Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Threat Level: Smurf! Making the New Terror Alert System Work

Dear Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano,

I am thrilled that the ridiculous color-coded terror alert system has finally been scrapped. As we all know, that system was terrible. It responded like a mood ring to political manipulation, while doing diddly-poo for the public. Good riddance.

However, I worry about the new system, which will only include two threat levels: “Elevated” and “Imminent.” I understand that these will mean “No problem” and “Problem-pocalypse,” but will they be so clear to the average American, whose critical-thinking skills are equal to (and as cute as) that of a concussed koala? I’m not so sure.

To prevent confusion and keep America safe, may I suggest the following visuals as an add-on to the new system. Any of these contrasts will make the meanings of “Elevated” and “Imminent” clear as terrorist-proof glass. They could even be rotated. Think of the fun travelers will have leaving for a weekend trip at “Threat Level: SPAM” only to return to “Threat Level: Dr. Doom.” Even in a world without Osama bin Laden, you can’t be too careful.

Thank you for considering my suggestions, and God bless America!

Patriotically yours,
Mark Peters

Beer style
Imminent: Russian imperial stout
Elevated: American lager

Imminent: Pit bull
Elevated: Teacup Malti-poo

Imaginary race
Imminent: Klingons
Elevated: Smurfs

Fork-like object
Imminent: Trident
Elevated: Spork

Imminent: Dick Cheney
Elevated: Dan Quayle

TV detective
Imminent: Vic Mackey
Elevated: Jim Dangle

Imminent: 666
Elevated: 90210

Can of
Imminent: Whup-ass
Elevated: SPAM

Imminent: Firing
Elevated: Cheerleading

Imminent: Vader
Elevated: Maul

Imminent: Doom
Elevated: Drew

Imminent: Muntz
Elevated: Mandela

Seinfeld neighbor
Imminent: Newman
Elevated: Kramer

Yiddish insult
Imminent: Schlemiel
Elevated: Schlimazel

Imminent: Aaaiiiieeeeeeeee
Elevated: Meh

Imminent: Doomsday
Elevated: Humpday

Baldwin brother
Imminent: Alec
Elevated: Any other Baldwin

Imminent: Human
Elevated: Any other primate

Imminent: Dracula
Elevated: Count Chocula

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