Dave Barry

And don't forget ... tassels for all the generals

(This classic Dave Barry column was originally published Sunday, May 16, 1999)

Whatever you are doing, drop it right now, unless it is a baby. Because I have obtained some shocking information regarding our National Security - information that I am going to reveal to you now, despite the chilling fact that, by revealing it, I am placing myself in direct, personal peril of winning a Pulitzer Prize.

This information concerns some alarming military research currently being conducted by a foreign power that represents the greatest single security threat to the United States, as measured not only by the magnitude of the physical danger, but also by the number of Celine Dion records.

That's right: I am referring to Canada. As you may recall, last year I urged the United States to declare war on Canada over the issue of toilet smuggling. In the United States, we have a federal law, enacted by Congress, requiring that new consumer toilets be limited to 1.6 gallons of water per flush. There is an excellent reason for this law: Congress has the brains of an eggplant. But that does not change the fact that it is a law.

Canada, however, flagrantly disobeys this law, on the grounds that - get THIS for a legal technicality - it is a foreign country. In Canada, anybody, including convicted felons and underage children, can walk into any toilet store, purchase a 3.5-gallon-per-flush toilet and openly flaunt it on the street, and the authorities do NOTHING. As I reported, some of these toilets are finding their way across the border into the United States. And what is our government doing? It is shooting cruise missiles at the Balkans, which do not even HAVE toilets.

When are we, as a nation, going to wake up and recognize the REAL threat to our security? No doubt you are aware that just recently, in our nation's capital (Washington, D.C.), a number of highly strategic cherry trees were deliberately chewed by saboteur beavers. Ask yourself this: Where do beavers come from? The Balkans? No! Beavers come from Canada, and they take their orders from Canada and nobody else, as you know if you have ever tried to get one to fetch a ball.

And now, as if we did not already have enough reasons to declare war on Canada, comes word of this chilling research being conducted by the Canadian military. I have here a news article from the Canadian Press, written by Dennis Bueckert and sent to me, at great personal risk, by an alert secret undercover agent in Canada named Lauren Leighton, M.D. This article, about a new Canadian armed-forces program, contains the following chilling sentence, which I swear I am not making up:

"An elite unit at National Defence headquarters is actively studying whether to proceed with development of the world's first combat bra." '

You read that correctly: The Canadian military is working on a combat brassiere. The article quotes Capt. Frank Delanghe, an officer with the $184-million Clothe the Soldier Program, as saying: "No army that I know of has ever touched or even approached this issue."

How can we, the American public, remain sanguine in the face of this news? Especially when we do not really know what "sanguine" means? How can we sit back and do nothing when an increasingly hostile, beaver-infested, big-toilet nation spends $184 million (nearly $37.50 American) on a program to develop a high-tech futuristic assault undergarment? How would you feel if you were an American soldier guarding our northern border, equipped with only a conventional brassiere - the basic design of which has not changed significantly since the Korean Conflict - knowing that at any moment, elite Canadian troops could come charging across No Person's Land toward you, and the first sight you would see - a sight that would strike terror into the heart of even the most hardened combat veteran - would be the Cones of Doom?

And while we are asking the tough questions, I have one here that was sent in by concerned reader Margaret Wilson of Santa Barbara, Calif., who wants to know: How come we say "a pair of pants" and "a pair of shorts, " but NOT "a pair of bras?"

I wish I could inform you that our so-called "Defense Department" was trying to answer these questions, but I cannot. And that is why I am urging you to write your congressperson NOW and tell him or her that you want the United States to launch a massive wasteful federal program to match Canada's military-undergarment research. Please keep your letter dignified. Do NOT lower yourself to cheesy wordplay such as "support our troops, " or "stay abreast of our enemies, " or "check out the Balkans on that lieutenant." If we can get Congress to approve such a program, I have no doubt that the President will take a personal interest, especially when he realizes that, once we have perfected the Tactical Field Brassiere, we could adapt the same technology for even more advanced weapons. I am referring, of course, to the Stealth Thong.

© 2010, Dave Barry

This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Electronic or print reproduction, adaptation, or distribution without permission is prohibited. Ordinary links to this column at http://www.miamiherald.com may be posted or distributed without written permission.