Sunday, November 01, 2015

Project Runaway Nuclear Weapons Program

Best of Circle Jerk at the Square Dance.
Originally published July 13, 2006.

Last week on Project Runaway Nuclear Weapons Program...

Tim Gunn looks over some old artillery shells that Saddam Hussein is presenting.

I understand what you’re trying to do, Saddam, and retro is very chic, but I’m just not feeling a sense of danger from these.

Saddam lets out an exhausted sigh and leaves the room.Tim Gunn gets in an argument with Kim Il-Jong.

I tell you, Tim, the missile will be the most devastating the West has ever seen!

Kim, I appreciate your ambition, but it’s the 11th hour, and you still have a lot of work to do if you’re going to get these liquid fueled boosters off the ground. We need less posturing and more engineering.

At Iran’s table, Tim Gun speaks with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad

Mahmoud, I like what you’re doing, I do. It’s a great blend of covert and overt. But you’re really going to need to sell this, you know, make the rest of the world see through your designs, but keep the seams of your weapons program invisible in the cloak of your nuclear energy program.

Cut to Tim looking around frantically.

Has anyone seen Saddam? Where is Saddam?

Fuck Saddam, where the hell are my centrifuges?

The runway studio. Heidi Klum wears a retro black 80s pants suit with a "No Nukes" T-shirt. Two men and a woman sit to her right. Saddam, Kim, and Mahmoud stand on the runway. Saddam holds some weathered artillery shells, Kim a small model rocket, and Mahmoud a centrifuge.

Welcome to the final edition of Project Runaway Nuclear Weapons Program. I am Heidi Klum, and I and my three judges will decide who has the best WMD in the world. The winner will get an exclusive contract with Russian and Chinese manufacturers of weapon parts, as well as bilateral negotiations with the United States government.

Joining me as always are designer Michael Kors (Michael nods) and Nina Garcia, Fashion Director of Elle magazine.


And this week, we have a very special guest judge, a man my sources tell me all three of you know very well...the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, A.Q. Khan.

Allahu akbar!

Saddam, we will start with you. I believe when we started this challenge, you made a very bold statement...

HUSSEIN (shifting from foot to foot)
Yes, I said that Iraq would rain fire down upon all infidels who set foot on her soil.

And what did you end up with?

HUSSEIN (looking down)
Some old mustard gas.

Saddam, what were you doing all that time? You had a decade to get something going. And what do you wind up with? Something my grandmother could buy on eBay.

I tried, but the U.N. sanctions....

Are we making weapons or excuses? You need to manage your time better if you want to make it in this business.

I agree with Michael. You talk and talk and talk about being this great power, but all that does is invite invasion. I also think you let all that attention from the United States go to your head. Hype doesn’t make plutonium.

Saddam, what did I tell you all those years ago? If you act like a devil, you will attract the attention of the Great Satan. With everything I gave you, I expected so much more.

HEIDI (turning to Kim)
Kim have a nuke, yes?

We have many nukes! And we are ready to unleash them on the West!

So that’s good, you completed the first stage of the challenge. But speaking of stages, what happened to your rockets?

After performing gloriously for 20 minutes, they heroically plunged into the sea!

Oh please, I’ve seen more stamina from 18-year-old underwear models.

But we have the weapons!

Yes, Kim, but it doesn’t do you much good to wear a terrific pair of pants with a big hole in the seat. That might be attractive to a German diplomat visiting Bangkok for six-way negotiations, but on the nuclear stage, everyone’s just going to see your ass hanging out.

Kim, you’re making the mistake I see lots of young weapons designers make. You focus so much on the radioactive material that the minute you have weapons-grade uranium, you think you’re finished. But it’s all about the accessories. You need delivery systems, fail-safes, and an aluminum Louis Vuitton for the launch codes. Never overlook usability.

There is an old Islamic proverb. “He whose rocket cannot fly cannot deliver his payload.” I am afraid there is not much lift in your boosters.

You are all wrong! I am Kim Il-Jong, and my rockets are fine! Look!

Kim lights the fuse on his model rocket, which sparks and then catches on fire. He frantically stamps it out. Two runway models strut out, wearing ripped up North Korean army uniforms and carrying fire extinguishers. They put out the fire and exit the stage.

Mahmoud. (He looks up.) Can you tell us what Iran accomplished during this challenge?

MAHMOUD (clears throat, speaks robotically)
We have enriched uranium for the purposes of civilian energy production.

KHAN (a tear runs down his cheek)
I remember when you were a fledgling Islamic republic, just trying to gain the respect of your neighbors like Saddam. And now, countries around the world are scared of you! (clasps hands together) It’s like I had always hoped.

I am impressed. Your civilian exterior gives the hint of a covert weapons program underneath, but everything is so seamless, I can’t tell where the centrifuges end and the subterfuge begins. That’s the kind of thing we look for at Elle.

Honey, all I can say is Bush is the violin and you’re Itzhak Perlman.

MAHMOUD (tearing up)
Michael, that means so much to me, even if you are comparing me to a Zionist fiddler.

The judges have decided, and now it is time for our winner. Iraq. (Hussein looks at her.) You more than ten years to get your program off the ground, and yet you can’t even inflict Gulf War syndrome this time. You’re out.

Saddam looks sad and leaves the runway. Two women dressed in stylish MP uniforms take him into custody.

North Korea. You went far, but like Icarus, you tried to fly into the sun without a good sunscreen.

As she address Kim, the red point of a laser appears on his chest.

HEIDI (cont)
Iran. No one knows what you have under your sleeve. It could be a Rolex, or it could be a detonator.

She pauses for dramatic effect.

HEIDI (cont)

Mahmoud breaks down into tears. Two muffled shots ring out and Kim collapses to the floor.

A State Department Official comes out and shakes Mahmoud’s hand.

Congratulations, we’d like to begin bilateral negotiations first thing Monday.

But we have nothing to discuss, our program is peaceful!

Everyone breaks out into a hearty laugh.

Thank you for watching. Auf wiedersehen.


TJ said...

Brilliant. This:

"Are we making weapons or excuses?"

Made me bark a laugh in a very very quiet office.

High Power Rocketry said...

: )

Anonymous said...

Yes, Kim, but it doesn’t do you much good to wear a terrific pair of pants with a big hole in the seat. That might be attractive to a German diplomat visiting Bangkok for six-way negotiations, but on the nuclear stage, everyone’s just going to see your ass hanging out.

someone should give you the pulitzer just for that

scruffylooking said...


Grendel said...

This is really great stuff. I LOVE the hearty laugh at the end. And Saddam looking down, "Just some old mustard gas." Truly fine material, dude.

Michelle Falkoff said...

it was better than i'd even dreamed, after hearing you describe it...

Anonymous said...

I started to cut and paste my favorite lines -- and there are just too many of them.

Funny, funny stuff.

(I write in my best Johnny Carson accent.)

Excellent *post.*

(I hate to call good writing *posts" -- know what I mean?)


Brando said...

Thanks for all the nice comments, everyone. The blog should be getting back on track now.

Michelle said...

I am actually speechless. That was amazing!

fish said...

My understanding was the best CJSD post was the next one...

Chuckles said...

In the parlance of our time, I LOL'ed.

I don't know if you understand how painful that misused apostrophe is to me.