Brian’s Column: Homeland Security Bulletin

Fantasy Football[1] terrorists captured in Michigan
by Brian Wright

Originally posted December 2010. Oddly enough, when the manure of blind nationalist faith hits the fan, the wildest imaginative fiction cannot touch the frightening strangeness of the truth. The following conversation could realistically happen in United States Bizarro World 2010 as we know it. Indeed, for all I know, it may have actually occurred! The idea came to me based on a charge of collusion made several years ago by a short-time member of my own fantasy football league (MPACT) in the Detroit, Michigan, area. [Note: collusion is a negligible occurrence in contests where the winner(s) make peanuts in prize money.]

“Hello, bank operator, put me through to Barry Switzel.”

Ring ring.

“Hello, this is Barry.”

“Hey, Barry, this is Fred. You were in my fantasy football league a few years ago. I was looking for some background: I think those Peplinski guys may be colluding again.”

“How so?”

“They’ve, both father and son, gone to the SuperBowl two years in a row.”

“Wow, that is suspicious. Have you reported it to Homeland Security?”

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“Homeland Security? Why would I do that?”

“New deal. DHS has billions of dollars to spend and nothing to do.”

“You mean they have a Fantasy Football department?”

“You bet. And when two team owners named Peplinski, especially if they’re father and son, go to the Superbowl, it’s a felony.”

“Geez, that seems out of line with the offense.”

“That’s what they all say… until they’re brought in and waterboarded.”

“Waterboarded? You mean DHS detains and tortures people?!! For being on the wrong fantasy football team?!! You got to be kidding!”

“Who said anything about torture?”

“I can’t believe I’m hearing this. DHS can take people off the street for going to a fantasy superbowl?!”

“Sure, if they’re both named Peplinski.”

“Well, geez, don’t they at least… at least, like, get a trial?”

“Trial? What century are you living in, dude? They have the same rights as enemy combatants… goatherders from Afghanistan.”

“I don’t believe it. You’re going to throw Mike and Jimmy Peplinski in jail for going to a fantasy football superbowl?”


“Yeah, right. Tell you what, forget I called.”

“Can’t do it. You’ve just reported it, and report of a terrorist incident cannot be retracted.”

“Terrorist incident? What do you mean cannot be retracted? Just forget I called, okay?”

“Can’t do it. Tell you true, I work for DHS now—and they pay me a lot of money. I has power. I gets revenge. I remembers how your league hurt my feelings.”

“I thought you worked for the bank.”

“I’m undercover.”

“You’re sure under something.”

“Was that an insult? Insulting a DHS or TSA official is a felony.”

“Well, no, of course it’s not an insult.”

“Okay, I’ll let it slide this time, but I still have to bring you in for retracting the report.”

“Bring me in?”

“You bet, but because you’re being so understanding and won’t give me any trouble, I’m giving the boys orders not to hold you for more than five years. Also because you know me, they’ll postpone any enhanced interrogation techniques for a maximum of two weeks.”

“You’re kidding. I’m under arrest for wanting to have a conversation about the Peplinskis, then deciding not to have a conversation?”

“Who said anything about ‘arrest’? I’m sending a car with four heavily armed burly men to pick you up and take you to a Fatherland Enhancement Community. Completely voluntary on your part.”

“Voluntary? Then why the men?”

“The dossier… er, our records, show you have voted in previous federal elections and paid your taxes. Thus, you have volunteered to do whatever we tell you to do. The men are armed just in case you forget that you’re volunteering… “

“Now just a minute. How do you have access to my records? How did you get a job with DHS?”

“Well, they were hiring…”

“Didn’t you have to take a test or something, show some knowledge?”

“Don’t be silly. You ever notice that people who know things ask a lot of questions? At DHS you get ahead by following orders enthusiastically. They especially liked that when I was a boy I enjoyed keeping an ant farm and pulling the legs off grasshoppers.”

“Anyway, you want to haul me in. What’s with the “enhanced interrogation techniques? What is it you think I know that I won’t tell you?”


“Of course!”

“Nothing. It’s mainly a mental health thing, is all. Helps the boys get out some frustrations, burn a few calories. In fact, the prisoners… er, voluntary residents, are usually gagged to cut down on that unwholesome negative screaming thing. The boys don’t really care what anyone knows, they just like to have a good time.”

“So that’s the deal, huh? Surely, you jest. What about my mother who I have to take to dialysis three times a week?”

“You should have thought about that before calling, Fred.”

“I mean, what’s going to happen to her?”

“Bin Laden was on dialysis in a cave as he directed the 9/11 attacks; a lot of people on dialysis are terrorists… just like the TSA is finding with four-year-old boys and grandmothers with colostomy bags.”

“This is insane. You really think the American people will let the DHS detain and torture civilians?”

“It’s not torture. Geez. And sure, as long as the people have their HD big screen TVs, can watch porn, play video games and fantasy sports, who’s going to even notice?”

“What planet are you on, Switzelgruber! I’m outahere!”

Slams down phone.

(no)Knock (no)Knock.

[1] Fantasy Football is a form of gambling, where participants draft fictional teams from the National Football League (NFL), consisting of skilled players. Each team owner plays a subset of his team {usually 1QB (quarterback), 2RBs (running backs), 2WRs (wide receivers), 1TE (tight end), 1PK (place kicker), and 1D (defense)} every week of the NFL season. Each fantasy team’s players score points based on the real players’ performance. The fantasy owner tries to win games, go to the playoffs, and win the Superbowl. Prizes are awarded from the league fees (in my league, fees are $5 per regular-season loss).

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