Ze Older Stuff

Can’t Help You, But Sure Can Hurt You

by Bob Wallace

Even a stopped clock is occasionally right. I am of course referring to Chief Wiggum of “The Simpsons,” when he said, “I didn’t say the government couldn’t hurt you. I said it couldn’t help you.”

I have decided to elevate his saying to the status of a Natural Law, inherent in the universe and human nature, and unalterable no matter how many law books politicians and lawyers beat it with.

Why did I decide this? Because I recently saw two police officers X-ray a T-shirt and a newspaper. This is what Dubya’s Warren Terrism has come to: searching for Weapons of Mass Destruction in T-shirts and the Daily Birdcage Liner.

The State has taken leave of reality, and now dwells in the Twilight Zone of total paranoia. Every time anyone goes inside a State building, he becomes subject to a cluster-bomb-type search-attack.

The T-shirt was in a package. I swear–and as Dave Barry says, I am not making this up–I stood there and watched a police officer run the transparent package, containing one T-shirt, through an X-ray conveyor belt.

What exactly can you hide in a folded up T-shirt? I mean, really? That’s not a rhetorical question. What can you hide in a T-shirt? What would he have done if he had taken the T-shirt out of the package and found a picture of Osama bin Laden on the front of it? Whipped out his sidearm and told all of us to lie on the floor with our hands on our heads? Thank God he didn’t have a machine gun! He probably would have shot the place up like a drunken bandit!

Could have been worse, though. It could have been a picture of Ché Guevara on the T-shirt, although both cops might have scratched their heads and wondered why Jesus was wearing a beret.

Then I saw them X-ray a newspaper.

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