Archive for February, 2010

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Leaked! – TSA Internal Memo

February 3, 2010

Making the skies safer, one nap at a time...

To all TSA (Travel Security Administration) personnel:

As America’s last line of defense in the fight against domestic terrorism, we have instituted the following guidelines and procedures to help our frontline personnel stop potential terrorists, preferably before they board the plane. (Once they are on the plane, it’s all in Allah’s hands. Or God’s. Or the Dutch.)

Be aware! At any time, someone could set us up the bomb!

Profiling
To this point, our “if it looks foreign, detain it” policy has served us well. However, some recent minor (but potentially calamitous) glitches have presented us with a chance for improvement. To this end we have devised the following list of “red flags*” to be on the lookout for:

*May also be “orange” or “yellow” depending on current threat level as determined by the NSA’s random number generator. Fun fact: number generator can also be used for office keno games!

Clothing and Accessories

  • Unseasonably warm clothing/loose-fitting clothing – Can hide bomb components.
  • T-shirts with drug references – Implicit support of terrorism/troublemaking punks.
  • Abnormally large purses – Use your judgment. Some women carry these year-round as part of a generally nomadic existence.
  • I “Plane” NY shirts – Just seems wrong in a way we can’t put our finger on/troublemaking punks.
  • Fanny packs, man purses – Anything that can be done to discourage use of these items would seem to be a good idea.
  • Open-toed shoes – Considered “unsafe” in most workplaces, doubly so in a workspace where everyone is forced to breathe the same recycled air. Also tends to indicated “freeminded” hippie types, who have been nothing but trouble since the Nixon administration.
  • Diaper bags – Often filled with deadly fluids, deadly nail clippers/safety scissors, deadly powdered formula and deadly interminable stacks of baby photos.

 

"TSA officials often complete their useless pre-flight screenings by uselessly praying for their passengers' safety."

Mandatory Strip Searches

  • People of a darker complexion travelling with visas
  • People of a darker complexion not named Jose
  • People of a darker complexion named Jose
  • Women rated higher than 7.5 according to hotornot.com
  • Troublemaking, sarcastic bloggers

Suspicious Activities

  • Loitering
  • Twittering
  • Talking loudly into Bluetooth headsets
  • Sexting
  • Bomb or weapon assembling
  • Blogging (especially “live-blogging”)
  • Periphery-circling
  • Post-checkpoint shoe adjusting
  • Gathering of 5 or more people without the proper permit
  • Fieldtripping
  • Raving
  • Masturbating
  • Speed walking
  • Complaint/lawsuit filing
  • Drug dealing
  • General bitching

Look kids! Bomb ingredients! And all of these can be found in your parents' carry-on bags!

Confiscatables
(Note: please post this list inconspicuously and be sure to inform travellers that the forbidden item list is subject to change at anytime, especially if they insist on being indignant or uncooperative. Use the following phrase to defuse tense situations: “You’re about five seconds from travelling to Cleveland in the nude, buster. [Use “bustette” if speaking to a female.]

Remember: Irrational fear is your best weapon. [Note: Feel free to use your actual issued weapon if need be.])

  • Nail clippers
  • Saline solution
  • Homemade snacks
  • Moonshine
  • Explosives
  • Lighters/matches/two sticks/flint/magnifying glasses
  • Laser pointers
  • Snuggies
  • “That smartass mouth of yours”
  • Shoelaces/belts/zippers
  • Off-brand sodas
  • Lifesaving medicine
  • Battery-powered toothbrushes (manual toothbrushes are still allowed)
  • Non-fluff reading material
  • Valid photo IDs
  • Keepsakes
  • Rosary beads
  • Anal beads
  • Wallet-borne prophylactics
  • Manual toothbrushes
  • Opened copies of Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Artificial limbs
  • 50,000+ frequent flyer miles
  • Black-market kidneys
  • Your dignity

In-Flight Rule Changes
As you know, we are constantly striving for a safer travel experience. To that end, we have made the following changes to our patented “too much, too late” policy of overreaction and obtuseness.

  • Passengers will now line up single file in alphabetical order (last name first) and be led on-board by the on-duty air marshal, whose weapon must remain drawn for the duration of the flight. (Remember to check that the safety is safely in the “off” position for speedier overreaction time.)
  • For the first and last hours of the flight passengers are to remain in a supine, spread-eagled position with fingers interlaced behind their heads. No conversation or eye contact will be allowed.
  • No conversation while the aircraft is in motion.
  • Passengers must ask permission to use the restroom. Tipping your restroom attendant is mandatory.
  • In the likely event of an airborne terrorist situation, passengers are encouraged to “take matters into their own hands” as 1.) it has a proven track record and 2.) your air marshal will most likely be going mano-a-mano with the restroom lock or contemplating a mid-air career change.

Let’s all hope that these changes will lead us into a new era of regulated inefficiency and borderline brutality.

Remember, only YOU* can prevent domestic terrorism!

*”YOU” meaning “us” as a bureaucratic entity with far-reaching power and minimal oversight.

-CLT

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Life’s Little Lessons Vol. 3

February 1, 2010

Fake plants are code for "surprisingly expensive."

Have you heard the expression, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade?” It means making the best of bad situations. Here’s another “what if” situation for you to ponder, pulled from the 24/7 lemonade stand that is your life.

You’re out on a blind date. It’s been a pleasant evening, if a little expensive. You signal the waiter for your check.

As your waiter ignores you, you gaze deep into your date’s greyish-blue eyes. You think, “This could be it.” After several misfires and several thousand dollars, you may have finally landed a keeper.

Sure, the language barrier is slowing down the conversation and you seem to recall her profile photo being blonder and shorter, but all in all, an attractive woman.

The conversation has been a little awkward as she keeps inquiring about your personal net worth and bank account numbers. She also keeps mentioning someone named “Alexi,” who at various points is either in the import/export business, a pimp, her ex-husband or her current boyfriend.

In fact, discussion on this presumably armed and dangerous “Alexi” has chewed up a fair amount of the evening as you attempt to determine which country he is in currently and whether or not he has a valid visa.

There has also been a lively discussion about her name, which also keeps changing. The only constant that has held up all night is that she believes her full last name is “Parashkova.ru.”

Your waiter, having finished smoking a joint with the line cooks, returns to present you with your check.

$176.24!!!

Holy fuck.

There’s no way this is right.

But of course, it is. Your peroxided companion looks at you expectantly, while sneaking discreet glances at the total. Her dull grey eyes light up briefly when she spots the “$,” the only English word she’s familiar with.

You quickly do some mental math and realize that no single card in your wallet has that much remaining on it. You blindly flip through your cards and come across your “ace in the hole,” stuck between an Amway rep’s business card and a cracked condom bearing the phrase “Party like it’s 1999!”

Your Diner’s Club card, issued in 1981 and last used before the turn of the century.

The presentation of this card will remind management to have a busboy scrape that logo of the front entrance window.

Your waiter picks up the check and dubious credit card, staring at you balefully for a beat or two.

“Thanks. I’ll go have this rejected and be right back.”

Your date smiles vacantly while you gaze into the middle distance and explore your options. You also notice that all the silverware is missing from the table.

Finally your waiter returns with your card and barely-contained smirk. As you brace yourself for the inevitable, you notice that the adjacent tables are suddenly swarming with attentive wait staff, all very slowly and nonchalantly refilling water glasses.

“I’m sorry, Mr. X…” Except he says your full given name. Loudly.

“…but it is our policy to only accept REAL credit cards, not those issued in ads located near the back of the Saturday Evening Post, or those requiring a time machine and a bad moustache to verify.”

A burst of laughter escapes from one of the nearby waiters, inadvertently (and inappropriately) punctuating a patron’s anecdote, which had just gotten to the point where the surgeon found yet another inoperable tumor in his mother’s lungs.

“Our manager would be more than happy to work out payment details in person. If you’ll follow me…”

You tell Katarina Parashkova.ru that you’ll be back momentarily, gazing briefly and hatefully at her nearly untouched filet mignon/lobster combo meal and the several completely finished champagne bottles.

She tells you that she has to use the restroom. She gets up and heads to the ladies’ room, which she apparently believes is located somewhere in the parking lot.

As you and most of the wait staff make your way back to the manager’s office, you spy your vehicle passing by the front windows, driven by a pony-tailed and dangerous-looking man in an ill-fitting suit. Parashkova.ru is riding shotgun and displaying a new set of table settings.

So. What have we learned? Or more importantly, what haven’t we learned? After an experience like this, it’s probably wise to deal with only hypothetical questions for a while. It will keep you from realizing there are really no good answers to questions such as these.

Um…

Here’s an inspirational poster.

Ah. That's better.

Coming up next on Life’s Little Lessons:
Shoplifting: My Anti-Drug

-CLT