparks and miniature golf courses, thousands of Americans might be forced to go relatively unamused for months on end before the reconstruction could be completed?!?

By gum, I'm glad to have George W. Bush as my president, because I know for sure that Mr. Bush is not about to let such a national tragedy occur on his watch! Would John Kerry have defended our putt putt golfing ranges? No sir! He probably would have just sat by and played pinochle with Jane Fonda while a generation of kids who idolize Arnold Palmer had their dreams destroyed! Damned liberal windsurfer!

Well, I'm with the President 113%, and I'm more than ready to stand up and fight for the right to go down the slides at WaterWorld. We all know that the evildoers hate us because we know how to have a family-friendly good time. We'll show them!

In order to do my part, last weekend I assembled a team of top security specialists to perform an independent security assessment of all the water parks and miniature golf courses in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. We were sopping wet and significantly over par by Sunday evening, but we sure found out a thing or two.

little spiral sketchFor one thing, did you know that you can bring a nail file, a pair of ski poles, or even a pair of scissors into a miniature golf course without being stopped by Homeland Security forces? We were able to smuggle these dangerous potential weapons onto each and every miniature golf course in the greater Los Angeles area. In large part, our success was due to the complete lack of baggage screening machines at the entryways to these all-American fun putting greens. You just walk right in, grab a big metal club, and then go straight out to the little astroturf golf courses without being frisked, or even asked for your ID!

Our experiences at the water parks of southern California were even more disturbing. Our team brought duffel bags filled with plastic explosives and rocket propelled grenades to every water park within one hundred miles of Los Angeles, and only one time were we prevented from entering, and that was because we didn't have enough cash to tip the valet parking guy. On a more positive note, we did note with approval that all water parks now require guests to remove their shoes before going down the water slides - just like at the airport!

Well, while many Americans are content to do nothing but complain, complain, complain, my team of security experts decided that we would come up with an action plan so that the President and the new Secretary of Homeland Security will be able to solve the problem before it's too late. A summary of our recommendations, without the super top secret classified parts, is found below.

  1. Place metal detectors and chemical sniffing guard dogs at the entrance to every miniature golf course and water park in the United States.

  2. Install retinal scanning devices to confirm visitors' true identities at the top of every water slide and at the beginning of every putting green.

  3. Dispatch Homeland Security agents to all amusement centers in the United States

  4. Require all miniature golfers and water sliders to register with a computerized database before they can play putt putt or ride down a sluice in a fake log. Registration must include a DNA sample and a credit check.

  5. All workers at miniature golf courses and water parks should be made federal employees and required to sign loyalty oaths to the President of the United States.

  6. Commercial airplanes should be prohibited from flying within 5 miles of the airspace above water parks and miniature golf courses.

  7. All miniature golf courses and water parks should forbidden from selling powdered doughnuts, because you never know if a white powder is confectioner's sugar or weaponized anthrax.

I don't need any commission to tell me how to make America secure. I can figure it out by instinct, in my guts, by praying on it. I made my group into a citizens' commission, a Homeland Security Advisory Board Militia made up of real Americans, not pointy-headed New Englanders who have been to school too much to tell the difference between pure evil and a shopping bag blowing in the wind.

I can't say for sure whether President Bush will adopt our recommendations right away. He is, after all, a busy man. I understand that after his inauguration, he will be spending some time on his new Presidential Yacht - making things secure, you know. In the meantime, I'll be on guard, making my own surprise inspections of every miniature golf course and water park I can get to, watching and waiting for the evildoers to come.


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