Following the announcement that passengers on U.S.-bound flights originating from ten Middle-Eastern airports may not enter the passenger cabin with electronic devices larger than a mobile phone, the following draft order from the White House was leaked to an undisclosed source.
Draft: Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Various Thingies Owned by Foreign Terrorists
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, and to protect the nation from carry-on items that might provide comfort to our enemies or have the potential of becoming a minor nuisance, it is hereby ordered as follows:
No person on a nonstop U.S.-bound flight originating in Istanbul may board with sticky desserts made of sugar and starch. I tried these once, made with rose water and topped with pistachios. They were nothing to write home about. Turks need to stop pushing them on everyone.
No person on a nonstop U.S.-bound flight originating in Dubai may board with an inflatable neck pillow. These people think they can compete on the market for flashy luxury. It has to stop. I know luxury. It looks like Mar-a-Lago and it doesn’t come with a crick in the neck.
All men on nonstop U.S.-bound flights originating in Jeddah or Riyadh must wear trousers. Look, everyone has seen those unflattering pictures of my backside on the internet. Once on a business trip I tried on a white jellabiya to impress my hosts. Not good. It catches the lumps and shakes in all the wrong ways. Flowing male garments have no place in this country.
All people on nonstop U.S.-bound flights originating in Cairo are prohibited from carrying Pharaoh-themed trinkets. We can make better Tut masks right here in America. The other day I called a guy who owns a factory in Philadelphia that makes these things. He was going to move to China until I stopped him. That’s seven thousand American jobs.*
No person aboard a U.S.-bound flight from Abu Dhabi may say “Abu Dhabi.” It’s a silly name. Like a baby made it up. A very, very foreign baby.
No person on a nonstop U.S.-bound flight from Doha may wear a lapel pin or one of those small looped ribbons. Every corporate or NGO type seems to have one of these. It started with the flag, then the pink ribbons for some woman thing. Now I can’t keep track of them. Very tacky. And frankly dangerous. Nobody wants that.
All people on U.S.-bound flights from the Middle East must leave their shoes on for the entire duration of the flight. This isn’t about the shoe bomber, I just don’t like it when the guy sitting next to me takes his shoes off on a ten-hour flight. It’s gross.
No man riding the A or C trains from Brooklyn to Manhattan may wear a long beard or moustache. I’ll be honest here folks: this one may be slightly gratuitous. But it’s getting harder to pick out the Jews and Muslims with all these long beards. Now folks, don’t get me wrong, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you have seen in your entire life. And Muslims—I know so many fabulous Muslims. But a coffee shop in South Slope looks like an Al Qaeda camp nowadays. I don’t get it.
When I sought this tremendous office, I pledged that no Muslim would be able to enter this country until Congress could figure out what was going on. Apparently, I can’t do that. Or anything remotely like it. But I will not hesitate to exercise the full power of the mightiest nation the world has ever known to inflict minor inconveniences on travelers boarding nonstop flights from the Middle East. For far too long our enemies have been emboldened to avoid a layover in Frankfurt. As we continue to review security procedures, know that no measure is too small for our great nation.
DONALD J. TRUMP**
Feisal G. Mohamed is a professor of English at the Graduate Center, CUNY. His latest book is Milton and the Post-Secular Present: Ethics, Politics, Terrorism. Follow him on Twitter @FGMohamed.
* Our fact checkers could not find a factory or owner fitting the president’s description, though he may have been referring to his March 17 order for a cheese steak sandwich at Charley’s Grilled Subs. The Washington, D.C. franchise currently has seven employees.
** Dissent could not verify the authenticity of this order.