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irregular times logoThe Department of Homeland Security Announces
The You Never Know Squad

In this morning's New York Times, I saw a photograph of a police officer with a very serious look on his face, wearing a military sort of uniform as he walks through a subway car in Washington D.C.'s Metro rail system. The officer had a grim expression because he's posing for a picture for journalistic photographer Carol T. Powers, of course. These days, the public relations face of the security establishment is grim, grim, grim, and any good police officer knows how to vogue to the paranoia.

The police officer was genuinely intent, of course, and to display his intensity, he carried an automatic rifle through the public subway. This makes us more secure, we're told, although the police officer did not even find a litterbug during the course of his searches, much less a terrorist. There is no specific information that any terrorist is planning to use the Washington Metro to attack the nation's capital, but you never know.

Yes, this police officer is a part of the elite You Never Know Squad, run in cooperation by the Department of Homeland Security and John Ashcroft's Department of Justice. No one ever said, after September 11, 2001, "If only we had grim police officers roaming our subways, this never would have happened!" Of course, it's just this sort of apathy that the terrorists are counting on, says the Department of Homeland Security.

Because you never know where those sneaky terrorists are going to strike next, or what kind of weapon they will use, the You Never Know Squad will be sending police officers with automatic rifles on unannounced sweeps of bus stops, gas stations, shopping malls, gardening seminars, quilting bees, lamaze classes, and toothpick factories. Special You Never Know paratroopers will be making surprise landings into the middle of cornfields just to make sure the coast is clear, and You Never Know scuba divers will be scanning the bottoms of public swimming pools for traces of chemical and biological weapons. Undercover You Never Know agents will be infiltrating groups of known bird watchers, and You Never Know linguists will be listening to FM radio stations just in case someone says something in Arabic.

The You Never Know Squad is also preparing to send a kit of terrorist detection devices to every American home. The devices will be installed on sump pumps, toaster ovens, and electric toothbrushes. Sure, the program will cost 200 billion dollars, but hey, you never know, do you?

That's just what they're counting on. The evil terrorists, I mean.

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