[clari.feature.mike_royko] Reposting: ROAR IN PANAMA ROCKS THE WORLD

clarinews@clarinet.com (Mike Royko) (01/12/90)

(Many sites didn't receive this due to network problems.  It is reposted.
We apologize for any problems during our start-up phase.)

	It's not surprising that much of world opinion has turned against
the United States because of our shameful conduct in Panama.
	Even if our goal is just, there's a limit to what can be done in
achieving that gal. And we have exceeded that limit by committing a
shocking atrocity.
	What is even more disturbing is that the atrocious act wasn't the
work of a few misguided individuals. It was conceived and approved at
the highest level of our government.
	According to sources who may or may not be reliable or even real,
this is how it happened:
	Last week, the President called his top military and security
advisers to a top secret meeting.
	``Gentleman, today's agenda is very simple,'' the President said.
``General Noriega, the biggest archfiend since Professor Moriarty, has
taken refuge in the home of the Vatican's diplomatic representative in
	``We have the building surrounded, so he won't escape. But we can't
go in because it would violate diplomatic protocol, and we would be in
deep doo-doo. So our mission is to find a way to get him out of there. I
open this meeting to suggestions.''
	The vice president said: ``Is it too late to wait until everybody
is asleep and to send a special unit down the chimney disguised as Santa
and his elves?''
	``Too late,'' the President said.
	``Well,'' said the vice president, ``if he's still there next
Christmas we might try it. Shouldn't be hard to disguise a helicoptor as
a sleigh.''
	A security adviser said: ``Does our intelligence show if Noriega
likes pizza?''
	``We have nothing on that,'' said the CIA. ``What do you have in
	``We could have someone go to the door with a pizza carton and say
Noriega ordered it. And when he steps out on the porch to get it, we
could grab him.''
	``What if he doesn't step out?''
	``We hand him the pizza.''
	``What good would that do?''
	``We poison the pizza. One bite and he's history.''
	``What if the papal nuncio eats a slice?''
	``You'd still have the Protestant vote.''
	``Too risky. Let's hear other options.''
	Several seconds passed, then Professor Freezblood, a think tank
adviser, said: ``I think we should use the Ultimate Weapon.''
	``I hope you aren't suggesting a nuclear strike,'' the President
	``No, I said the Ultimate Weapon.''
	``Good grief,'' an admiral interrupted. ``You surely can't be
proposing biological warfare.''
	Professor Freezblood shook his head. ``That is not the Ultimate
	``Then what are you talking about,'' asked the President.
	``I say that it is time for us to unleash the Boom Box.''
	``Good grief, man, you can't be serious,'' said the CIA.
	``Do you realize that we'd go down in infamy as the first nation to
use the Boom Box for military purposes?'' said the National Security
	``Even Hitler didn't use the Boom Box,'' said the Army.
	``Or Tojo,'' said the Navy.
	Professor Freezblood shrugged. ``If they had it, they would have
used it. We have it, we should use it.''
	The President, his face ashen, said: ``I'm not sure if I agree, but
it is something we must consider. How do you propose it be deployed? A
full Boom Box strike?''
	``No, based on the size of the target, that would not be
necessary,'' the professor said. ``I think we can achieve our goals with
a limited Boom Box strike.''
	``How limited?''
	``We place the Boom Boxes at strategic points around the papal
nuncio residence. Massive woofers, screeching tweeters, piercing
mid-range. Then we press the button and unleash the full fury. We blast
them with heavy metal rock. At full volume.''
	``Heavy metal rock?'' gasped a Marine general. He staggered from
the conference table into the washroom and closed the door. Gagging
noises could be heard.
	``Yes,'' said the professor. ``And we follow that with rap.''
	The CIA man slumped in his chair and said: ``I rue the day I was
ever recruited into this dirty business. Have you considered all the
innocent eardrums in nearby hotels?''
	The professor shrugged. ``That's why the Lord made fingers. To put
in ears.''
	An admiral shouted: ``The finger has not been made that can defend
against the horrors of the Boom Box.''
	The professor grimly smiled. ``That is what I'm counting on.''
	``You know, of course,'' said the CIA, ``that if we do this, we
might get Noriega, but his brain could be mush. Our research shows that
the inevitable result of overexposure to Boom Box radiation is
mushbrain. Do we want to put Noriega on trial if he is just going to sit
there snapping his fingers and grinning idiotically?''
	``Was that snide remark directed at me?'' muttered the vice
	``It is for the commander in chief to decide,'' said the professor.
	The President thought for a while, then said: ``If the Boom Box
thing will resolve this Noriega thing, then let's do it.''
	``We will be condemned at home and abroad,'' an aide said. ``What
do we tell the critics?''
	``Let them wear Walkmen.''
Brad Templeton, ClariNet Communications Corp. -- Waterloo, Ontario 519/884-7473