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"I'm not your stepping stone …"

There was a time long ago when airline travel meant attractive stewardesses, hot meals, free movies and occasional empty seats. Now, thanks to the omnipresent threat of terrorism, airline travel has become an ordeal to be dreaded and EVERYBODY is being held hostage. Recently an elderly gentleman had several misunderstandings about how a metal detector works and kept twenty people from speeding through security. (Yes, a belt buckle will set off a metal detector. Yes, a cell phone will set off a metal detector. Yes, a tin of mints will set off a metal detector. It's tin, for Christ's sake.)

In the interest of returning airline travel to its former glory (with the exception of attractive stewardesses - they will forever remain nostalgic fantasies), the following is a list of suggestions which would prove to be better, more cost-effective and less invasive measures in the war against terrorism:

1. All skyscraping buildings, court houses and federal buildings should have surface to air missiles installed on the roofs. The thumb-suckers who would oppose such a plan should be profiled and wire-tapped. They are every bit the enemy.

2. All physical education classes should have at least a semester of martial arts. Those who show a great promise and have the necessary broken background (orphans who lost their parents to the callous actions of criminal syndicates and depraved psychopaths) combined with a strong sense of morality and revenge fantasies should be selected for special training under Steven Seagal to become the vanguard of our security. These ass-kickers should be rewarded for their highest levels of dedication with anonymous jobs (baggage handler, crossing guard, line cook) where they can find themselves in the right place at the right time to take control of a situation with lethal skills and lone-wolf bloodlust. They should also have ponytails - all of them.

3. We should lessen our dependency on foreign oil through windmills and invasions of oil-rich countries, annexing them to the union and thereby making them domestic instead of foreign. There is no reason to admit Puerto Rico to the Union when Saudi Arabia is readily available.

4. No more Canadians. Period. They blend in too easily.

5. Every Starbucks should be retrofitted to act as a command and control center. They should also serve ice cream. It's unclear why they sell ice cream in the grocery stores but fail to carry it in their retail outlets. Also, their donuts are due for an upgrade. A command center has no control without donuts and the donuts at Starbucks are truly woeful, lacking the sweet airy deliciousness of even the worst supermarket-branded box.

6. More profiling should be done at rental centers - specifically the Ryder organization. For whatever reason, Ryder trucks seem to be popular as truck bombs. Perhaps it's the leniency of their insurance program.

7. God should be replaced on all currency with Crom. "In Crom We Trust". One nation under Crom - it worked for Conan.

8. All US servicemen should wear fearsome wooly beards. All US servicewomen should keep Chinese throwing stars tucked in their hair.

9. Back-issues of pornographic magazines should be airdropped all over the semi-autonomous region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Masturbation is traditionally a solitary activity. Keeping terrorists from banding together is of utmost importance.

10. The guy who draws the "Zippy" cartoon should devote himself to daily caricatures of the prophet Mohammad. Nobody reads Zippy anyway.

11. Foreign students should be required to take out student loans. Believe it - we would know exactly where Osama Bin Laden is if he was delinquent on his payments.

12. When did landmines get such a bad name?

13. It is mind-boggling how we're losing the propaganda war in the Middle Eastern countries. Pixar, do your job! We are a nation that believes penguins can learn how to tap-dance and our literacy rates are significantly higher than any country in the Middle East. What on earth is the hold-up?

-William Cadillac Donovan

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