Humor: A foolproof way to nab terrorists

Instead of pestering me at the airport about my titanium hip, just ask Who played third base for the 1986 Mariners? Or Name the man who peddled Charmin.
Crosscut archive image.

Mr. Whipple applies his squeeze.

Instead of pestering me at the airport about my titanium hip, just ask Who played third base for the 1986 Mariners? Or Name the man who peddled Charmin.

Because I have an artificial titanium hip, the Department of Homeland Security suspects I am a terrorist. They subject me to a 5-minute inspection and pat-down every time I fly.

I question their logic. If I wished to blow myself up along with an airliner, why would I first undergo painful and expensive surgery? DHS should do the opposite — create express lines for me and everyone else who has replaced a hip, knee, or shoulder with the past five years, reasoning that we are highly unlikely candidates for martyrdom. I concede such preferences might run afoul of our government'ꀙs ban on profiling.

After the 12/25 near disaster, DHS may realize that the inclination towards terrorism is not randomly distributed among individuals. Obama'ꀙs review of anti-terrorism procedures may suggest a mild correlation between terrorist acts and Muslim men aged 18 to 35. Armed with this revelation, DHS may choose to subject such passengers to intense scrutiny. However, to preserve the fiction that they renounce profiling, DHS will compel everyone else to wait in long lines, take off their shoes, socks, belts, and underwear, and dispose of nail clippers, sharp pencils, and pointed collar stays. Enhanced pat-downs of passengers with artificial hips, alone, will cost DHS an additional $32 million each month.

During World War II if American Forces suspected a breach in password security they challenged intruders with questions such as 'ꀜWhat is Popeye'ꀙs favorite food,'ꀝ and 'ꀜWho is Mickey Mouse'ꀙs girlfriend?'ꀝ I suggest we reinstitute this practice and scrap our current airport security measures.

Men might be asked, 'ꀜWho played third base for the 1986 Yankees? Those answering correctly 'ꀜMike Pagliarulo'ꀝ would proceed through security. The remainder would be given another chance with the 1986 Mets, Tigers, Mariners, and Red Sox — needing only two of four to pass. (Answers: Ray Knight, Darnel Coles, Jim Presley, and Wade Boggs.)

This simple procedure would flush out all terrorists. I guarantee that Nigerian 12/25 suspect Muar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, shoe-bomber Richard Reid, the hijackers who crashed AA Flight 77 into the Pentagon — Khalid Al-Midhar, Majed Moqed, Nawaq Alhamzi, Salem Alhamzi and Hani Hanjour — and Mohammad Sidique Khan and the other London terrorists could not name Mike Pagliarulo. (A few might get Wade Boggs, but stumble on the Knight, Coles, and Presley.)

Clearly DHS would need to rotate questions before Al Qaeda operatives began to bone up on the 1986 Yankees. Fortunately there is an endless supply:

  • Where did one of the Shangri-Las meet the leader of the pack? Answer: At the candy store.
  • Who was always squeezing the Charmin? Answer: Mr. Whipple.
  • In what movie did Roy Schneider say: "We need a bigger boat"? Answer: Jaws.
  • Who played Vinnie Barbarino on Welcome Back Kotter? Answer: John Travolta.
  • What was on the flip side of Hound Dog? Answer: Don'ꀙt Be Cruel.
  • Who asked 'ꀜWhere's the Cannes Film Festival being held this year?'ꀝ Answer: Christina Aguilera.
  • What was the most annoying TV commercial of the 70'ꀙs? Answer: Ring around the collar.
  • Who was 'ꀜthe Teflon Don,'ꀝ also known as 'ꀜthe Dapper Don'ꀝ? Answer: John Gotti.
  • What was the most annoying song of the 80s? Answer: All of them.
  • Who played third base for the 1950 Whiz Kid Phillies? Answer: Puddin'ꀙ Head Jones.
  • What US Senator, in defense of a Supreme Court nominee, said, 'ꀜEven if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they?'ꀝ Answer: Roman Hruska.
  • What is the name of the guy who plays first base? Answer: No! What is the name of the guy who plays second base?
  • Then who'ꀙs on first? Answer: Right.
    • Air travel would once again become fun and easy for us non-terrorists, or least for those of us who followed the 1986 American League pennant race.


Please support independent local news for all.

We rely on donations from readers like you to sustain Crosscut's in-depth reporting on issues critical to the PNW.


About the Authors & Contributors