(Originally written Monday, February 20, 2006)
Out here in Iraq I write a monthly "Top Ten" list for our publication, the Band of Brothers Magazine. This past month, my list was: "Top ten ways to survive deployment boredom." It was a typically humorous column. The kind that I'm famous for out here, (isn't self delusion a wonderful thing?) I wrote it and thought no more about the assignment, my mind already tackling the next month's column, (top ten things to think about while you're sitting on the toilet. I wish I could take credit for this idea, or even say that I'm kidding about the subject of the column, but sadly I'm not. That's what passes for entertainment out in the desert.)
So it came as a surprise to me when my number two thing to do to survive the boredom was the subject of an official, and officially interesting letter from the Canadian government.
Here's what I wrote:
"Formulate a plan to take over the world. Make it needlessly complicated and incredibly intricate, involving hundreds of steps and relying heavily on luck. Then, sell it to Canada, just to see what they'd do."
You can imagine what the letter from the Great White North was about. They wanted to know if such a global domination plan existed and how much it would cost.
Of course I had to let them down. It was a joke, I wrote. Who would want to give you Cannucks the blueprints to take over the world? Hell, if I had such a plan I'd keep it for myself. Selling it would be the dumbest thing I could do, (other than giving it away for free.)
It made me think though. If I were to rule the world, how would I do it? What diabolical and ingenious scheme would I be able to devise in order to rule this planet with an iron fist?
I would begin by robbing collection plates from churches all over the planet. This would fund my evil plans and cement me as a ne'er-do-well, bent on perverting all the laws of man, or something.
Once I had enough money, I would start a clothing company, which would make underwear cheaply and sell them at an affordable price. Once I had established a good corner of the clothing market, (due to working hand-in-hand with the evil overlords at Wal-Mart) I would outsource all the sewing to sweatshops in Taiwan or some such place. Again, this is really just to let people know that I'm a nogoodnik.
Using ruthless and brutal tactics I would end up owning the controlling share of every sweatshop in Taiwan, thereby indirectly controlling all clothes in America! I would then proceed to promote shoddy craftsmanship on the sewing of all other underpants except mine. With underwear that always falls apart, people would be forced to wear what I endorsed: Joshua™ brand boxers, briefs and panties.
For a few years I would maintain the status quo. My brand of underwear would be cheap and feel good.
At the same time I would use the money gained from my clothing in the creation of a more strong and durable rubber. I would tell the American government that I'm researching the production of a type of rubber that could be used for humvee tires and body armor. It would be lighter and offer complete protection. This would ensure a government grant, or, at the very least, they would give me a cool secret underground lab for my highly-paid scientists to use.
Once I had perfected this new Joshua™ brand rubber, I would undoubtedly win a Nobel Peace Prize. I would, of course, accept it as my due, an ironic smile playing on my lips during my entire acceptance speech. Ha! If only the fools knew what they had just done, I'd think to myself.
I would put this strong, unbreakable rubber into the elastic of my underwear. Over the course of five to 10 years I would slowly make the elastic tighter and tighter, making the people who wore them extremely uncomfortable. Naturally, this lack of comfort would make people walk around in extremely goofy ways, with pained looks on their faces.
At this point my secret underwear death squads will have killed anybody who refused to wear my brand of underwear.
Once I stopped laughing maniacally, (which I've already started practicing) I would force the people of the world to do my bidding, (whatever that may be) by dangling the prospect of less tight and restrictive underwear in front of them. Only by doing as I command could people ever feel good in the crotchtal region ever again!
See, that wasn't so hard. I think that's a rather good and subtle plan. Unfortunately it would take about 20 or 30 years to fully work. But it's better than trying to hold the world ransom by threatening to drill to the Earth's core or something, how silly is that!