Friday, February 22, 2008

Ground Floor Opportunity

I get really, really tired of always being part of the "acceptable collateral damage" in the government's wars. I'm not hypocritical enough to become a government warrior (what an ironic label to apply to bureaucrats and politicians), and I'm not involved in anything they've declared war on, so I just get to pay for the war and watch it ravage the wealth and property my hard work has bought me.

For once, though, I foresee a government war that I can really get behind. No, I still won't take the side of the government - I'm going to join the underground plaque economy.

Via The Agitator, police in Lawrence, MA are up in arms over plaques they received in the mail. The plaques, received by the police chief and three others, are awards for corruption. With all other crime in Lawrence solved, Chief Romero has dedicated Lawrence's world-renowned investigative unit to discovering the identity of the sender.

Even stranger than the chief's Roscoe P. Coltrain-esque response to criticism is the breathless treatment given to the story by Eagle-Tribune staff writer Jill Harmacinski:

LAWRENCE — They were real looking enough. Three wooden plaques each embossed with a gold police shield, a small gun piece and each engraved with an officer's name.

But these "plaques" sent to the police department Sunday were no awards. They came from a bogus address in Puerto Rico, supposedly sent from a former assistant district attorney and were in recognition for the officers being "corrupt." They were dated "9-11-2007."

Now, I've made plaques before. It's kind of fun to watch the engraver work and to be creative with elements to make something unique to present as an award. I was unaware, however, that my plaques could be considered "fakes" or even "plaques." I didn't know you needed the king's stamp for them to be real (or maybe just the foil sticker on the back identifying the trophy shop that made them).

Heck, when I receive a plaque I typically toss it in the garbage as soon as I get home. Little have I known that I might be complicit (even actively engaged) in the heretofore unknown scourge on society of plaque counterfeiting.

Thanks to Romero's vows of pressing for a federal government War on Plaques and
Harmacinski's expose of the underground plaque trade, I now know that I possess skills and knowledge valuable in this market. Hell, if the black market profits are a fraction of those created by the War on Drugs, I'll be living in style on my mega-yacht in no time!

Harry Reid, report to your office! I'll be mailing a draft copy of a bill I would like you to introduce in the Senate immediately declaring officially a federal War on Plaques. I expect this bill will get broad, bipartisan support - it's just the kind of thing this congress specializes in!

Oh, and we need to keep the precursors under lock and key! Planers, shapers, and engravers all need to be strictly controlled by Home Depot. I've already got mine, so I'll be able to set up a plaque lab in my garage and a backup plaque lab in Mexico.

Harry, this may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship! I just hope Romero and Harmacinski don't make us look stupid.

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