Sunday, December 11, 2011

Snow Cones for Homeland Security

There was a time in my life when I was an aspiring fiction writer. Mysteries specifically. Sadly, I had just enough talent to know how much I sucked...kind of like Salieri beholding Mozart, actually. I seem to do a bit better at this Gonzo Journalism thing I've got going on now. I might never be able to make people forget the late good Dr. Thompson, but whatever.

One thing I've come to realize about my former ambition to be a fiction writer as I've gotten older is that my imagination, while fertile, is just not expansive enough to compete with reality. For example, you could have chained me in a room with a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters for a thousand years and I never would have written anything this absurd:
The United States is fighting terrorism — one snow cone at a time.

Montcalm County recently received a $900 Arctic Blast Sno-Cone machine.

The West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) is a federal- and state-designated agency responsible for managing and administrating the homeland security program in Montcalm County and 12 other counties.

The WMSRDC recently purchased and transferred homeland security equipment to these counties — including 13 snow cone machines at a total cost of $11,700.

The machines were funded by a grant from the Michigan Homeland Security Program. The request for a snow cone machine came from another county, but all 13 counties received them.
Really, if you're a fiction writer you need to give it up. How can you possibly compete with the idea of a country where the national debt just topped $15 trillion, and where teachers, firefighters and police officers are being laid off in huge numbers, buying sno-cone machines with Homeland Security funds?

So what was the justification for this purchase? Uh, you might want to sit down for this:
“It is used to attract people so they can be educated and prepared for homeland security,” Dey said from his office in Muskegon. “More importantly, they (homeland security officials) felt in a medical emergency the machine was capable of making ice packs which could be used for medical purposes.”
Really? People need to be bribed with a snow cone in order to pay attention to bullshit Homeland Security propaganda? And when all of the first responders get laid off, who is going to be left to administer the ice packs?

I take back what I said about fiction writers. Matt Groening, please step forward and claim your prize, for we have truly become a nation full of Homer Simpsons. "Mmmmmmm...snow cones"

Bonus: "If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough"


  1. What I’m doing at work isn’t clear,
    But a crisis is nothing to fear:
    If the plant starts to glow,
    I simply say, “D’oh!”
    And focus on donuts and beer.

  2. Thank you, Bill! :)

    There’s leftover cash—make haste!
    We can’t let it go to waste:
    They’ll subtract that amount
    From our slush fund account
    On which next year’s budget is based.

  3. Bill, you're right: This definitely gets put into the "You can't make this shit up" file.

    I happen to be quite familiar with Montcalm Co. Michigan, and I can tell you that there is no terrorist in the world who would find anything of interest there in a million years.