Washington, DC-Soon travelers will have to be on their toes when traveling the highways and byways of the United States. A press release just received from the Department of Homeland Security announces a massive project about to be launched to repaint the lines separating the States that for hundreds of years have commonly appeared on maps and globes in schoolrooms, libraries, offices, homes, and glove boxes across American and around the world.
The original lines have faded out completely, after falling into disrepair resulting from funding neglect, the ravages of wind and weather, and normal wear and tear from automobile, pedestrian and animal movements. So, as a matter of national security, and doubling as a cheesy attempt at countrywide beautification, the lines will be restored to make it easier for people to know for sure just exactly where they are at any given moment.
The project is a dream come true for law enforcement agencies. "We've been calling for this sort of thing for years," a grinning Bangor, Maine Police Chief Wilbur "Wilbah" Nutley told Spoof News Man-on-the-Street M.T. Penn. Chief Nutley joins fellow cops who are overjoyed, saying, "Now, it'll be a snap to tell when those pesky perps cross state lines. It'll make working with our buddies "ovah thayah" a lot "bettah." And we can only hope that's a GOOD thing.
Airline pilots are likewise ecstatic about the news. Intermittent Airways Senior Pilot Seymour "Spike" McKawfee looks forward to more friendly skies. "It's hard enough relying on instruments to fly from point A to point B. With the new lines, we can pretty much depend on auto-pilot mode which will allow us to kick back and, like the passengers, enjoy the ride." Flight attendant and part-time manicurist Ditsie Duhh thinks the new lines will be "totally kewl!" "Now I won't have any trouble at all telling people where we are. I can just peek out the window at the lines and get a clue. I will have to try and memorize the shapes of the states, though," she gushed with a flounce of pigtails. Project planners are pondering the use of glow-in-the-dark or illuminated paint to make the lines easier to see at night.
Homeland Security Public Affairs Secretary and free-lance fashion consultant Truman "Swash" Buckler explained that the final details are still in the works. "We think we've narrowed down the type of paint we're be using, but there's still a lot of fussing over the colors to be used between the various States. See, the hunky Californians are partial to pink, but that just won't DO for those huffy Oregonians who favor lumberjack plaid." To compound the issue, environmentalists are demanding the use of green universally, as democrats and republicans battle it out for the red and the blue. Buckler doesn't quite understand why there's so much ado about the whole thing. He would prefer "a nice discreet creamy white." Whatever the outcome, hopefully it won't all come out in the wash.
It remains to be determined if the new lines will be solid, as in most paper maps, or dashed, typical seen on globes and video displays. And, since the project will require a whole bunch of money, Congress hopes to keep the cash cow lean by limiting the standard width of the actual lines. At the same time legislators are trying to get all their bucks in one bucket to pay for the gigantic job. Democrats in both Houses have devised a plan to tax home delivered pizzas as a means to directly fund the project. However, this has caused a backlash from republicans who exhort, "You can't hope to win the hearts and minds of Americans by hitting them in the stomach!"
Most lawmakers hope they can pass the burden on to the States. But apparently, a flat rate per state budget ante just won't cover it. Smaller states like Rhode Island and Delaware, with substantially smaller linear border distance, say such a mandate is patently unfair. And, to further complicate the issue, Alaska and Hawaii have asked for exemption from the project, citing lack of contiguosity with the remainder of the continental US.
Cartographers, map distributors and globe manufacturers are watching and waiting for the final word, so they can rush their updated products to market sporting the new lines. And, finally, the US Ambassador to the UN has drafted a proposal alone the lines of the American one he hopes will be embraced by Europe, South America and all the other continents. Australia has been quick to snub the idea, since no one has yet found a way to make paint stand still on water.